Synopsis of Toy

“Keeps your secrets under lock and key!”

As a kid, the idea that you, thanks to your crafty toy, knew something that other people didn’t was a delicious idea indeed. Putting a little capitalist spin on that ‘I’ve got a secret’ phenomenon, the Tonka toy company (yes, the folks that brought you yellow trucks and plush puppies), issued the cute little plastic Keypers in the mid-1980’s.

There was a whole range of these very animated-looking animals, from snails to swans and just about everything in between. Most of the Keypers had comb-able hair, and some came with their own preening accessories. But hairstyling aside, the highlight of the Keypers was the secret compartment inside of each, wherein the owner could store her tiniest possessions, like allowance or diary keys or jewelry or her various and sundry cereal box and gumball machine treasures. These animals were so innocuous and frilly-looking that hopefully, nosey siblings would stay miles away. Who would ever suspect a mere snail of so grand and graceful a deception as hiding money?

For the kids who misplaced their Keyper keys (and perhaps this was a harbinger of what was in store for them as an adult—that horrible world of lost car keys, every single morning when you’re already running late for work and pretty much the last thing you have time for is sofa upheaval and frantic jeans-pocket checks), and also for the hungry tot who might stick the keys in his or her mouth, Tonka issued baby Keypers. No keys needed here…just squeeze the sides to open. For those of us untrained in the art of organization, the fewer loose parts, the better.

Later models of adult Keypers came with little friends named Finders, which were small plastic creatures with glasses and feet—because when you’re in the concealing business, you need a little company. Good-bye, and safe keyping.

Release History of Toy

mid-1980's - Keypers

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