Clacker Toy: The most common reference to “clacker” is as a children’s toy. It consists of two hard plastic or glass spheres suspended on a string. The player holds the string and rhythmically moves their hand to make the spheres “clack” together. This produces a distinctive clicking or clacking sound, hence the name “clacker.” The toy gained popularity in the late 1960s and 1970s but has been around in various forms for much longer. The “clacker” toy was sometimes called “click-clacks,” “clack balls,” or “knockers” in different regions.
Clackers, also known as clickers, knockers, or click clacks, are a type of toy that consists of two hard balls, each about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, attached to a tab with a sturdy string. The balls are swung in opposite directions, causing them to collide and make a loud clacking noise.
Clackers were invented in Yorklyn, Delaware, in the late 1960s. They quickly became popular among children and teenagers, but were also banned in many schools due to the risk of injury. In 1968, tempered glass sphere models emerged that would eventually shatter, sending glass shards into the face of the user and anyone nearby. In the early 1970s, manufacturers changed them to plastic spheres suspended on each string.
The popularity of clackers waned in the late 1970s, but they have seen a resurgence in recent years. In 2017, the original form of the toy was revived in Egypt and gained publicity among school children. It became famous under the name “Sisi’s balls” referring to the testicles of the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The police subsequently arrested 41 clacker sellers and confiscated 1,403 pairs of the toy which they considered offensive to the government.
In late 2022, the toy was revived throughout Indonesia and quickly gained fame among the public. They are known as “latto-latto” or “katto-katto”. Latto is a Buginese word which means clacking sound, while Katto is its Makassarese counterpart with similar meaning.
Today, clackers are often sold in bright neon colors as noisemaker toys or party favors. They are also sometimes used as props in circus acts or magic shows.