History Of The Space Hopper
This write up talks aboutthe Space Hopper (United Kingdom name) or Hoppity Hop as it is acknowledged in the United States. It talks of its build, and its popularity since it first appeared on the scene.
The PON-PON was patented by Aquilino Cosani in 1968 in Italy, and introduced in 1969 to the British Isles via an advert put in the Cambridge Evening News rag. Cosani patented the PON-PON in 1971 in the USA. The United States already had a toy that people used to bounce on, and this toy was brought into being by the Sun company, and was called Hoppity Hop. All toys of this type are referred to as Hippity Hop or Hoppity Hop, which was due to the popularity of the very first toy produced and distributed by the Sun company.
In the United Kingdom the Space Hopper (name in the United Kingdom) was made by Mettoy. Another company produced a different version of the bouncing toy, but this one had handles that were smooth for the rider to grip, whereas the original had opted for ribbed handles in order to have better grip. The other company went by the name of Wembley.
To start with the Hoppity Hops / Space Hoppers consisted of a ring handle on the top of the hopper which was used by the rider for stability by gripping it, and they were made out of rubber. These ridable bouncy balls came in a choice of a couple colors, either blue color or red color. Sun produced themed versions of their hopper during the 1970s, which had a hard plastic head stuck to the hopperin the shape of some well known character. A couple of the more popular characters featured were Micky Mouse and Donald Duck.
The ridable bouncy ball was most popular during the 60s and 70s, with a resurgence of interest in Britain during the 1990s and onwards, thanks to the rave culture of the time, where the bouncing balls were considered part of the scene. In the US due to an increase of competition by foreign developers of the hopper toy the Hoppity Hop's popularity faltered and finally the production of the US version of the ridable bouncy ball stopped.
To start with the US version of the toy, known as the Hoppity Hop, was aimed at both grown ups and children, but due to the limited size of the biggest version, it was really usable by by people of adult size unless the grown up was like to a child in stature.
In Europe in the 1990s a version of the ridable bouncy ball was named the Hop, and was made by the Italian company Ledragomma. These were created from a well known exercise ball at the time known as Gymnic exercise balls. These bouncy balls had a maximum size of 26 inches.
Modern day hoppers - Sizes for adults have become more readily available of late and can be found in sizes of 120cm, 100cm, and 80cm. They are commonly more robust than the original balls, having much denser skins and usually constructed from vinyl rather than rubber.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charles Edwards academic, sportsman, and entrepreneur. Visit his site for more information on the retro space hopper : www.retrospacehopper.com