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OhioBelle
02-25-2017, 06:52 AM
So one of my BFFs and I like to wander antique malls & flea markets in search of interesting treasures. One of our running jokes is "the ugly monkey." We have a contest between us to see how many of those we can find. Surprisingly, there are a lot. Stuffed toys, ceramic sculptures, painted pictures. Ugly monkeys abound in the antique malls around here.

Yesterday, in tribute to my uke obsession, my friend suggested a ukulele hunt. This particular mall is very large and stuffed with ephemera, so finding an old uke seemed certain. Particularly since some of our ugly monkey discoveries are coconut carvings. A seller offering a coconut carving is bound to have an old ukulele for sale, right?

This was our only find. Labelled with a tag that said "rubber band guitar", it's red plastic on top, blue plastic on the bottom, and I believe the back of the headstock says "LIDO U.S.A." It has little notches above the nut and below the bridge to hook rubber bands. I immediately realized that strung with two rubber bands, it would have FOUR strings. Not a guitar, but a uke! Not to mention the lower bout is embellished with molded palm trees.

I brought it home and installed two rubber bands. Yep, looks like a uke to me!

What say ye, UU? And have you ever seen one of these?
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Debussychopin
02-25-2017, 06:58 AM
That is pretty ingenious. Nice find!

janeray1940
02-25-2017, 07:43 AM
Cool find. Lido made plastic toys in the 1950s-1960s (http://www.angelfire.com/biz/toysoldierhq/OtherUSA1.html) - cars, farm sets, cowboys and indians, soldiers - but a 30-second google didn't reveal any other ukuleles, or guitars for that matter. And I'd say those palm trees + the 4 strings make it a ukulele!

Chopped Liver
02-25-2017, 08:06 AM
I have a little plastic uke one of my students gave me this year. The wood grain is a sticker on the front. The friction tuners actually work, but they don't hold well and the strings slip back. I have plans to try to make them hold. I also might try to take them out and put them in so that they are in the right way for friction tuners (not showing up on the front!!)

It says Greenbrier International, Inc on the back. I am pretty sure that means it came from the Dollar Tree!

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OhioBelle
02-25-2017, 08:27 AM
How fun, Jan! The concept is the same, but no tuners on mine. I have figured out that Pythagoras's law regarding vibrating strings works on the micro-scale with rubber bands - as I move my finger up the neck, the sound is higher. So theoretically I could make music on this thing!

And yeah, janeray, I've been googling like crazy but can't find any Lido ukuleles or guitars. The plastic is in good shape for being 50's or 60's vintage. Still very shiny, no discolorations, and barely any scratches.

kkimura
02-25-2017, 08:35 AM
Finally, an all weather pocket uke!

OhioBelle
02-25-2017, 08:45 AM
Finally, an all weather pocket uke!

Exactly what I said myself! LOL!

Or, good for taking with you for a trip into space. A quick search of the 'bay yielded 9 pages of Lido plastic toys. These spacemen are my favorites. I could totally see them playing uke.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/LIDO-FUTUREMEN-SPACEMEN-SET-WITH-HELMETS-ARCHER-1950s-ORIGINAL-MINT-VINTAGE-/232249617714?hash=item361327ed32:g:Jc4AAOSwTuJYrff t

Debussychopin
02-25-2017, 08:50 AM
Get a few of those and you can make Christmas ornaments. Maybe find a way to put a light into each one.

jollyboy
02-25-2017, 09:11 AM
Now you have to spend the next six months trying out all different types of rubber bands until you find the ones that give the best tone :)

Recovering Bassist
02-25-2017, 11:33 AM
Just curious what you paid for it?

Debussychopin
02-25-2017, 12:06 PM
Now you have to spend the next six months trying out all different types of rubber bands until you find the ones that give the best tone :)

Lol :crackup:

OhioBelle
02-25-2017, 02:47 PM
Just curious what you paid for it?

Three dollars in cold, hard, cash. :cool:



Now you have to spend the next six months trying out all different types of rubber bands until you find the ones that give the best tone



Lol :crackup:

Indeed! The tension does feel a little light on this current set. :p

plastuku
02-25-2017, 04:16 PM
If you can't actually play it, I don't think it should count. I'll wait on the video. ;-)

Nickie
02-25-2017, 05:17 PM
Ha ha, it would wind up on my Xmas tree, no doubt.

Doug W
02-25-2017, 05:20 PM
I have a little plastic uke one of my students gave me this year. The wood grain is a sticker on the front. The friction tuners actually work, but they don't hold well and the strings slip back. I have plans to try to make them hold. I also might try to take them out and put them in so that they are in the right way for friction tuners (not showing up on the front!!)

It says Greenbrier International, Inc on the back. I am pretty sure that means it came from the Dollar Tree!

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Found the same thing in a local Dollar Tree in Minneapolis. Here is the package it came in: Those kids are having fun with that plastic! You must be at least 3 to have this kind of crap!

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