Toys and novelty products that deliver a small electric shock have been the staple of merry pranksters for years. But probably the strangest of these products ever made that delivers a surprise electric shock to any unwary patsy is this toy version of Old Smokey! Produced by the novelty toy company Poynter Products in 1978 is shockingly good fun.
Powered by a 9 volt battery, with a transformer to amp up the shock, this novelty toy was set on a table waiting for any curious visitor to pick it up. 2 metal rods inside the legs are the trigger. When the chair is picked up the rods come out, and turn the chair on! Shocking your friends.
The chair is an example of a "useless machine", that serves no real function, apart from being a novelty item. Poynter Products produced a number of such items.
Poynter Products famously manufactured the "Little Black Box", which did nothing more than switch itself off. They later added a ghoulish hand as a coin snatching feature, eventually renaming it "The Thing", after the disembodied hand in the TV show The Addams Family. Poynter got licensing rights to market the product as Addams Family merchandise along with another product "Uncle Fester's Mystery Light Bulb". The light bulb would light-up when either held in your hand, or when you put it in your mouth like Uncle Fester would do in the TV show.