19 February 2018

The History Of Fuzzy Dice

Fuzzy dice and cars go together like peanut butter and jelly. Sure, they might be cheesy, but believe it or not, fuzzy dice are still actually a popular automotive accessory for many.

But have you ever stopped and wondered why these oversized, plush dice are so popular to hang from a car’s rear-view mirror? Probably not, but it’s still interesting to find out so let’s explore the history of fuzzy dice…

So the origins of fuzzy dice can be tracked back to American fighter pilots back in WWII. As symbols of luck and personality, pilots of these fighters would hang the dice above their instruments for good luck before a mission. Although it’s never been confirmed, many also believe that the dice symbolized how risky the mission was.

But once the war was over, fuzzy dice went commercial in the 1950s, with drivers opting to hang them on their rear-view mirror. But who started making them first is sort of a controversy.

Many claimed they were the first, but no one really knows who really started it. Supposedly, Lupe Zavala and Ed Sundberg started the trend back in 1959 at Deccofelt. But then some think former CEO of Texas Instruments, Mark Shepherd, created them in 1952 as a gag gift when he was working as a project engineer.

But whoever created them spawned a popular trend in the golden age of the street rod, where the trend really flourished. There’s no real record of which street racer hung them up first, but someone did it and it obviously spread like wildfire because soon everyone started to do it. For drivers, having these fuzzy dice hang from their rear-view mirrors meant they were down to “dice with death” when street racing, proving their racing skills in dangerous and unregulated street racing events.

Fuzzy dices continued to thrive as the “it” accessory in rides into the 1980s. Here is when the dice symbolized individuality rather than defiance, as drivers chose them in colors to match their vehicles. But in the 1990s, fuzzy dice became cheesy. However, there are some who like to be different from the pack and display their fuzzy dice proudly!