Archie McPhee

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Archie McPhee
IndustryNovelty dealer
Key people
Mark Pahlow, owner
ProductsAssorted novelty items
Old Archie McPhee store in Ballard, Seattle, Washington
Chicken suit at the Archie McPhee store

Archie McPhee is a Seattle-based novelty dealer owned by Mark Pahlow. Begun in the 1970s in Los Angeles as the mail-order business Accoutrements, in 1983 it opened a retail outlet dubbed "Archie McPhee" after Pahlow's wife's great-uncle.[1]


The company's line expanded from rubber chickens to glow-in-the-dark aliens, bacon-scented air freshener, and hula-girl swizzle sticks among other items. It became a popular Seattle tourist destination[2] while maintaining enough countercultural credentials that Ben & Jerry's Wavy Gravy ice cream was introduced at a party on the premises in 1993.[3]

Its kitsch appeal received further national attention from the Librarian Action Figure. In 2002, Nancy Pearl told Pahlow over dinner that librarians like herself "perform miracles every day".[4] Pearl later posed for a 13 cm hard plastic doll,[5] and librarians from all around the world registered their dismay at its "amazing push-button shushing action!"[6]

Archie McPhee has since been featured in Scientific American's "Technology and Business" review[7] and Time magazine's fifty coolest websites of 2005.[8] In June 2009[citation needed] Archie McPhee moved from its Ballard location to Wallingford, a Seattle neighborhood on the other side of Phinney Ridge, west of the University of Washington. In 2018, Archie McPhee opened the Rubber Chicken Museum inside its Wallingford location.[1]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Mark Pahlow with Gibson Holub and David Wahl, Who Would Buy This? The Archie McPhee Story, Seattle: The Accoutrements Publishing Co., 2008, ISBN 978-0-9786649-7-8.


  1. ^ Jack Broom, "Archie McPhee expands its garden of goofiness", The Seattle Times (June 28, 2004)
  2. ^ "Seattle Destinations" Frommer's Travel Guide, 2005.
  3. ^ Brian Stephens, "A new home for Seattle's rubber chickens", The Daily of the University of Washington
  4. ^ Brian Calvert, "Able To 'Shush' All Buildings With A Single Sound?", KOMO 1000 News (2005)
  5. ^ Jack Broom, All booked up: Nancy Pearl's fame continues to grow, The Seattle Times (2004)
  6. ^ "Outcry over librarian doll", The Sydney Morning Herald (2003)
  7. ^ Steve Mirsky, "Check Those Figures", Scientific American (2005)
  8. ^ "50 Coolest Websites 2005". Time
  1. ^ Group, Sinclair Broadcast (May 31, 2018). "The World's Only Rubber Chicken Museum... is in Seattle". Seattle Refined. Retrieved June 17, 2019.

External links[edit]