Bootleg Clacker Balls!! The Feds Make Huge Seizure in Houston

Categories: Crime

clackcrop.jpg
Photos by CPB
DANGER!! DANGER!!
The eagle-eyed inspectors at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection have prevented Houston from suffering a scourge of unimaginable proportions: clacker balls.

You may be too young to remember, but an entire generation of baby boomers was almost wiped out by playing with clacker balls, two balls on opposite ends of a small rope that, ummm, clacked together if you did things right. (Hey, there was no cable or Call of Duty at the time.)

But the U.S. government -- a.k.a. The Man -- banned the toy for its tendency to shatter right near kids' faces. A design flaw, to be sure.

But the hunger for clacker balls cannot be so easily quenched, it appears. We don't know whether a new generation has latched onto them, or if it's boomers getting nostalgic for things shattering dangerously in front of their faces, but federal officials intercepted a shipment of 4,900 of the toys which were "destined for Harwin Drive."

Oh, but it gets worse.

flash insects (2).jpg
The deadly flashing ladybugs
Also nabbed were "275 plastic flashing ladybugs," which either would blind kids with the sheer laser intensity of their death-ray light or, more likely, could be broken into parts that presented a choking hazard.

The shipment of 32 cartons of unsafe toys came -- wait for it -- from China. Since China is known for nothing so much as its fanatical dedication to producing safe products, we can only assume the so-called "toys" were part of a nefarious plot to kill kids.

From the CBP press release:

"Our officers work diligently to ensure the facilitation of legitimate trade through our ports of entry by reviewing entry documents and selecting shipments for thorough inspection," said Houston CBP Acting Director of Field Operations Judson W. Murdock, II. "This seizure is an example of commodities that not only violate US trade laws but also pose a serious hazard to the American consumer."


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15 comments
Neverlikedclackers
Neverlikedclackers

Thank you, Feds. I feel safer already.  Here's a YouTube vid of them. I remember...once you worked up a good "clack" that was, um, pretty much it.  (????) Enjoy, as the warmth of nostalgia  holds you close, you pitiful romantic bastards. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Brattttsospioled
Brattttsospioled

I'm a vender at a local flea market. clacker balls are a hot item right now. they fly off the stand. But selling these as I have for almost a year. (no clue they was illegal) Its not the kids that want them. Its the Adults that played with them as kids. They show them to their kids and the little ones just walk away leaving the Adult playing... I have seen these balls break. when we first started selling them we got a few that would break. but they don't shatter as the news says they do. they break in two or three large pieces. Now as a parent I would be more worried about the string coming untied as you are clacking the balls. I have to tie more back together then ones that break... Its sad that they are taking cool toys away from us adults. but now that I know they are illegal and we sure don't want to get into trouble and don't want any adults getting hurt, They are coming off the stand as of tomorrow... 

Katcasualty
Katcasualty

Clacker balls don't seem nearly as dangerous as the slip and slide. ..now that was fun. Bone breaking, belly burn fun.

David Houston
David Houston

Just looking at them ladybugs sends a shiver down my spine...

mirele
mirele

Clackers...the hit of Silverwood Elementary School in 1971.

Now I officially feel old.

Tangyjoe
Tangyjoe

Yes, if you are doing it right they make a clacking sound when they hit together.  Doing wrong often resulted in them swinging back around and the clacking sound was made when they cracked into either side of your wristbone.  Back in our day even our toys punished us if we messed up. 

ChunkyMunkee
ChunkyMunkee

Thank goodness they were so alert...WHEW dodged a bullet there...ummm now get to freaken work on those dangerous other toys....I for one will sleep better with them on the case.......

Bigtex
Bigtex

I bought a pair at the State Fair of Texas in about 1973. 

shortbus
shortbus

I don’t recall clacker balls. Then again, I never had a thing for balls in my face.

BIGOMAHA
BIGOMAHA

I used to use the clacker balls as bolos and throw them at my brother's head.   I didn't know they had banned them.  If we keep banning toys like this we will wind up with stupid kids.  Lawn darts taught me the importance of getting the Hell out of the way of sharp flying objects.  How will children learn these important life lessons?

David Houston
David Houston

Sounds like the wise thing to do!  I don't believe they are dangerous either but why risk it?

I've seen more dangerous looking Yo-yo's!  If 'The Man' took a trip round the typical 99c store they'd have a field day and probably close the whole place down.

I'm always looking for good fleamarkets to go to, know of any good ones?

Craigley
Craigley

SWIM landed a mystery lawn dart on their distant cousins head and ended a big party.

My2Cents
My2Cents

Ohhhh so you are one of the ones that got them banned for us...gee thanks

TL
TL

Shout out to lawn darts! 

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