In 1975 the shop again changed hands when Bud and Ilene Kalafski purchased the operation from the Best family. Bud and Ilene operated the business along with their children (Kathleen and Frank) who helped to run the store. Business was boomin' and at times you could barely move it was so jam-packed with people. Many of the tricks and gags would be demonstrated by the employees and in some cases causing near chaos. Some of the more popular items included fake vomit, the squirting camera, everything and anything that had to do with farts and poop, stink bombs, cigarette loads, and of course the ever popular laugh bag. A few of the gags were borderline dangerous. Remember the electrified books and transistor radios? How about the high voltage joy buzzers that were so charged they would leave a mark. And who could forget the deadly "flash paper" that when ignited would burst into an orange ball of fire. Yes, we would all have a good laugh on the way to the burn center.
Manager Paul Scully getting some laughs with the fake dirty diaper gag. Take notice of Paul's reflection in the mirror - he's sporting the popular Jumbo Ear.
There were many popular fads and novelty items during this period of time and the Fun Shop carried them all. There was the "Laffun Heads"...the pet rock...mood rings...and people up and down the Boardwalk were wearing their jumbo sized sunglasses and walking with their invisible dog leash. It was the 70's and a true sign of the times. The Fun Shop also carried a large selection of classic poster art. All sizes and all types of posters filled the ceiling creating a large collage. They also had loads of buttons, stickers and patches and for a short time even carried smoking paraphenalia (and I don't mean cigarettes).
Above left : The classic black snake pellets. When lit with a match they would expand into a coiling snake (usually leaving a nice scorch mark on the sidewalk.) Center : The Famous Laffun Head by Bibi Products. Tug the tie and they spit water...roll their eyes...stick out their tongue and laugh. Above right : Smoke Balls...need I say more.
Some of the most popular posters in the 70's.
The Fun Shop photos above were contributed by Larry and Kathleen Graber.

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Copyright 2004 Ralph Grassi