The Happy Hamster

Posted 5 years ago by Stuff

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A year or so ago I picked up a crazy looking bootlegish VHS set called Kid Pics. I didn’t think much of it at the time, and the main reason I picked it up was for the gaudy airbrushed art on the cover. It wasn’t until quite some time later that I actually popped it in to check out the toons, and discovered The Happy hamster.

Apparently, a company called Amvest Video thought it would be a good idea to bundle a bunch of cartoons together and try to pawn them off as quality collections, when in fact they were insane compilations. They surrounded the shorts with clips of The Happy Hamster dancing and saying creepy things in front of a blue screen. Take a look at the titles featured on this Walt Disney edition of Kids Pics.

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I love how they included some of the old Alice Comedies under the Mickey Mouse category. Seven Dwarfs and Friends? Really? I wouldn’t have been too excited by The Winged Scourge when I was five years old.

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The fact that Hooked Bear came out in 1956, and they included their company’s contact information on the box makes me think that it is somehow legit, but who knows. Did the Happy Hamster even get used in other sets? Did anyone actually join the club and get one of those awesome shirts?

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Did any of you have any bizarre VHS bootlegs growing up?

 
  • http://www.retroist.com The Retroist

    Awesome!

  • John

    My parents bought my 2-year-old daughter the Seven Dwarfs & friends video by accident. The video was in a “Disney Sing-along Songs” case. My parents bought it at a flea market and didn’t check to make sure the contents matched the package. My daughter liked the Thrifty Pig and Hooked Bear. We were amused by it all, but found the hamster to be creepy. My wife and I wondered what the Happy Hamster did with the pictures kids were to mail in with their fan club payment. Would he later try to find out when their parents got home from work? It was all a bit creepy, especially since he was dressed sort of like Michael Jackson. We would have rather had the Sing-Along video, my parents learned a valuable flea market lesson, and we have a bizarre piece of video history.

  • http://tophatsasquatch.com Tommy

    Thats awesome, John. Thanks for sharing, there are now officially two accounts of Happy Hampster encounters online.

  • Tim

    OMG! I haven’t seen this I was about 7 years old, this completely made my day. Thanks for posting this, it brought a smile to face.

  • http://efil5zaggin.wordpress.com/ Eric Jackson

    I own the one with the Three Stooges, but it’s just written on there. The Happy Hamster is dressed like Michael Jackson and wants you to join the club which includes getting a record of him singing Michael Jackson hits. The club wants you to send a picture along with the money and a letter talking about your likes and dislikes.

  • pianoforte

    I know there were a few Kid Pics/Happy Hamster tapes on Amazon a few months ago; they are no longer for sale, but if I can track one of these videos down through other channels, there is little doubt that I will distribute it among friends and family. This was pure unsettlingly-creepy gold.

    Does anyone know who Mr. Hamster was, or what happened to Kid Pics/Amvest Video? I would be very interested to find out their whereabouts nowadays.

  • http://www.moonsisters.org/Koriander.html Codename Sailor Earth

    The Happy Hamster appears on my Superman VHS tape, also from Kids Pics. Aside from the club, there was also a CD/Vinyl/Cassette Tape of him singing Michael Jackson songs. Many of the parents who sent in their $13 and child’s picture and information often got angry, as the company would turn around and sell off that information to child pageant places and other unsavory places, oozing with Identity Theft and pedo creeps. The company is long defunct.

    I credited you on my blog: http://codenamesailorearth.blogspot.com/2013/06/1-800-wha-dafk-part-2-happy-kid-pics.html This is history, and it shouldn’t be lost. Thank you for uploading the video and giving me back a memory :)

    • http://tophatsasquatch.com/ Tommy Day

      Wow, that’s super creepy! Thanks for the info!

    • .

      Was the Happy Hamster segment on your Superman tape different from the segment before/after the Kid Pics tapes?