In between two sheets of plastic, there were two or three different colors of sand-like material (“microdium crystals”) in different weights. Since the dark and light colors couldn’t really mix, and slid around at the whim of gravity, the crystals would flow into various patterns as you moved the toy around.
Despite being marketed for a relatively short time, these vintage toys are fondly remembered by many — and the few that remain disappear from eBay quickly. (Read more on the history of the Magic Window here.)
VIDEO: Wham-O’s Magic Window TV commercial
Wham-O’s Magic Window: A toy for all ages (1973)
A creative plaything for children, “Magic Window” is also a sensory experience for adults, representing a medium of creative interpretation.
Millions of vari-colored, non-toxic Microdium crystals, contained in an oval frame of clear, safe, heavy-duty polystyrene plastic, portray changing moving pictures as it is agitated or revolved.
Individual interpretation and impressions make these swirling patterns emerge as oceans, mountains, flowers and limitless other scenes and patterns.
A fascinating and creative plaything for children, it is also a provocative and decorative object for adults. It was successful in its West Coast test marketing, spurring numerous inquiries from persons throughout the country who had received it as a gift.
Its obvious assets are augmented by a unique facility for entertaining persons with lengthy periods of time to fill, such as airline passengers, persons on lengthy auto trips, hospital patients, shut-ins and preschool youngsters.
Serra Memorial Hospital in Sun Valley, California, originally planned to use it in its children’s ward to entertain the youngsters. However, the hospital staff soon found its adult patients were equally desirous fo enjoying the recreation it afforded.
Similar interest was reported by the child development-parent educated department at Long Beach City College, where communication between children and adults was further stimulated by the youngsters’ enjoyment.
A vintage Magic Window toy in close-up
Wham-O’s Magic Window toy in action (animated gif)
Magic Window toy (blue) – Wham-O retailer catalog page (1977)
Unbelievably enchanting and ever-changing. Create countless designs, landscapes, seascapes, birds, butterflies just by turning the Magic Window.
The crystals fly, slide and erupt into one pattern after another. Provides hours of pleasure for all ages. Comes attractively boxed with its own clear polystyrene stand.
Glow in the dark Magic Window toy catalog page for retailers (1977)
Vintage Wham-O Magic Window toy ads – Toys for sale