Klackers – How to explain these to someone who would never have seen them? You would start by gently getting the two balls to bounce against each other until you thought the timing was right. At that moment you would sharply lift and drop your hand forcing the balls to bounce together both at the bottom and at the top of the arc. When you got it right they would bounce very quickly up and down. The idea was to see how many Klacks you could do before one of the balls smashed your knuckles. My dad, the ever resourceful dad that he was, decided he could make me a set out of wood. Hmm wood doesn’t bounce dad……….. not one of his better ideas so they ended up in my cupboard with my conkers.
Now these came from 1971, and they were like a head band you placed on your head, and they had antenna style sticks with spherical objects on the end. Getting confused? Well you may have known them under many names including Klick Klacks, Zonkers and so many more. They were made from many substances, but looked like glass but was not.
As you walked around, the movement made the headset bounce, and you looked like a crazed Ant walking around. The main problems were that the things never stopped moving, so they would end up hitting the top of your head and even banging into your eyes.
The Klick Klack was referring to the noise made when they bumped against each other, I seem to remember it sounded like Grasshoppers on a convention. It is hard to know why this was so popular around the world, but it was. It also made small comebacks in safer materials in the 80s and again in the 90s.
I just remember these in the 1970s, they were very colourful, and the balls always looked like glass, and despite it not being so, they could still shatter and break. Not a toy for this generation, no way would that pass the health and safety issues in today’s world.