My Hula Hoop was the Best Toy Ever
The Hula Hoop was the Hippest toy around
How I loved my Hula Hoop! Mine was bamboo, a pre-plastic classic and I do wish I had it now.
The Hula Hoop was an Australian idea that became an international phenomenon and had more hips swiveling than Elvis Presley could ever imagine.
Where are the Hula Hoops of Yesteryear?
The Hula Hoop is Australian! - We were the first!
Models in Melbourne about 1957
It was in Australia that the first plastic hula hoops were made.
Back in 1957, Coles department store sold bamboo hoops, but the supplier couldn't produce enough to meet demand. So they invited Alex Tolmer, the founder of Toltoys, to produce plastic ones. Toltoys sold 400,000 plastic hoops in 1957. There were less than 10 million people in the whole continent in that year so that's a heck of a lot of hula hoops.
It wasn't until 1958, that Wham-O started to market hula hoops in the USA. One hundred million hula hoops were sold in 1958! And that's a lot of plastic.
In some places the Hula Hoop was a no-no
You couldn't swing a hula hoop in Indonesia, it was incredibly offensive to shake your hips in public. I don't recommend doing it now either. Likewise in Japan, the authorities banned the practice and the Soviet Union described it as yet another example of Western decadence .
Everyone loved Hula Hoops! - The Craze that came and went
The plastic tubing for all the Hula Hoops of 1958 would stretch around the world more than five times
The Hula Hoop in Ancient Greece
"There is nothing new under the sun"
This is a Krater, a large vase used to mix wine and water in Ancient Greece. This style is called a Bell Krater as it looks like an inverted bell.
The figure represents Ganymede and, yes, he's playing with a hoop.
The Ancient Greeks, creators of the Olympic Games, used these early hula hoops as a fitness tool.
Roman children used a ring made of grapevines like a hula hoop, I'm not sure how young Lucius or Marcus would have used these hoops, probably for bowling like the Greek boys, and my own grandfather, did.
The Tao of the Hula Hoop
The Hula Hoop was more than a toy. It was almost a way of life.
I hula-hooped because I enjoyed the challenge and wanted to be the best. The Hula Hoop was an escape from the small setbacks in my day and it had the power of taking me out of myself, a method to reach detachment from daily trivia, a small journey to another place. While in this other place I was above the mundane world and enjoyed the wonderful effect of not hearing my mother call me to clean up my room.
The Scoop on the Hoop
The hoop returns!
You may find it hard to believe in an age of action-packed video games and whiz-bang gadgets that the hula hoop, in its innocence, could return. But you would be wrong to dismiss them as a relic of the past.
Fitness, with a Hula Hoop - Not just fitness, but metamorphosis
Combine the sheer joy of childhood play with results you can see and feel. Who needs a gym?
A Classy Hula Hoop Act
From the Cirque du Soleil. This takes the Hula Hoop beyond the boundary
How to Hoop that Hula
In 4 simple steps
Don't know how to swing that hula hoop? You're probably trying too hard. Don't try to move your hips in a circle, you need a rocking motion. Back and forth. Back and forth.
Put one foot in front of the other.
Hold the hoop against your back.
Give the hoop a shove with your hand and
Rock your weight back and forth on your feet
Hula Hoops are now Art
What do you say?
Should the Hula Hoop return to its Glory Days?
Do you hoop a loop with a hula hoop?
Did you do it years ago?
© 2009 Susanna Duffy