Guinea Pig Children

With Christmas just around the corner, it reminds me of  the toys and games I received for Christmas when I was young.  The 1960’s and early 197o’s were the decades of  “The Misfit Toys.”

I don’t think they had testers back then. If someone invented a toy or game, perhaps the toy manufacturers just packaged it and put it on the shelves. I really think that  if there were toy testers back then, some of them surely would have died. I’m thinking specifically of  my first chemistry set. I can’t find any research on “toy tester deaths.”  I did look. If they would not have perished,  toy testers  would have received brain damage,  an amputated finger, or if not injuries, than stains on their clothing. And on the carpet. And on the couch.  Which piss mothers off to no end. Probably worse than the brain damage. This mother hates glitter. Just thought I would add that because if glitter gets in your eye, you WILL  go blind. For that reason, it is banned in my house.  I know I read that somewhere. You can’t dispute facts. Especially if you make them up.

Anywho,  children got to be “guinea pigs” when the product actually game out.  And of course you know that a “guinea pig”

is a person  is a person who is subjected to experimental or other observational procedures.  Like children of the 1960’s and early 1970’s. That would include me. I very well may have been one of the “Guinea PigChildren.”   I was, after all, hit in the temple by flying clackers.

I loved my Clackers…. until  THE incident. Clackers were popular in the early seventies, when I was about 13-16 years old, perhaps.  Clackers  were  two hard plastic  marbles, (if marbles can be plastic), each about two inches in diameter. They are attached to a ring with a sturdy string. A person  puts their index finger in the ring, allowing the marbles (or balls) to hang below. Through an up-and-down  motion, the two balls swing apart and together, making the clacking noise that give the crazy toy its name. With practice, it is possible to get the marbles swinging so that they “clack” together above and  below the hand.

Clackers were discontinued because children were being injured. I continuously hurt my fingers while honing my clacker craft. Not all children follow rules. They also made an excellent weapon. If you swing them over your head, and let them go, they could fly across the room and either hit or strangle a kid…. Or a poodle. I read that cave men used Clackers. Or bola’s, as the South American gaucho called them. (See, I do research). I heard that if struck too hard, the acrylic balls could shatter, with flying consequences. I became really good at clackers. I could hit them above and below. I was the Crystal Lane Clacker Queen.  Self-imposed title, perhaps, but queen, nontheless.

One day, several of us were “clacking”, and mine flew across the room and knocked over a glass of water that was on the coffee table, which in turn, spilled the water, which then flowed  into my mom’s pack of Salem cigarettes. I guess water-logged cigarettes aren’t easy to light. I tried to get one out of the pack and it just wilted in half. So, I put it back in there. We were done clacking for the day. My sister told on me and off to my room I went. When I came out, my Clackers were gone.  Damn….


I really don’t know what the fascination was with Clackers. You didn’t win anything. You didn’t have a high score. But, you could be timed to see how long you could “clack.”  Time clackers, so to speak.  Maybe it was a lesson in eye-hand coordination.

I really think that I could have been a ninja assassin with my clacking skills. But, I preferred to grow up and become a teacher.

Same thing.



14 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Vickie:

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! I laughed out loud at this post…I’d forgotten all about clackers! I did this post a few months ago about toys we grew up with:

    I see you have my friend, Chase, on your Blogroll…he’s hilarious too!

    I have subscribed…am looking forward to reading more of your very funny posts!



  2. Clackers in the garbage…don’t feel bad…my daughter got a barbie as a gift when she was young and I didn’t want her hooked on them so I re-gifted it to charity and never told her. meanest mom in the world.


    • LOL LOL..while meanwhile, I bought my daughter the Rosie O’Donnell Barbie and told her it was going to be worth a lot of money later on down the road, so don’t take it out of the box…She didn’t want that I think I know what to write my next blog


  3. Posted by fnkybee on December 9, 2010 at 8:40 am

    LOL! I don’t remember the clackers on the string but I do remember the current style of clacker and they drive me NUTS! If my kids come across a clacker, usually via bday gift or something, I find someway for it to break so it can go in the garbage. I am such a mean mom I know! 😉
    What got me in your post was the Glitter! When I was growing up my sister went through a glitter stage and it was awful! I remember my mom getting so mad because there would be glitter everywhere! It got banned in our house and is still banned in mine! haha!


  4. Poor clackers. Now they are on the Island of Misfit Toys!


  5. Oh yes. I still have my scars from clackers. They run a close second to the Creepy Crawlers hot metal plate and goop scars.


  6. Posted by Becky on December 6, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    I still have my “Clackers” somewhere, and they were made out of glass, not plastic. That was why they were so dangerous. Not just because of the other injuries, but the glass could chip and crack, sending shards flying about. I was never able to clack mine good enough for cracks, let alone chips. I probably owned the only pair of silent clackers known to man. 🙂


  7. I loved clackers. I think my kids would love them too. Do you know what the ‘ball in a cup’ is. My son has one and we all play with it and say ‘ball in a cup’ EVERY TIME the ball goes in the cup.

    And I love glitter and hole punches that make about the same amount of mess as glitter. My house is a perpetual craft house.


  8. Posted by TheIdiotSpeaketh on December 6, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    OH MY GOD! Another flashback to my youth that has been buried for decades!!! Clackers! If I was to show one of those to my son, he would laugh his butt off. Did not take much to keep kids amused back in those days did it? I know Christmas was a lot cheaper on the parents! 🙂


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