Clackers: Acrylic Balls Of Death
Clackers were one of my favorite toys to play with growing up. It was a simple toy made of two hard acrylic balls about 2 inches in diameter each, tied together by a heavy string that ended in a ring. We put our fingers in the ring and started to get the balls hitting each other by raising our arm up and down. Once the balls started to "clack" together, we tried to give them more and more momentum. We were a bunch of rough kids in my neighborhood, who thought nothing of having pine cone wars that only counted if you drew blood. Some of you may remember the green and spiky hard pine cones. Imagine what might have happened when our parents gave us toys that might as well have been weapons. In fact, they were very similar to an actual weapon in Argentine, known as bolas. In the seventies, many parents were not as safety conscious as they are now. We delighted in making the clackers hit hard enough to break and before long that was the main intent. As much fun as they were to my little childish brain, there is no way that I would have allowed my boys to play with them. When I think back to some of the games that I played as a child, I shake my head and grimace. Clackers were finally discontinued after numerous eye injuries. What a surprise!
How To Play
Any toy that could send shrapnel flying was the most wanted toy in the seventies. It belongs right up there with lawn darts for the danger factor. Sure, you could throw a hip out trying to keep a Hula Hoop going, but those lawn darts were nothing but a spear that fit a child's hand. Clackers made a brief comeback in the 1990s, but they were the "safe" version which translates to not very exciting. The new clackers were made of a plastic that refused to shatter and kids became bored with them early on. It is interesting to note that many people still have fond memories of the vintage clackers, despite the inherent danger.
The old tried but true toys are making a comeback. While I wouldn't recommend putting lawn darts or clackers under the tree, there are some classic toys that are always in vogue. Magna Doodles and Etch A Sketch are two that I believe no child should be without. It is a good way to get their creative juices flowing and I am glad that my children had them.
Did You Play with Clackers In The Seventies?
- Classic Games and Toys
Since classic toys are in and making a come back I thought I would share a few of these retro toys. I know some of these that are listed on here will bring back memories. It surprised me just how many can still be found and are still being made. The.
- Magna Doodles Do Wear Out
Certain toys will always be in style, becoming classics in a very short time. The Magna- Doodle is one such toy.
- The Etch A Sketch King: George Vlosich III
Invented by Arthur Granjean in his garage in 1959, the first incarnation of the "Etch A Sketch" was originally called "L'Ecran Magique", the magic screen. He took it to the International Toy Fair in Germany...
© 2009 Mary Krenz