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Fuzzy dice, also known as 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 1950s were white and approximately 3" square. Nowadays, fuzzy dice come in many colors (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.
Origin and history
The truth is fuzzy dice were not fuzzy originally. Dice hanging from the rear view mirror of a car was created by Ed Sundberg and Lupe Zavala in 1959 at Deccofelt Corp in Glendora, CA. They were made of polyurethane squares with felt dots. It wasn't until it was produced in other countries that they became fuzzy. The Story is told in the Ed Sundberg webpage written in Ed's own words. (at the bottom of the Deccofelt story) http://edsundberg.weebly.com/deccofelt.html Supporting newspaper article from 1964 San Gabriel Valley Daily Tribune.
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.
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.
- Fuzzy dice, dream cars, and indecent gestures: cor...[Accid Anal Prev. 1993] – PubMed Result
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