Remember The Sound Of Clackers? Why Were They Banned?

There are a lot of satisfying sounds, from the crunch of a dead leaf when you step on it to the clicking of a pen. One TikTok user recently introduced the younger generation to the satisfying sound of clackers, the aptly named ’70s toy that makes a resounding “clack” when used. The toy was definitely a success with kids, but they were taken off the market for a very good reason. 

Reactions To Clacker TikTok: ‘One Of My Classic Childhood Toys’

In the video, which already has over 380,000 likes, a man and two young girls show off their skills with the clackers. The comments are filled with people who either want to try out the clackers themselves, or who have fond memories of their own time with the toy.

“That looks fun,” one person commented. Another wrote, “One of my classic childhood toys along with lawn darts.” Someone else said, “OH MY GOD I MISS THOSE THINGS.” 

Why Clackers Were Taken Off The Market

Clackers, also known as Clankers and Ker-Bangers, first hit the market in the late 1960s. The toy is fairly simple: two large balls attached by a thin rope. Users swing the rope to make the balls hit each other with a “clack.”

The original Clacker was made with glass balls. Unsurprisingly, this led to injuries; after a few uses, the glass balls would eventually shatter and send glass shards flying toward the player. A few years later, Clackers were relaunched with balls made of plastic. 

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They were taken off shelves again when reports came out about children being injured while playing with the Clackers. Like the glass balls the toy-makers previously used, the new plastic balls still had a tendency to shatter when hit together too hard or too many times. 

In 1976, they were classified as a “mechanical hazard” in the lawsuit United States v. Article Consisting of 50,000 Cardboard Boxes More or Less, Each Containing One Pair of Clacker Balls. The makers of Clackers wouldn’t give up on their popular toy, though.

The Clackers Comeback

In the ’90s, Clackers made a comeback with a new design. In addition to switching to a new, shatter-resistant plastic, the structure of the toy was changed. Instead of a rope with two balls at each end, the new Clackers were made out of a plastic handle with smaller balls attached to the handle with triangular pieces of plastic. 

The Clackers that many Gen Xers remember are no longer on the market, but this new TikTok shows that there are plenty who remember the dangerous toy fondly—and plenty of Gen Zers wish they had a set! 

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