The Gonks’ signature features are a small, spherical body and two googly eyes. A gonk is not a gnome or a leprechaun though there are family resemblances.
Leprechauns sport green hats and orange beards. Gonks don’t have orange beards or stovepipe hats.
Gonks are the creation of English inventor Robert Benson. They were quite literally the first toy craze in England post-World War II. Endorsements by Ringo Starr and Peter Sellers aided in their popularity.
Gonks also appeared in the 1964 movie Gonks Go Beat. The film is a take-off on the Romeo and Juliette theme. Two musical communities, one who likes rock and roll and one who likes ballads, become reunited through a couple who love across their communities.
The Gonk-guy below was created from the pattern by hubby-dear’s sister, seamstress extraordinaire.
Her Gonk creations were much desired and cherished.
Around our house, we have many of Nita’s Nitawork needlework creations including Mr. and Ms. Santa Claus, a holiday door wreath, and a Texas State Fair First Prize-winning wall-hanging of the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Sadly, our University of Texas gonk met his demise years ago.
That’s why I was so delighted to discover this round, cuddly guy with a great message on his shirt when helping Nita’s son clear out his sister’s apartment.
A treasure that brings back fond memories.