If you aren’t familiar, the Smack-a-Mac! is a cute little pillow doll produced in the late 1980s and still surfaces for sale from time to time. The company was located in San Diego, CA. The dolls were all the hype of Silicon Valley and were flying around at Apple user parties and conventions.
I first saw this friendly fellow at one of my favorite old mac hang-outs- RetroMacCast’s NING community, where Mac folks commune and post pics of their favorite Apple machines and collectibles.
Right before Christmas I found one on eBay and negotiated for it via the ‘Make an offer’ process. Once it arrived I immediately started my web search for any tidbits. Here’s what I found-
Even though its intended use has been a topic of discussion, the reason is clear to me- it is a stress reliever. Many of you may remember the early Mac days when the units froze up, systems bombed or other frustrating issues arose. Well, the Smack-a-Mac was made to help the user deal, in a healthy way, with these frustrations…instead of picking up the computer and smashing it against the wall.
This little guy even credits itself as increasing frustrated Mac users’ sex drive. See for yourself right from its owner’s manual:
“When Apple introduced the Macintosh, it was unlike anything that had come before. Easy to learn and really fun to use, it revolutionized the world’s perception of computers. BUT the innovations didn’t stop there. We also got computer stress, computer anxiety, and computer anger that couldn’t be vented at the machinery costing thousands of dollars. All this stress became internalized, and computer users everywhere began to exhibit a loss of productivity, reduced eye-to-hand coordination, increased profanity and decreased sex drive.
Smack-a-Mac! was created to solve these problems by providing an outlet for your computer stress. If your Mac is causing you problems you can’t deal with: take it out on your Smack-a-Mac!
Poke it..punch it..pick it up and throw it across the room.”
The Smack-a-Mac! is 7″ tall and 4″ wide and resembles the Macintosh SE (introduced January 1989) It came with an owner’s manual and even a “90-nanosecond warranty!” 🙂
I even found a Smack-a-Mac! reference in a June 1990 transcript by a member of The National Apple Users Group reporting on the MacWorld Expo earlier that year. In addition to describing the goings-on of the convention he writes:
“The Smack-a-Mac dolls were still popular, and the company brought out some new products- t-shirts, dust covers, etc.”
PHOTO CREDIT: DAMIAN WARD
I was going to photograph my own Smack-a-Mac! but Damian’s professional pics are much better. Thanks Damian!