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Clackers: Acrylic Balls Of Death

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Safety First

A ball is a safer toy

A ball is a safer toy

Clackers

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.

Classic Toys

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.

Vintage Games

  • 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...

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2009 Mary Krenz

Comments

Mary Krenz (author) from Florida's Space Coast on August 12, 2011:

That's too funny! I had so much fun with them, I can't believe our parents let us play with them. I also used to have pine cone fights with my friends, it was a good time to be a kid.

Szq on August 11, 2011:

I think my klackers are still hanging from the telephone wires!

Mary Krenz (author) from Florida's Space Coast on April 24, 2011:

Wow, haven't seen one in years, sounds like fun.

Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on April 24, 2011:

we play with clackers at work, One of he ladies in the office I work in got it for her son and stole it from him - LOL and we have contest sometimes , , , a good stress breaker upper thing , , , ,

Mary Krenz (author) from Florida's Space Coast on February 25, 2010:

I loved them, played with them for hours!

poetlorraine on February 25, 2010:

oh yes i remember them well

Mary Krenz (author) from Florida's Space Coast on February 25, 2010:

That's too funny! Try holding your arm way out to the side. It is harder to hit yourself. LOL

Enelle Lamb from Canada's 'California' on February 24, 2010:

Never mind an eye, the nose is my most prominent feature LOL...so guess what gets hit first...

Mary Krenz (author) from Florida's Space Coast on February 07, 2010:

Great! Be careful, tho, you could put an eye out, lol.

sybridges on February 07, 2010:

I loved this toy and I went crazy when they stop selling it. I just found them again at 40 years old and I'm excited now as I was then. I have a 15 year old daughter that laughed at me and think I'm crazy to get excited about Clackers and have no idea how addictive they are. What a great memory even if me and my sister use to have knots on our arms while trying to perfect it, it worked and we were the best on the block. I ordered 5 pairs so me and my sister can go down memory lane. Hopefully we don't kill ourselves. Wish us luck!!!

Mary Krenz (author) from Florida's Space Coast on January 23, 2010:

Evilpants@ we also used to blow up army men with firecrackers. The good ole days, lol.

Pamela99@ Clackers were one of my favorites.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 23, 2010:

Jeniek, I hadn't thought about those for years. Good hub.

B.T. Evilpants from Hell, MI on December 31, 2009:

Love it! This was one of my favorite childhood toys!

I know what you mean about the games we played as kids. BB gun fights were big on my block. What were we thinking?!?

Mary Krenz (author) from Florida's Space Coast on December 29, 2009:

They are not for the feint of heart, lol.

Wendy Iturrizaga from France on December 29, 2009:

I never had one of those, I was more of a "sissy girl" barbies and dolls were my thing.

A few months ago a friend came to visit me and she brought with her clackers -she was driving me mad with the clacking noise- unfortunately when she left she forgot her clackers and my children took hold of them. Despite the expensive posting fees I had no doubts and posted the clackers back to America to my friend :)

Happy holidays!

Mary Krenz (author) from Florida's Space Coast on December 29, 2009:

I actually was pretty good at it, I use to be able to hold them straight out and make them fly. Thanks for reading.

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on December 28, 2009:

I remember these things very well... I never really got the hang of em, but I was vaguely aware of how stupidly dangerous they were. (but, you know how it is when you're a kid..) Great post.

Mary Krenz (author) from Florida's Space Coast on December 28, 2009:

Yeah, they were a lot of fun.

prettydarkhorse from US on December 28, 2009:

nice one Janie, I played that one too, Thanks, Maita