Once you mastered the pogo stick and the Hoppity Hop, there was a new challenge on the horizon – a planetary-shaped projectile that could have you soaring towards the stars or, just as easily, dusting yourself off from an earthly collision with the unforgiving ground. It took some major balancing talent to propel yourself with the Pogo Ball, but if you possessed the right stuff, the sky was the limit.
Hasbro introduced the Pogo Ball in 1987, a descendant of the iconic pogo stick of decades past. Forgoing the pistons of the predecessor, the Pogo Ball consisted of an inflatable ball, surrounded by platform, which gave it a Saturn-like appearance of sorts. By standing on the platform, kids of all ages used the propelling power of the lower part of the sphere to bounce themselves with reckless abandon – holding on to nothing but the hopes that they would remain upright throughout the ordeal.
The pogo balls found some popularity in P.E. classes where they helped youngsters develop their sense of balance and, if one were more adventurous, television commercials displayed images of remarkably agile pogo ball experts showing what was possible on a pogo ball, demonstrating feats such as bouncing down stairs which, in hindsight, was probably a surefire recipe for an emergency room visit.
Unfortunately, even the help of Superman’s likeness in later versions, as well as the introduction of the Pogo mini ball couldn’t propel the popularity of the pogo ball too far into the 90s, although various offshoots like the Moon Ball did manage to prolong the Pogo ball for a short time. And its kind of a shame, because the Pogo Ball had all the makings of a perfect X-games event in the future. Watching these fearless athletes bounce through a series of death defying stunts would probably do wonders for Pogo Ball popularity and assure these planetary propellants their rightful place in the future.
If you hopped around with reckless abandon on a pogo ball in your youth, we’d love to hear your recollections of this memorable toy in our comments section.