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The History of Fuzzy Dice

Today, fuzzy dice are often considered nothing more than a symbol of retro style, but there’s much more to them than that! According to common lore, fuzzy dice date all the way back to World War II, when superstitious pilots would place a pair of dice on their instrument panel with seven pips showing for good luck. A darker version of the story holds that pilots placed the dice on their instrument panels not for good luck, but as a reminder that each flight was essentially a “roll of the dice” and could be their last. Regardless of the true reasoning behind the practice, after World War II ended, veterans returned home and the golden age of hot rod racing in America began. It’s unknown which street racer first hung a pair of plastic dice over the rearview mirror of his hot rod, evoking the superstition and cynicism of World War II pilots, but it quickly became a common practice. However, since plastic dice melted easily in the hot sun, racers replaced them with fuzzy, stuffed dice instead. The fuzzy dice helped to identify the alternative culture’s participants and signaled that a driver was open to street racing, or “dicing with death.” Fuzzy dice remained part of car culture until the 1980s, although by then they symbolized individuality rather than defiance and danger. By the late 1980s, many states had begun outlawing the practice of hanging items from rearview mirrors, and fuzzy dice faded into obscurity. Today, however, they are making a resurgence in some circles as symbols of nostalgia.

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