Synopsis of Toy
Every kid goes through a phase where they love a toy that just makes noise. It doesn’t have to do anything special or even be particularly entertaining. It just has to make the kind of mind-numbing racket that hypnotizes kids and drives adults to the brink of madness. One of the finest examples of this kind of hypnotic noisemaker is Knocker Bockers, a toy that became popular for a brief while in the 1980’s.
Knocker Bockers looked deceptively simple to operate. They consisted of two big, colored wooden balls that were attached by strings. There was also a plastic grip in the middle and this was what the user (or is it the ‘knocker’?) held the Knocker Bockers by. The purpose of the toy was to move it up until the Knocker Bockers were rhythmically smacking into each other. If a user hit the right speed and rhythm, the Knocker Bockers would click and clack up and down in a perfect, symmetrical fashion.
The sight of a set of Knocker Bockers clicking and clacking in harmony could be quite entrancing, but pulling this feat off was not as easy as it looked. It was also a bit dangerous: if a person missed a beat or moved too fast, the Knocker Bockers would end up whacking him in the hand or arm. Since the Knocker Bockers were large and made of solid wood, this could be quite painful and made for a nasty bruise. Needless to say, parents were not too crazy about Knocker Bockers.
Like most toy fads, Knocker Bockers fizzled out shortly after becoming popular. Although they can’t be found on too many toy shelves these days, Knocker Bockers are no doubt fondly remembered by the people who enjoyed their ability to create hypnotic, noisy fun.