Synopsis of Toy
Billed as the world’s fastest ball game, the sport of Jai-Alai has been known to cripple players permanently. And now you’re starting to understand the appeal of Wham-O’s Trac-Ball. Any chump can go outside and play catch. Tougher kids may try tackle football or British Bulldog. But for the real men among kids, there was no substitute for flinging a ball straight at another kid’s head or other tender spots (“You were too aiming there, Steven!”), and waiting nervously for the return fling. And yes, if you wanted to, you could also play nicely (sissy).
Two rackets and two balls were the only contents inside your Trac-Ball box, but the beauty was always in the simplicity. Thanks to the oversized and custom-curved rackets, even amateur Trac-Ballers could launch straight-arrow rockets at their opponents, or throw them a nasty curve. The supposed object was to flick the ball back and forth, catching it in the rounded end of the racket. That was all fine and good for family parties and church picnics, but when the adults were gone, it was every Trac-Baller for himself. Body shots were commonplace, and the box’s printed instructions were exchanged for homemade ones (“I call I get ten points for causing a bruise”).
Sadistic matches notwithstanding, Trac-Ball has endured as one of Wham-O’s most enduringly popular toys. In the hands of responsible citizens, it has been a source of good, clean fun for more than two decades. And if we could only keep it out of the hands of irresponsible citizens, the world would be a rosier and less bruised place.