Clackers: The Toy That Was Banned Just Because It Injured Kids

By | April 2, 2021

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The banned children's toys known as clackers were loud, but were they dangerous? If you played with them as a kid in the '60s or '70s, you remember the clack-clack-clacking din of plastic or glass sphere smacking against sphere. Did you ever witness the infamous shattering of a clacker, with glass or plastic shrapnel flying dangerously in all directions? Evidently, it happened, as there were numerous documented cases of injury due to fractured clackers, and they were taken off the market. This is the story of a toy that sparked parental concern and government intervention -- the notorious clackers.

Clackers Were A Very Simple Toy With Many Names

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Clackers or klackers remained the bane of parents everywhere regardless of the name. (pinterest)

Clackers, also known as, click-clacks, knockers, Ker-Bangers and Clankers, tested the patience of parents everywhere, starting in the late ‘60s to early ‘70s. The two plastic or glass balls suspended by a simple string became a massive fad in the Groovy era, much to the chagrin of adults not wanting migraines. Similar in appearance to bolas, the hunting weapon used by South American gauchos, Clackers created quite the clattering and even became a hazard when overly boisterous children “clacked” them so hard they exploded. Clackers also may have introduced us to the earliest form of helicopter parents, wringing their hands over the potential dangers of two little plastic balls and a piece of string.