Created by Don Poynter for his Poynter Products company, the Jayne Mansfield Hot Water Bottle hit the market in 1957 just as the busty Mansfield was establishing herself as America’s No. 1 Blonde Bombshell. The Mansfield figure—in a pin-up pose with hands behind her neck and wearing a painted-on black bikini—is made of “blushing” pink–colored plastic with a screw-on “hat” cap and measures close to two feet head-to-foot.
“Just to sell a hot-water bottle shaped like a woman doesn’t have pizzazz. It’s got to have some presence. So why not sell Jayne Mansfield?” – Don Poynter
|The illustrated ad for the Jayne Mansfield Hot Water Bottle. One should presume Mansfield is wearing the nightie purchased by Poyner for the promotional ad.|
|An ad for the Jayne Mansfield Hot Water Bottle on the newspapers in 1957.|
At one point, there was even a proposal to do a life-size version, but the idea was eventually rejected as being too vulgar. It was a rare occasion of good judgment being exercised in the course of her career.
The hot water bottle is tacky enough, but the advertising on the box that it comes in is even worse:
“The ‘Hugging’ Hot Water Bottle”
“Designed with the Male in Mind”
“For the Man Who Has Everything, Including a Few Aches and Pains –– Preferred by Arctic Explorers.”
“We Don’t Know How, But They Say It Can Be Used As an Ice Pack –– Perfect As a Cocktail Shaker”
Poynter’s copyright is on the bottom of the left foot. He initially made a plaster model based on photos sent by Mansfield, but eventually traveled to her L.A. home to re-sculpt, where she modeled for it.
“I did it for a week,” Poynter said. “I could have done it in two days, but why rush?” Priced at just under $10, about 400,000 were sold before Mansfield died in a 1967 auto accident. Today, it’s a collector’s item. “People write me letters because my name is on it and ask, ‘My grandfather died and we found this doll. What is it?’”
|Poynter pictured with Mansfield and her hot water bottle.|
|A surreal shot of Jayne Mansfield floating in her pool surrounded by her novelty hot water bottles designed by Don Poynter.|