Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Dumbest and Most Dangerous Toy - Romper Stompers

I was reading the other day - I don't remember where - about the most hazardous toys of childhood. Among the suspects were the deceivingly innocent Legos (all fun until stepped upon, barefoot, in the middle of a dark night) and Mr. Stretch, who oozed sticky corn syrup if punctured. And of course, there was the Easy Bake oven, which just got into trouble again last year for inflicting burns on kids valiant enough to insert their hands into the oven.

But nowhere did I see a mention of what I considered to be one of the most dangerous toys ever invented and touted during the 1970s, Romper Stompers. Remember these things? They were first featured on the children's show Romper Room and meant to give kids an idea of what it was like to be 8 inches taller, or Frankenstein. Basically they were constructed of two upside down beach buckets attached to plastic straps. Granted, they weren't tricky for well coordinated kids like myself, but could you imagine a clumsy child trying to go down a flight of stairs on them? I'm sure many a pair introduced a kid to his or her first hospital visit. Perhaps they should've been named Accident Waiting to Happen. Just try going down a set of stairs on them after a vigorous play session on your Sit N' Spin!

Oh, such simpler times. By the way, Romper Stompers are still around today. They're known as platform shoes!

4 comments:

Lidian said...

Ah, Romper Room! My first memory of children's TV. I had the red basket you were supposed to walk around balancing on your head, to promote good posture.

I love your blog, found you through Blog Catalog! I think we have similar blog interests...

Anonymous said...

Is this a truly serious blog??? Or some kind of joke?? I hold quite fond memories of the wrongly bashed Romper Stompers. If you are as intelligent as you claim you be coordinated, you would see that any toy given the right circumstances could be potentially dangerous. Furthermore, as a mother of two who has stepped on her fair share of Legos, I have to say these are simply sad examples of what can result from poor parenting!

Pam@GoRetro said...

Anonymous--in retrospect, it does seem like I was a little harsh on Romper Stompers, but for a lot of kids, a pair of Romper Stompers + a staircase could equal disaster. I guess I just never got the point of the toy, but that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy them when I was a kid.

As far as asking if this blog is serious, I invite you to read some of the most recent posts and you tell me. This blog is one of my passions and I'm quite proud of it.

Anonymous said...

Huh!! Has just occurred to me where I acquired that useless skill of cutting cross country in platform soled shoes. And yups - still wipe out on the occasional staircase!!

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