Saturday, August 8, 2009

WOW...visible people!!

We (being AGF and I) have just returned from our favorite second-hand store with armloads of goodies, including, for myself, entire Visible Man and Visible Woman model kits, with instructions....all for only $7.99!!! (they came in the lid of a Visible Man box-maybe not collector-worthy, but still cool to me!).

For those who don't remember, the "Visible Man" and "Visible Woman" were educational plastic model kits put out by a company called "Renwal" of Mineola, New York in the 1960's and early 70's. They were 1/5th scale representations of the human body, showing skeletal structure, organs and representations of the nervous system, and they looked like the creepy models you always stared at in your doctor's office as a kid (either that or you stared at those weird calendars portraying industrious little bug/human hybrid communities involved in a variety of smurf-like activities....anyone remember what those things were called??). The Visible Man and Woman were really detailed kits, allowing the builder to assemble a human torso from bones on up. The body was clear plastic, and there was a large chest cavity allowing the builder to poke around and explore the arrangement of organs, or pretend to build a Frankenstein monster, whatever floated your boat.

The Visible Woman, though an intriguing concept to pre-pubescent males of the time, actually including a perfectly-scaled fetus and infant, which would have made a terrific educational tool for parents giving their kids the "birds and bees" talk. The kits could be built as-is or painted in realistic colours, which were suggested in the instructions (apparently the upper surface of the Transverse Colon is "greenish-pink" while the Rectum is "brownish-pink". Try to find THOSE colours from Testors!!)

I've posted scans of the first pages of the instructions, and I'd be happy to make and send details scans if any collectors wanted copies for their own use. Just respond here with an e-mail addres you'd like it sent to. No viruses included, promise!!

Anyway, finding these old model kits at a bargain proce was Better Than Awesome, especially when one of the ladies said they have collectors price their vintage items, then price them lower than suggested retail!!!! AGF was able to pick of some coolio doll dresses and shoes, as well as a couple of books. Bargain stores..always BETTER THAN AWESOME!!!


Nat said...

We had very different childhoods, you and I. Mine was filled with Cabbage Patch Kids, My Little Ponies, Strawberry Shortcake, and Care Bears. None of which I'd be pleased to run into again. I am also not familiar with your bug/human hybrid posters.

All that being said, your visible people sound cool!

Sean said...

I know it's been a long time since you posted it, but came across your post and wondered if I could ask something...

I received the "Visible Woman" from my in-laws as a gift - I work in the medical field and they bought it for me as a cool gift for my birthday. Unfortunately, there are no instructions inside the kit. This is a surprisingly complex model! I was wondering, if there was any chance of you posting, or sending me the pages from the instruction manual. It would be great to have these instructions for putting it all together. If you can help, it would be much appreciated. Many thanks in advance.