Despite the best of intentions, not all toys that reach the marketplace are entirely safe. Take Click Clacks for example (also known as Clackers, Clack Balls, Kerbangers, etc). They seemed harmless enough – just a couple of acrylic spheres attached by a string – but history tells us that they were eventually deemed so dangerous that their sale was banned.
Click Clacks arrived on the scene in the early 70s under a variety of names. They were inexpensive and kids loved them. Simply hold the center of the rope, move your wrists up and down, and watch the balls collide together above and below.
It was impossible to ignore the loud clacking sound this activity caused. Parents who purchased Click Clacks soon regretted it. If only there was a way to undo the damage.
Parents got their wish when news reports (fueled by equal parts fact and urban legend) began reporting numerous injuries sustained by youngsters playing with Click Clacks. These ranged from pinched fingers to cracked skulls to shattering glass spheres that left splinters of glass in the eye.
Safer plastic versions soon followed, but the damage was already done. Click Clacks had earned a dubious reputation, one from which they would never recover.
But for a few short years, the sounds of Click Clacks echoed across the nation, bringing smiles to the faces of children everywhere. Once branded “dangerous,” however, they became scarcely seen, and today, live solely in the memory banks of millions of 70s kids.
If you ever had the pleasure of playing with Click Clacks, I hope you’ll take a moment to share your memories in our comments section.