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Clackers (also known as Clankers, Ker-Bangers, and numerous other names) are toys popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They consist of two plastic spheres suspended on string which, when swung up and down, bang against each other, making a clacking sound. Clackers are similar in appearance to bolas, the Argentinian weapon.
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 and through up-and-down hand motion makes the two balls swing apart and back together, making the clacking noise that gives the toy its name. With practice one can make the balls swing so that they knock together both above and below the hand.
Clackers were taken off the market in the United States 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. In the United States, they were classed as a "mechanical hazard" in United States v. Article Consisting of 50,000 Cardboard Boxes More or Less, Each Containing One Pair of Clacker Balls.
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 sold in bright neon colours. Clackers were also featured in the shows of Dan Schneider, most notably the 2008 episode of Drake & Josh, "Megan's First Kiss," and in the 2008 Zoey 101 episode "Rumor of Love", which described the toys as "the hottest in the Netherlands", and which increased interest in the toys. Clackers played an intricate role in the 1993 season 4 episode 15 " love and sausages" by "The Kids In The Hall". Clackers were also used as weapons by Joseph Joestar, the protagonist of the "Battle Tendency" arc of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure; their appearance here is anachronistic, as "Battle Tendency" takes place in 1938.
- Newton's cradle
- United States v. Article Consisting of 50,000 Cardboard Boxes More or Less, Each Containing One Pair of Clacker Balls
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- "1971", I Love Toys, UK: The BBC.
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