Sunday, October 18 2015 10:36

Crazy Foam: A Creepy Nostalgia Trip of Chemical Yuck...

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Back in 1965, the American Aerosol Company launched Crazy Foam to "make bathtime fun for kids and easy for parents." The concept was simple, with shaving cream-style soap packed into a can that featured artwork from a variety of licensed characters. DC Comics and MARVEL were in the mix, and there were others like Popeye, The Smurfs, and more. By the 90s, there were even editions based of characters from The Simpsons, and then the brand went on hiatus. I vaguely remembered these from the late 70s/early 80s, so when I was pitched some samples for a Crazy Foam rebirth, I jumped on it. Thing is, after having these in-hand, my parental instincts kicked in and made two things very clear - Crazy Foam is creepy, and I'm not comfortable letting my girls use it based on the ingredients and propellants contained within.

The kids depicted in that 2015 Crazy Foam commerical up-top are pretty accurate - there's no doubt that "kids love Crazy Foam" - but kids don't understand words like Phenoxyethanol and Hydroxyethylcellulose. In fact, here's the ingredients list for Crazy Foam as provided to THE ROCK FATHER Magazine:

Active Ingredients: Water/Eau, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Laureth-23, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Fragrance/Parfum, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethylcellulose and Blue 1. 

Now, in total fairness, there's some pretty standard stuff in there, all within guidelines - but that doesn't mean my wife and I have to like it. In fact, while I let the girls use Crazy Foam twice, if it was up to my wife, they wouldn't have used it at all. We typically use products like Babyganics, The Honest Company, etc. so while Superman and Wonder Woman shooting white goo from their mouths might be fun and amusing (and somewhat creepy), it's a stretch. For me, what was troubling are the propellants - Isobutane and Proponane. I'd not even thought about that aspect of Crazy Foam until I realized you can actually smell them if the can isn't at quite the right angle. Again, I'm just not comfortable with it.

Crazy Foam = Yuck

As many of you that know me or read my writings are well-aware of, I'm all for some good retro fun and a cool nostalgia trip. In the case of Crazy Foam however, some things are just better left in the past. 

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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