Synopsis of Toy
There were Big Wheels if you wanted to pedal, and there were pogo sticks if you were a little older and had perfected that elusive merit the adults called ‘balance.’ But for little kids who liked to bounce, kids who liked that delectable feel of their feet upon terra firma one moment, and hovering somewhere above the next…for skyward kids like that, there was the Hoppity Hop.
The red wonder bounced onto the scene in the late 1960’s, and the mom warnings that went with it were extensive…don’t hop on a full stomach, don’t hop when it’s dark, don’t hop with two riders, don’t hop around in the garage because there are sharp things on the ground and you’ll puncture your Hoppity. And the warning that didn’t make any sense to you at all, until one particularly ambitious leap up brought you way off your intended bounce course: please don’t hop around your sister’s ‘Planets in our Solar System’ science fair diorama, which is sitting outside until its special glow-in-the-dark paint dries. Oops.
The earliest Hoppity Hop was red rubber with a horse head, but others soon followed: the Bouncin’ Ride Tigger and bright blue Donald Duck, for instance. Mom or Dad blew them up for you—making sure not to overdo it, because if the Hoppity was too taut with air, it was more vulnerable to puncture wounds. But if it had a good amount of rubber ‘give,’ you stayed away from anything sharp and you refrained from dragging it on the asphalt when you were trudging up a steep street to bounce all the way down, your Hoppity could last for ages.
Climb aboard, grab onto the rubber handles (or the animal head’s ears, depending on the model you were riding), and let the games begin. Initially, you might have started inside on the carpet, because your parents thought it was safer that way. But try to convince them this is an outside toy—because you just can’t get air off the shag like you can off of the concrete.