Monday, February 21, 2011

Changeable Charlie

One of my favorite vintage toys is Changeable Charlie, a classic American toy made from the 1940s through the 1960s. Charlie is a man of many personalities: colorful printed features applied to the sides of multiple wooden blocks can be flipped and repositioned, creating lots of characters.

The package claims an astounding 4,194,304 different combinations are possible:  

"It's a mathematical fact that you can play with 'Changeable Charlie' eight hours a day, five days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, making one change a minute, and not repeat yourself in over thirty-three years! If you want to know how mathematicians figured this out, send us a postal card with your name and address. We'll be delighted to show you how it's done."

Alas, I have to go to work each day, and so have been unable to test this claim. 

This 1948 set features fantastic caricatures.

Changeable Charlie was so popular, it spawned a sequel called Changeable Charlie's Aunt. This set dates from 1960.


  1. Very fun!!!
    I really would like to have when I was a little girl.

  2. I still have mine. My kids played with it now my grandkids are enjoying it. glad that I kept it.

  3. Great post! I Love Changeable Charlie!!! It was a favorite childhood toy. I bought several (including Charlie's Aunt) on eBay quite a long time ago!!

  4. Had one as a kid and still remember liking it. Age now 73, go figure.

  5. My father had one and now my grandchildren play with it.

  6. Has anyone seen the vegetable version, I have it at home and I'm trying to date it??? It's basically like Mr Potatoe head with fruits and veg as the body. Actual real fruit and veg the kids were supposed to nick from mum and dad!