Sure, fidgets spinners may have dominated 2017, but they ain’t got nothing on Pogo Bals.
Originally released by Hasbro (formerly Milton Bradley) in 1987, the Pogo Bal was a small, inflatable ball surrounded by a plastic disc (like the planet Saturn but much, much smaller and plastic) that allowed users to bounce to their hearts’ content.
This week on The Toy Shop, Mashable’s new show where revisit our favorite retro toys from the ’80s and ’90s, we relive our bouncy glory days of the Pogo Bal. (Yes, that’s spelled correctly.)
The Pogo Bal was basically the cool alternative to the pogo stick — instead of holding onto two handles attached to a spring-loaded stick, the Pogo Bal required users to grip the toy with their feet as they jumped.
This freed up the users’ hands for other play activities like, dancing with friends, carrying milkshakes, and play keytar, all of which were very real examples demonstrated in the toy’s delightfully retro 1987 commercial.
But the toy was not without its scandals. In 1989, Hasbro, Inc. was sued for copyright infringement after two Belgian men, Rapael J. Van Der Cleyen and Wilifriend F. Ribbens, claimed Hasbro stole the design from their 1969 toy “Springbal,” marketed in Europe as “Lolobal.” However, Hasbro claims to have conclusively obtained patent rights for the toy. The court eventually granted summary judgments in favor of Hasbro.
Unfortunately for any Pogo Bal fans, the toy began fading from popularity in the mid ’90s. That said, bouncing enthusiast can get their hands on a Walmart knockoff called “Moonhopper” for anyone who wants to relive their pogo bal glory days.
If you want more blasts from the past, be sure to follow along with ‘The Toy Shop.’ We’ll be posting new videos every other Tuesday to Mashable’s Watercooler YouTube channel.