Fuzzy dice, known in the British Isles as furry dice or fluffy dice, are an automotive decoration consisting of two oversized (usually six-sided) plush dice which hang from the rear-view mirror. The original Fuzzy dice used in the '50s were white and approximately 3" square. Although nowadays Fuzzy dice tend to be nearly any color including fluorescents with bright pink or blue being popular and are available in many sizes. In Britain and other parts of the world it is considered kitsch to display such items in a car. It is also generally illegal to actually hang fuzzy dice from a rear-view mirror, as it is considered a device blocking the driver's view of the roadway.
Origin and history
The actual use of fuzzy dice is believed to be traced back to American fighter pilots during World War II. Pilots would hang the dice above their instruments displaying seven pips before a 'sortie' mission for good luck. It is also speculated that the dice represented a high degree of risk associated with the fighter sorties; hundreds of pilots were shot down each week. Upon returning after the war, many airmen continued the tradition, and in the 1950s, the fuzzy dice became one of the first items sold specifically to be hung from a rear-view mirror.
It has been postulated that the late Mark Shepherd Jr., a former CEO of Texas Instruments, created the first fuzzy dice in 1952, when he was a project engineer working for the company. He supposedly made them as a "good luck" gag gift for a professional acquaintance, knowing the original use of the dice.
Fuzzy dice were at the height of their popularity in the 1970s and the 1980s but have since become increasingly rare. In the US the practice of hanging any object from the rear-view mirror is prohibited in at least one state (Minnesota). A 1993 study showed there to be no correlation between the use of fuzzy dice and the degree of a driver's reckless driving behavior.
- Spicer, Stuart (2001). Dream Schemes II: Exotic Airliner Art. Motorbooks International. p. 77. ISBN 0-7603-1196-X.
- Ask a Trooper: Dangling items from rearview mirror illegal
- Fuzzy dice, dream cars, and indecent gestures: cor...[Accid Anal Prev. 1993] – PubMed Result
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