Here’s a snippet of an Archie McPhee advertisement for the Lucky Cicada toy/keychain. The image was sent to us my Suzanne M.
Whining Cicada with Blinking Eyes Keyring
Also called the “cicada toy that may shrill”This is for everyone who has lived with treefulls of these screaming locusts, has moved away from locust country, and secretly misses them. This lifelike beast, though, far beats any you might have encountered. When you press the metal button on its belly, its eyes flash green and it emits a gut-wrenching cicada whine that sounds like the background music in a science fiction thriller. And it lasts 20 whole seconds! And “since it has cells, you can play anytime.” That’s what it says. Black body, realistic, detailed green wings. 2-3/8″ long, about 1-1/2″ wide at the widest point. Great packaging. Each cicada is blistersealed on a 3-1/2″ x 5″ card with great illustrations. Part of the forest bug series. Nifty pocket clip. And, it’s a keyring. No one could live without this for very long after finding out it exists.
Back in the 1990’s Archie McPhee/Accoutrements distributed the Lucky Cicada, a toy with a keyring that would sing when you squeezed its abdomen. Its eyes lit up green too.
All we have now are memories and memorabilia, because they aren’t making them anymore. That said, there are manufacturers in China who have the plans and will make them. That’s a story for another day. Thanks to Roy Troutman for the images.
Front and back packaging:
The keychain and packaging:
4 different paint jobs. And red eyes! Collect them all!
The Lucky Cicada Keychain was a keychain sold my Archie McPhee/Accouterments that featured a large plastic cicada that sang when you squeezed its abdomen. Don’t squeeze too hard, or the circuit board inside will snap.
Thee Legendary Lucky Cicada Keychain from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.
Update (5/2011): I finally found one of these keychains, but I’m going to keep looking for more. Plus we have, Cicada Keychain Parts, Packaging scans from Ben, Packages and images found by Roy, and a scan from an Archie McPhee catalog from Suzanne M.
Once or twice a year someone e-mails Cicada Mania asking if we know where to
find the cicada keychain — you know, “the one that buzzes”. Although there
are many keychains which feature
cicadas (e.g. trapped in amber),
I’ve never found the cicada keychain online.
I haven’t found these in stores since Clinton was in office. Back in the day,
you could find them in mall stores like “The Nature Company”, “The Science Nook”
and “The Planet Store”. Once, in the late 90’s I asked the manager of one of these
stores about the these
keychains and she said: “we don’t carry them any more, the last batch was defective”.
She seemed angry that I even asked her about them. I wish I knew more. Maybe these
stores lost so much money because of these defective key chains that they all went
out of business? Or maybe they didn’t sell enough whale song CDs, glow-in-the-dark
moon stickers, or mystical crystals to pay the rent?
I’ve spent way too much time looking for these keychain online, and I’ve
pretty much given up hope.
- I’ve searched numerous online stores that specialize in novelties and keychains.
- I’ve e-mailed these stores requesting that they stock these keychains — but I get no response.
- I’ve searched ebay.
- I’ve spend hours doing Google searches.
There are two problems with searching for stuff like this online:
- Search engines have a hard time indexing online stores (for technical reasons
I won’t waste your time with), and…
- Who knows how people would describe these things?
Are they keychains, key chains, keyrings, or key rings? Are they cicadas, locusts,
insects or bugs? Do they buzz, chirp, scream, or beep?
While searching for cicada keychain:
Online stores I’ve searched include:
Update: I recently tried to get the CEO of Archie McPhee to reintroduce this product:
Ben from Quebec emailed us photos of the packaging for the Lucky Cicada Keychain (Toy, Keyring).
Here a picture of my toy cicada package. I bought it at Discovery Island (now closed), a former small theme park of Walt Disney World back in 1993.