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Clackers (also known as Ker-Bangers and numerous other names) are a toy which was popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They consisted of two plastic spheres suspended on string which were swung up and down so they banged against each other, making a clacking sound. Clackers are similar in appearance to the Argentinian weapons, bolas.
They are formed out of two hard plastic balls, each about two inches (5 cm) in diameter, attached to a tab with a sturdy string. The player holds the tab, with the balls hanging below. Through a gentle up-and-down hand motion, the two balls swing apart and back together, making the clacking noise that give the toy its name. With practice, it is possible to make the balls swing so that they knock together above the hand as well as below.
Noise making clackers were used to frighten birds away in the nineteenth century.
Clackers were discontinued when reports came out of children becoming injured while playing with them. Fairly heavy and fast-moving, and made of hard acrylic plastic, the balls would occasionally shatter upon striking each other.
The toy enjoyed a brief renewal of popularity in the 1990s with clackers consisting of a handle and plastic triangles with the plastic balls at the end giving weight to the free moving toy. It was played the same way and were sold in bright neon colours. Clackers were also briefly featured in the 2007 Drake & Josh episode "Megan's First Kiss" and in the 2008 Zoey 101 episode "Rumor of Love", which increased popularity in the toys.
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- "1971", I Love Toys, UK: The BBC.
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