I’m a huge fan of novelty items. Currently, my office is adorned with miniature rubber ducks, librarian action figures, small stuffed animals, and other cute-funny-quirky trinkets. These make great conversation pieces and delight others, as well as amuse me.
I’ve found that “novelty” is often used as a catch-all term for miscellaneous items that don’t fit into traditional categories of toys, games, and dolls. For example, practical jokes, magic tricks, souvenirs, and licensed products are considered novelty items. Some manufacturers, such as Accoutrements and Basic Fun, Inc. even specifically cater to the “Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir” industry. Some novelty items are geared toward nostalgic adults. Childhood toys such as the Fisher-Price Corn Popper and Etch A Sketch can be purchased in miniature form as key chains. Tiny versions of playthings aren’t the only popular novelty for grown-ups; the offbeat Big Mouth Billy Bass, an animatronic singing wall-mounted fish activated by motion sensor, became all the rage in the 2000s.