Synopsis of Toy
Clomp, clomp, clomp, clomp…clomp, clomp, clomp, clomp…
Raaawwrr! Who dares to stand in my path? Step aside, or I’ll squash you like an ant. Beg for my mercy, you teeny tiny, puny, little one. Ahahahaaaa! (sinister and cruel laugh)
Did you dream of stomping around like Godzilla, crunching leaves like skyscrapers, and threatening bugs like mere mortals screaming in terror below, while you were a gagillion stories high? Imagine for a moment what you could do if only you were a little taller, raised up on a pair of really big, upside down cups called Romper Stompers. You could take over the world!
Romper Stompers were sturdy, stilt-like, platforms for shoes in the shape of big yellow cups that allowed even the most pee-wee tyke to grow to giant size (hey, six inches makes a big difference when you’re barely 50 inches high). The funny walking toy was a favorite on TV’s Romper Room, which manufactured the toy after millions of kids begged their parents to buy them the crazy contraption on the screen. Parents around the world just shook their heads, forgetting the times they played for hours on end with old tin cans with the popular neighborhood game, Kick the Can.
Like most good toys that parents endorsed, Romper Stompers were studies in hand-eye coordination and balance. The concept was simple: kids stood on two upside-down cups, and with the help of green string that worked as a handle and safety line, even the most wayward and stumble-footed friend could be at ease. Stomping around like Frankenstein was never easier, never more fun, and never quite as loud as plastic crunching and popping on cold, hard concrete.
Kids that couldn’t convince their parents to purchase two plastic cups and a rubber hose were forced to make their own Romper Stompers with whatever could be found on the curb, the garage, or the neighbor’s garbage can. Many a homemade Stomper was made from the green plastic planters that Mom’s spring tulips came in, two tin cans from last night’s peaches (just make sure you ate the peaches and the cans are empty, or you’ll be lugging bricks instead of making stilts), or two of mom’s best Tupperware containers if desperation (and a careless regard for the fate of your backside) struck.
Whatever you choose as the base, grab some rope or twine, extension cord (remember kids, they’re not a toy) or a few of your sister’s skinny disco belts, and attach them to the base. The fastest way to achieve Stompability, if you were tool savvy, was to puncture a hole on each side of the container, just big enough to pull the rope through on each side of the foot and create a looped handle. The string was knotted on the underside to prevent it pulling out and sending you on a tumble.
Take it easy for the first couple of steps, as walking might be a bit imbalanced until you get the hang of it. nostalgia does not recommend running, skipping, or jumping with your Romper Stompers, as danger surely ensues. But a menacing walk, like some demented marionette gone bad, was virtually guaranteed.
Both boys and girls loved the Romper Stompers, but for two very different reasons: boys wanted to stomp around like a bug-crushing monster, and girls finally had a pair of high heels of their very own—and with training handles. The best in do-it-yourself toys, Romper Stompers were like platform shoes for gals that weren’t allowed to teeter totter around in their older sisters Candie’s.