The Day They Crushed The Clackers


For awhile there, martial arts was a big thing with the boys in my neighborhood and not only did they try to copy the moves they saw on tv and in the movies, they bought those throwing stars and nunchucks  that were used in the movies too.

I didn’t like martial arts movies so I didn’t care so much about throwing stars or nunchucks.

The toy at the top of my lists for Christmas and Birthdays in the late 60’s up to the mid 70’s were Clackers and unlike the martial arts ‘toys’ that I saw the boys posing with ( for the most part that’s all they did )-

Clackers were actually dangerous.

If you weren’t careful with you Clackers you could  bust your own  nose, smash or crush your fingers or end up with pieces of the clackers embedded in your eye.

At the time I really didn’t put much thought into it, I just knew that you had to be super careful or WHACK. There was an element of danger to playing with those pretty little tempered glass spheres on a string.

Of course eventually Clackers were eventually  band because they were categorized as a  “Mechanical Hazard” and I’m guessing that somebody or more then one somebody lost an eye.

The day Clackers were banned was a sad day here in Seattle where Clackers  where made and were later seized by U.S Marshals from where they were being warehoused ( as a side note, I worked for that company in the late 80’s).

I remember having my Clackers taken away by my parents and being warned that somehow the law was involved and I had better not get caught with them.

For Pete’s sake, my school pulled us kids out of class and gave a talk about Clackers.

This is what I remember about that assembly:

As I was threatened with arrest or being sent home from school for owning a set of Clackers, I was sitting next to some boys in my class who had throwing stars taped to the top of their desks and had their nunchucks hanging up on their coat hooks.

I don’t know who was making the rules back then, but I know one thing for certain.

They didn’t like Clackers, but they probably loved those Martial Arts movies.

United States v. an Art. Consisting of Boxes of Clacker Balls, 413 F. Supp. 1281 (E.D. Wis. 1976)- Read Order HERE

413 F. Supp. 1281 (1976)
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,
AN ARTICLE of hazardous substance CONSISTING OF 50,000 cardboard BOXES more or less, each containing one pair OF CLACKER BALLS, labeled in part: (Box) “* * * Kbonger * * It’s Fun Test Your Skill It Bounces It Flips Count The Hits * * * Specialty Mfg. Co., Seattle, Wash. * *”, Defendant.
This is an in rem action whereby the plaintiff United States of America seeks seizure, condemnation and destruction of some 50,000 devices known as “clacker balls”, all pursuant to the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (“FHSA”), as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 1261 et seq. Jurisdiction exists under the provisions of 15 U.S.C. § 1265 and 28 U.S.C. § 1345.

The initial complaint for forfeiture was filed on March 1, 1974, and the defendant articles of property were seized by the United States Marshal on March 5, 1974. At that time the devices were in the possession of the M. W. Kasch Company in Mequon, Wisconsin. By order dated March 5, 1974 public notice of the seizure was given in the Daily Reporter, a newspaper within the Eastern Judicial District of Wisconsin; on April 16, 1974 an answer was filed wherein an interest in the seized articles was claimed by Ace Novelty Co., Inc., d/b/a Specialty Manufacturing Co., of Seattle, Washington.



4 thoughts on “The Day They Crushed The Clackers

Leave a Reply to joanne m. austinCancel reply