Novelty items, by definition, are an object that serves absolutely no practical purpose whatsoever. Typically, they are only sold because of their uniqueness or just for the humor factor, although they can also be sold as “something new,” hence the term “novelty.”
There are some objects that start out being novelty, like frisbees and hula hoops, only to later move out of the “novelty” market and into the established, commonly used goods market later on. There are even food items that are described as novelty items when they first come out, like Deep Fried Mars Bars.
The earliest recorded reference to novelty items was by French mathematician Pierre Hérigone. In the early 1600’s he invented a goblet that let you spy on people while drinking (via a mirror). The most popular novelty item in recent history was Big Mouth Billy Bass and between 2000 and 2001 it is estimated that nearly 20 million pieces were sold.
So even if you have never bought these types of items or don’t even plan to buy any in the future, we are sure that you will find it entertaining to see what sort of novelty items other people are buying. These are the 25 most nostalgic, popular, and useless novelty items ever!
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Possibly the most famous lawn ornament in the United States, they were designed in 1957 by Don Featherstone and have become an icon of pop culture. They even won him an Ig Nobel Prize in 1996.
Big Mouth Billy Bass
This animatronic singing fish was made popular in the 2000’s and has since made several television and movie appearances.
Developed in the 1950’s, we can only guess how many important decisions were influenced by this silly toy.
Mexican Jumping Bean
Basically seed pods that have been inhabited by the larva of a small moth, jumping beans will actually jump when heated (held in your hand) because the larva spasms. Just don’t eat the beans.
Originating in 19th century Germany, these little bearded garden dwellers have become the definition of kitsch novelty items.