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Friday, 2 August 2013

Evil Space Hopper.

As a 70's baby I of course had a Space Hopper, but not for very long.........

Space Hoppers were almost the most dangerous* toy that kids from the pre health and safety generation could acquire. School grounds across the country were buzzing with urban legends about kids who had maimed themselves in variously horrific fashions, all with the aid of the dreaded Space Hopper! It became a kind of macabre right of passage for primary school kids - I rode the space hopper and survived to tell the tale!

I got one for Christmas 1984 and named it Tigger after the bouncing tiger in Winnie the Pooh. I bounced it around the living room on Christmas day for all of 5 seconds before crushing my 3 year old little brother against the wall with it. Father confiscated the offending item and banished it from the house. Poor Tigger had to spend the winter in the garden shed.

I was only allowed to play with it on the grass after the boy next door cracked his front teeth out when he face planted himself onto the pavement with his Hopper. He got himself a lot of street cred for that move! We had a very long sloping lawned garden at my childhood home which was the perfect hopper runway which Tigger and I must have broken some hopper speed records on. I could get some serious air under my hopper but I had virtually no control over it and certainly no emergency breaking system!

Tigger and I inevitably came to a sticky end when we ploughed unwittingly into mothers vegetable patch and  landed with full force on a garden rake. Tigger suffered a fatal piercing on his rear end and I got a black eye. I'll never forget watching his scarey weird face slowly deflating into a crumpled mess of orange rubber.

Anyone got any of their own space hopper stories they'd like to share?

* The most dangerous toy of all time was and still is The Skate Board, The next one down from the Space Hopper, was of course the Rock 'n' Hopper, a kind of flying saucer shaped bouncing ankle breaker. NB the bicycle is not a toy and so will not be included in this list.

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