Going Retro ~ Clackers

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Writing about my Barbies and the Karosel Kitchen dredged up memories deep in the recesses of my mind of other toys I loved as a kid.

Who remembers “Clackers?”

Clackers were a toy with a bajillion names.  I knew them as Clackers but they were also called Whackers, Rockers, Bonkers, Click Clacks, Knockers, Quick Klacks and more.

I was really good at taking those two large glass marbles attached together with string and a ring on top and clacking away for long periods of time.

I was going to say hours but that might be a slight exaggeration.

I was such an expert at clacking I could do the professional  move of clacking below and above my hand in an amazing click clacking full circle. That move took a lot of practice and many bruises to perfect. But what fun is a toy if there isn’t pain involved?

Home Made Clackers

I also recalled in my stroll down memory lane….a funny story about making our own “Clackers”.

A close childhood friend had broken her Clackers from power clacking and didn’t have the funds to go out and buy another pair. So she and I devised a plan to take 2 of her mothers glass grapes and make our own. Surely her mom wouldn’t miss 2 grapes from that huge bunch. Our first step was removing the grapes quickly without being detected.

Did you know those things were connected with wire?

I can’t remember how we finally got them off the bunch but we were successful. Next step was figuring out how to attach the string to the grape. The determined young clack stars that we were, of course we had a pair of homemade “Clackers” in no time.

Problem with this whole crafty Clacker project was the lack of permission, because my friend’s dear mother did notice the 2 missing grapes from her otherwise FULL bunch.

Right Away.

Let’s not go into details of the consequences.

The reason we made these homemade Clackers is the same reason that the toy was eventually banned. When the Clackers would break sometimes kids would end up with pieces of clack in their eyes. Sad.


Sadder still is what kids have to play with these days. Because safety first and all that nonsense they made these plastic things. They call these,”Clackers”! These plastic imitations are nothing like a Clacker. Where is the pain? Where are the bruises? Where is the loud obnoxious sound?

These should be called “Whimpers”.


12 thoughts on “Going Retro ~ Clackers

  1. Lori! Still can’t manage this “link” and leaving comments! Why didn’t you “take” my grapes? Hated dusting those stupid things! I’d think that steel ball bearing ones would be way more fun! Kids can’t have any fun now days! Mom

    • Mom,
      You are doing awesome with the comments link.
      I didn’t take your grapes because we were at the G’s house, if we were at home you would have been missing some from your bunch I’m sure! And you would have seen us doing the deed because you had eyes in the back of your head.
      Steel ball bearings would have made the ultimate Clackers because they wouldn’t chip or break. Maybe we should re-invent them.

      • Me and my brothers did make a few sets out of some of dads steel ball bearings he had on hand in the garage figuring he’d never miss them out of a box full of them. It wasn’t easy drilling the holes but once that was done we had 3 sets of the best clackers ever. Unfortunately dad noticed them missing ball bearings right away and he had no problems catching us using them. All he had to do was follow the noise they made while we were showing them off to the other kids in the neighborhood. Shortly after that sitting down was painful but the fun we had was worth it.

      • Dear Eric,
        First I must apologize up and down like clackers for not approving your comment months ago! I was crazy busy with work, a cross state move and sadly the worst……no internet connection in my new home for 3 whole months!!! Yes, it can be done but I do not recommend it, at all.
        I love the story about your homemade steel ball bearing clackers. I think there is a blog submission there for sure. “You’re gonna clack your eye out!”
        I do hope to return to WordPress soon with more of my stories. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Bonkers is the name of a toy in the 70’s (well thats what I called them) that was very simple just like the days back than. Lets face it kids now have to have a electronic item just to breath. Don’t misunderstand my feelings on electronics, I’m typing on one now. But all the fun we had with one small rope connected to a glass colored sphere on each end gave us some much fun and laughter. Unfortunately they had to be removed from the shelves. They are several reasons why, but the most common one was due to the sphere’s cracking and shattering when dropped, hitting to hard and misuse. Will our kids ever know the pleasure of playing with such a simple toy right before sitting down at the dinner table.

    If anybody knows where to find a pair (purple would be nice) just let me know.

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