Most every office in the world has some sort of knick-knack, a doo-dad, or tchotchke (pronounced: “chotch-key”). My office almost nothing but! This Office Tchotchke blog focuses on a special set of dancing food characters from the 80s…
If you are unfamiliar with the California Raisins, they were a marketing campaign originally produced by the California Raisin Advisory Board in 1986. The idea of raisins dancing to Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” was made in Claymation at Will Vinton studios and a pop culture hit was born. The raisins took on a life of their own appearing in many more commercials and a few TV specials.
The figures I have sitting on their dusty shelf are straight out of the 80s.
The two on the right, wearing tennis shoes, I have had since I was a young geek back in the 80s. While visiting my parents on a family trip, I found them and brought them back to display in my office.
The female one I found at a garage sale about two years ago. I noticed a VHS copy of the 1988 special Meet the Raisins and simply had to have it! A little girl that lived at the house told to me to “hang on.” She ran inside and came back with the figure, telling me I HAD to take it to go with the movie. So after checking with the girl’s mom, I got the raisin too!
Finally on the far left is my favorite raisin: Michael Jackson. Jackson provided the voice for his raisin in one of the commercial spots. I really don’t remember how I came by this one. I believe he was a gift from a friend that had had it sitting around his house since the 80s. Sadly, he doesn’t stand up very straight.
Do you remember the raisins? Did you get hooked into the fad like I did? Tell me about it!