In the ’70s, you could make oceans and mountains with a Wham-O Magic Window toy

Whams Magic Window vintage toy c1973

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The Wham-O “Magic Window” toy was made between 1973 and 1979. Though the concept was simple, it could actually make very intricate patterns.

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)

Creativity and versatility are two of the primary assets which make an exciting and unique toy product from Wham-O, creator or such all-time favorites as Hula Hoop, Frisbee and Silly String.

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

A vintage Magic Window toy in close-up

Wham-O’s Magic Window toy in action (animated gif)

animated magic window toy

Wham-O's Magic Window in pink from 1975

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.

ALSO SEE: Silly Putty: Wonder toy of the 20th century (1951)

Wham-O's Magic Window catalog page - 1978

Glow in the dark Magic Window toy catalog page for retailers (1977)

Wham-O's Magic Window - Glow in the dark catalog page - 1978

Lite-Brite: The beloved low-tech toy from the '60s, '70s & '80s that let us make glowing pictures with colored pegs

Vintage Wham-O Magic Window toy ads – Toys for sale

Vintage Magic Window toys for sale - newspaper ads

The Thingmaker: Mattel's vintage sets that let you mold Creepy Crawlers, Fun Flowers & other little toys with Plastigoop


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Comments on this story

5 Responses

  1. I really need to find a magic window by whamoo it is very important to find it with out paying to much on fixed income…
    Please help me find one …..

  2. Anyone know where I can get a Magik Window toy for less than the prices on E-bay? I need this sensory toy for 2 autistic little boys but have a limited budget. Sensory toys are really soothing for them.

    1. Why don’t you just buy a moving sand picture from They’re just like the Magic Window, except there’s also liquid inside & the sand falls down between the bubbles near the top when the frame is turned. They’re great sensory items & perfect for promoting calmness. You can find very affordable ones on Amazon & probably all over the web too.

      1. They really aren’t like the Magic Window. MW moved more freely and the sand had a greater tendency to separate by color, making it much easier to affect the movement and create more intricate pictures. The water ones are better than nothing, but not as good as a Wham-o Magic Window.

  3. I had one as a girl, and I absolutely loved it! I took it with me EVERYWHERE! It kept me busy with my hands and my mind. It was especially great for long car rides. Man, I wish I had mine now! Does anyone know where I can find one?

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