Clackers are the toy with a million names. They are essentially two large marbles attached by a sturdy string with a ring in the center. You would put your finger in the ring allowing the marbles or balls to hang below. Here is where the fun starts. The idea was to get the two balls tapping (or clacking if you prefer) against each other by pulling up on the ring lightly. Once you got the hang of it, you could get them going faster and faster until they were smacking each other above and below your hand in a stunning arc.
These toys are now legendary. They started finding their way into the schoolyards in the early seventies and in 1971 were yanked from shelves because kids were suffering eye injuries when the fragile, glass-like balls were shattering from the violence of contact with their mates! I believe a plastic version may have been released after the original and the more menacing version was pulled, but I don’t think that it enjoyed the same popularity.
One of the main obstacles in locating this toy today is knowing what to call it. There were supposedly over 80 copy-cat products on the market during Clackers hey-day. During your search expect to see names like:
Bonkers, Clackers, Clack Clacks, Click Clacks, Crackers, K-Nokkers,
Ker- Knockers, Klackers, Klick Klacks, Knockers, Mini Poppers, Moon Rocks
Popper Knockers, Rockers, Super Clackers, Quick Klacks, Quick Clacks,
Quick Wacks, Wackers, Whackers, Whak KOs
I had a rose pink pair of marble clackers which I’m sure terrified my parents. I had to go outside or stand in the middle of the lounge room to play with my click clacks, to ensure they didn’t hit anything! I only ever remember them hitting my hands & leaving bruises, never the furniture! I can hear my mum shouting “that’s enough of those, give it a rest!” They were LOUD, dangerous, but heaps of fun!