When I was young, I used to love watching cartoons on a Saturday morning. Back then there were no DVDs or computers to watch your favourite shows whenever you liked. You had to watch what was on, when it was on! One of my favourite shows was Gumby and Pokey, about a funny green boy and his best friend who happened to be an orange horse.

This was one of the earliest examples of “claymation” which used plasticine and stop-motion animation to create cartoon characters. Since then there have been lots of other similar shows, like Morph, Bob the Builder, Postman Pat and Shaun the Sheep. Wallace and Gromit are also made of plasticine and use stop-motion animation.

Gumby and Pokey had lots of fun adventures. Here is a link to one episode from 1968 called A Point of Honour. It’s fun and full of action, and a lot of the toys in it I remember from when I was little. At the beginning Gumby knocks over a Barrel of Monkeys (colourful plastic monkeys with curved arms). I had a set just like it!

I also had lots of colours of plasticine, and I used to sit and make all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures with it as I watched TV. Plasticine never hardens, so I wasn’t able to keep any of my little figures, but when my daughter was small she used FIMO clay which you can bake. Here are some of her little creations. I have put a paperclip next to them so you can see how small they are!

Shows like Gumby and Pokey were very inspiring because the characters could change into anything they liked. Watching the show gave me lots of ideas for making things. I also had some bendy rubber toys of Gumby and Pokey so I could make up my own adventures for them. Since they first came out in 1957, Gumby and Pokey have been made into movies, comics and even computer games! They have become classic toys for generations of children.

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