May 14, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

What to Surf – Weird Websites

Weird Best of Breed
Gobler Toys: The Greatest Toy Company That Never Existed
Remember those lazy summer days blowing cheese-scented bubbles from Louie the Cheese Shark? No? You might after you visit toy inventor Steve Casino and toy-industry product manager Steve Fink’s lovingly detailed and completely fraudulent website, dedicated to a celebrated toy manufacturer from an alternate-reality early 1940s. You’ll find the complete line of Ira Gobler’s extremely wiggy playthings, from Wiener Works (“Make your own hot dogs from table scraps!”) and Rodeo Rover (“Turns ordinary dogs into buckin’ broncos!”) to Komrade Kluck the “Red” Rooster (don’t worry, the toy’s “‘blood’ is a harmless lead-based compound”) and Gobler’s Wobblers, the child-protection unit that helped our boys win World War II. But wait — that’s not all! You’ll also find a corporate history, original songs from Ira’s appearance at Carnegie Hall, pictures of the founder with the likes of Rita Hayworth and Salvador Dali, and a news clipping that reveals “the toy that really ‘bugs’ Mrs. Gobler.” A site so pointless yet so exquisitely realized, you’ll wish it were real. A+

The World’s Best Bubble Wrap
This paean to the most entertaining packing material ever invented is not for people who pop one or two bubbles and throw the rest away. This home page is for those who lay bubble wrap across the floor and brutally roll their chairs over it (a custom, apparently, in Scandinavian countries). True bubble wrap aficionados will want to study the half dozen types of air pockets listed here (e.g., “Buddy Bubbles” reinflate their neighbors when squeezed) and the guide to etiquette and style (“DON’T pop someone else’s bubble wrap without permission”). But the most satisfying part of this website, created by a 27-year-old freelance Web designer, is the virtual bubble wrap, which (when it’s not acting buggy) re-creates the sound, if not the feel, of the real thing with each click of the mouse. A

The Furby Hooker Network
By day they’re harmless batty-eyed plush toys, but by night…Furby does Dallas. At least, that’s the story according to the sick minds who trussed up their Furbys in bustiers to create one perversely funny website. These toy pimps claim to be doing a public service by supplying “100% disease free” Furbys to the “sex crazed youth of America” — but shouldn’t someone call the authorities before they start recruiting innocent Pokemons? A

The Napalm Pilot organizer, the Caffiderm caffeinated patch, and the National Geographic Swimsuit Edition are but a few of the advertising parodies on Connecticut-based Chris Condon’s engagingly demented site. Print your boss one of the Seven Deadly Motivational Posters (Wrath: “Sometimes it takes someone who is angry to set things right”). Come to think of it, send one of the anonymous postcards instead. B

Juggling in Movies
Mad Max was a juggler. What, you don’t remember the scene where Mel Gibson attempts to juggle three apples? We didn’t either, at least until we found this catalog of hand-eye-coordination moments from 378 movies, compiled by members of the rec.juggling Usenet discussion group. The list describes memorable scenes, like Steve Martin’s Mexican cat juggling in The Jerk, and not-at-all memorable ones, like just about everything else. C

Billboard Liberation Front
“Truth in advertising since 1977” is the motto of this merry (and, by necessity, mostly anonymous) band of billboard defacers who’ve created some of the funniest moments in outdoor advertising history, like the neon Joe Camel sign they “improved” to read “Am I Dead Yet?” Browse through pictures of past pranks, or print out their how-to handbook for wannabe billboard- liberators. A-

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