Few would argue that toys were far simpler back in the day. Build something colorful that made a lot of noise, and maybe had a few flickering lights, market it to a large audience, and sales were practically assured. And while Romper Stompers had no illumination to speak of, they sure made up for it by making the loudest, clompiest sound ever heard since horses started wearing metal shoes. And that was enough to etch them into the memories of millions of former kids who still fondly remember these simple toys. Let’s take a look back.
Romper Stompers were first introduced on the hit children’s show, Romper Room and generated such demand among the toddlers of America that the Romper Room production company decided to market the toys. Two upside-down plastic cups were secured over a child’s feet with a green plastic cord that was long enough to be taken in hand for added safety. Raised almost six inches off the ground, you could trample and stomp all that stood before you in yellow plastic glee. It was best to go gallivanting on your Stompers over linoleum, tile or concrete so they could make their signature loud racket: clomp, clomp, clomp, clomp.
Both boys and girls enjoyed Romper Stompers, albeit for different reasons. The former could pretend they were huge monsters rampaging through a Lilliputian town, while the latter simply relished the opportunity to walk in a kid’s version of high heels. Either way, a fun time was to be had by all that strapped these plastic buckets to their feet. Of course, nothing is more fun than a little bit of danger and Romper Stompers posed a serious threat to uncoordinated kids who acquired very sore bottoms after falling from such dizzying heights. Also not quite so stable were the many homemade versions of Romper Stompers, constructed from the equivalent of a couple of Big Gulp cups and some rubber bands.
Today, Hasbro-Playskool continues to manufacture versions of the clomping strap-on feet, although the cups are now molded to look like monster feet. It just goes to show that the classics never really go out of style. If you’ve strapped some noisy plastic cups to your feet and stomped loudly, sending your frightened pets scurrying for shelter in the next room, tell us all about it in our comments section, as we pay tribute to the original Romper Stompers – an idea whose time has yet to pass.