The Swing Wing: From the Annals of Bad Toys for Kids (1965)

Dur­ing the 1950s, when a hula hoop craze swept across Amer­i­ca, the Car­lon Prod­ucts Corp. (a com­pa­ny that spe­cial­ized in mak­ing light­weight plas­tic pipes), man­aged to pro­duce some 50,000 hula hoops per day. That got oth­er com­pa­nies think­ing. How could they cap­i­tal­ize on this mania, if not direct­ly, then indi­rect­ly? When a sec­ond hula hoop­ing craze gripped the coun­try dur­ing the mid-1960s, Tran­so­gram Games intro­duced the “Swing Wing,” pos­si­bly the worst idea for a kids’ toy until Bag O’ Glass (who here remem­bers that clas­sic SNL skit?). It’s a dizzy­ing toy, backed by a dizzy­ing — but you have to admit catchy — com­mer­cial. Buy­er beware, there’s a Swing Wing on ebay. Nev­er opened and ready to go for 53 clams.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

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