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Clackers (also known as Clankers, Ker-Bangers, and numerous other names) were toys popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They consisted of two plastic spheres suspended on string which, when swung up and down, banged 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 briefly featured in the 2007 Drake & Josh episode "Megan's First Kiss," in the 2008 Zoey 101 episode "Rumor of Love", and in the Sam and Cat episode "#MadAboutShoe", which increased interest in the toys. 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. A similar is featured in the 2016 videogame Watch Dogs 2, in which the main character uses them as a melee weapon.
- 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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