A novelty is a small manufactured adornment, especially a personal adornment. In this sense, the word is usually used in the plural, "novelties". The word is also used to denote "novelty item".

Novelty item

This term covers a range of small manufactured goods, such as

*executive toys
*tools and implements

Novelty items are generally devices that do not fit into another category such as "gadgets", by virtue of being impractical, but this distinction is often blurred. Toys for adults are generally classed as novelties.

Novelties in history

The French mathematician and astronomer Pierre Hérigone (1580-1643) describes a novelty item that was a camera obscura in the form of a goblet. Hérigone's goblet-camera obscura was constructed in such a way that you could spy on others while taking a drink. The device's 45-degree angle mirror had a stylized opening for the lens. The goblet had a cup made of glass where images could be seen. The lid bore a magnifying lens at the top. []

One of the most popular novelty items in recent history was the Singing Big Mouth Billy Bass, manufactured by Gemmy Industries. It is rumoured that over 20 million original pieces were sold in 12 months during 2000 and 2001. The total amount of copies or knock offs sold is said to be greater than that.

One of the most recent successful novelty items is Polly the Insulting Parrot. Sold by the US chain store Spencer Gifts and online by Gifts Australia this vulgar animated parrot lets numerous profanities go as you walk past it. It was developed by Australian novelty maunfacturer MDI Australia.

List of novelty items

*X-Ray Specs

See also


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