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NO. 787
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RF CHAPTER SIX of TEN
Bill Campbell's WEIRD-OHS

In 1962 the Revell model company began selling plastic models of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's wild custom cars. In 1962, the Hawk Model Company tried to get in on Big Daddy's action by issuing the "Weird-Oh's," a series of whacky custom car models designed by Bob Campbell. These crazy, cartoon-ish plastic car models featured hot-rod driving characters that were clearly inspired by Roth's Revell models.

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Bill Campbell was born in Bunker Hill, Massachusetts, where he lived with his family for three years, before they moved to Chicago. Young Bill decided that he wanted to be an artist by the age of five. Chicago was the home of Englewood Train Station (pictured below) and the Chicago Municipal Airport. Campbell loved the planes, cars and trains he saw in these places, and he spent many hours photographing and sketching them.
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Campbell majored in Art and Music at Hyde Park High School. Two other future celebrities attended the school with him: Mel Torme and Steve Allen. Bill was in a band with Mel Torme as the drummer, and Steve Allen was in his literature class. After high school, Bill was awarded a scholarship to the Chicago Art Institute, where he attended college.

Bill was drafted into the Army during WW II, and he attended basic training at Camp Fannintex as a training aids artist. His assigned unit was the 91st Division/362 Infantry Regiment, which saw action in Italy. After being discharged from the Army, Bill went back to his his wife Connie and daughter Pam in Chicago.

When Bill's friend Paul Maxwell was offered a contract illustrating model box covers, he didn't want to do it, so he refered Hawk to Bill. Campbell's first art job for Hawk models wasn't a "Weird-Oh," it was a 1/48 scale US Navy F2H-2 Banshee aircraft. Here's the painting Bill did...
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Bill recalls, “Sometimes I had the luxury of time to do the artwork . One that stands out is the largest box I remember, that for the Matador Missile with two Air Force Techs in the right hand corner. They wanted the box to show the missile in transport mode, then elevated and then finally fired. I set up the illustration as a stepped sequence, and I feel that it came off pretty well.”
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Campbell realized the market for model planes and cars was becoming saturated, so he designed and sculpted his own series of models featuring monsters driving hot rods in the vein of Roth's Revell models. At first Hawk rejected the models, but after an impromptu focus group went nuts over them, Hawk decided to take a chance. They began producing Campbell's designs, calling them WEIRD-OHS.

According to Campbell, "The Weird-Ohs were a phenomenal sales success for Hawk and the factory work overtime to fill orders."

Here's a gallery of Bill Campbell's box art for his Weird-Ohs "car-icky-tures," with a few of the models, both unassembled, and finished and painted.
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Wade A. Minute The Wild Starter became the unofficial "poster boy" for the Weird-Ohs. Here's Wade on a Fleer bubble gum wrapper...
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In addition to the Weird-Ohs models, Hawk also put out a real record album featuring "Sounds of the Weirdos." The album cover featured Campbell's box art.
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Like, there was also a board game dedicated to the Weird-Ohs.
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Dig these far-out Crazy Cool Color Weird-Oh Paints!
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Famous Monsters of Filmland put out a special "DIY Monster Make-Up Handbook" with instructions on how to create your own home-made Weird-Ohs mask. The thing actually looked pretty good!
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Here's how to make your very own FREDDIE FLAMEOUT mask...
in three easy steps! Weird, isn't it?!
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The Weird-Oh's even had a short-lived, computer-generated cartoon series in 1990. Click play below to see the show's 30-second opening.

Hawk also put out a line of surfing models by Campbell, called the "Silly Surfers."
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BONUS! Marx Toys tried to get in on the action with a series of one-color plastic figures called "Nutty Mads." These plastic figures featured a series of Roth-inspired crazy characters, but no hot rods.
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ED "NEWT" NEWTON
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AND COMING SOON
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