So, while I still have tons to learn about today’s pop culture, I do look fondly back at pop culture from the late 1980’s to early 2000’s. One of my closest co-workers, talk about it often. Melissa, if you read my articles like you say that you do, you will appreciate this one.
The Skip-It was a must have toy in the 1980’s. Its ball and chain design was based on an earlier toy from the 1960’s called the Lemon Twist. The Skip-it was manufactured by the company Tiger Electronics and promoted by Nickelodeon. This toy was typically targeted towards girls. It had a hard plastic circle the child placed around her ankle and was attached to a round, weighted apparatus that could spin around in a 360 degree rotation. The goal was to jump over the spinning device without causing it to stop.
The Skip-it was re-released in the early 90’s. The CEO of Tiger Electronics was said to have called it the “Great Skip-it Renaissance”. They worked to make it new and improved. They added a counter and additional weight to the apparatus that had to be jumped. It came in bright new colors like hot pink, neon blue, and purple. Some had glitter, ribbons, and stickers. Sales doubled. The Skip-it was even ranked on The Times 100 Greatest Toys of All Times.
You can find this basic information on google. However, unless you personally experienced Skip-it mania, I doubt you understand what these “toys” actually were. They look fun on TV. They sound fun in concept. What young girl doesn’t like to jump rope or play hopscotch? The idea is very similar. I do not know exactly how old I was when I received my Skip-it in the early 90’s. Probably around six or seven years old. It was a no frills hot pink model. My childhood friend, Sarah, also had one. If I remember correctly, it was identical. I think it was probably the most popular model. We would slip the circle over our ankle and get to skipping. All is fun and games until the “weighted counting apparatus” turns into a lethal weapon. The first time you miss skipping over it and it hits your ankle, you are down on the ground, curled into the fetal position, hoping for a quick death – Oh, Valkyrie, please swiftly carry me to Valhalla!
Heaven forbid, you get too close to your Skip-it partner! That is pure chaos. You are dodging their “weighted counting apparatus” and they are ducking yours. We would come inside from a day of “fun”, black and blue with serious bruises. It looked like we had spent the whole day in a battle with the neighborhood rival gang. (Did I mention I live in rural Arkansas? There are no gangs in our area. We lived on a gravel road at the time with miles between us and our closest neighbor.)
Skip-its could be used for plenty of useful thing: protection against robbers- you could easily knock them unconscious; hitting apples out of trees – yum; scaring away wild animals – Skip-its make tons of loud noise if you hit it them on something; threatening younger siblings with bodily harm; etc. Fun, however, does not fall on this list. The risk of serious pain outweighs even the tiny chance of playground like fun. So moral of the story is Skip-its hurt. Leave them in the past where they belong. Please lets save our children from the ankle bruises caused by the insidious “weighted counting apparatus”.