Super Elastic Bubble Plastic

Tired of blowing regular old soap bubbles? Looking for something a little longer-lasting, a little more psychedelic, something perhaps with noxious fumes? Well, the scientific minds at Wham-O toys had just what you were looking for, Super Elastic Bubble Plastic, that short-lived, but certainly well-remembered, tube of goop that delighted millions of kids during the 70s.

A tube of Super Elastic Bubble Plastic came packaged with a small straw. Simply squeeze a little dab of the tri-colored substance from the toothpaste-like tube and insert the straw. With a little patience, you could blow up a large plastic and brightly-colored sphere. Carefully pull out the straw, pinch the opening shut and enjoy your new toy ball, one that you created yourself! Granted, these weren’t durable enough to, say, play a game of kickball, but you could toss them around with your friends for a bit before they inevitably deflated.

The gooey substance in each tube of Super Elastic Bubble Plastic was actually polyvinyl acetate mixed with acetone, which kept the substance malleable until it evaporated, leaving behind a beautiful bubble. Of course, anyone who ever played with this toy knows that there was no shortage of intoxicating (and flammable) chemical fumes. Users were warned to never inhale through the straw, but warnings often have the opposite effect. As a result, Super Elastic Bubble Plastic was eventually pulled from store shelves, deemed to be too dangerous.

And, perhaps it wasn’t the safest of toys, but countless kids emptied plenty of tubes of the stuff back in the day and most survived just fine. Similar products were introduced in the years that followed, but none with as catchy a name as Super Elastic Bubble Plastic, and none that enjoyed anywhere near the same popularity.

If you are one of the unscathed survivors of this endearing 70s toys, we’d love to hear all of your Super Elastic Bubble Plastic memories in our comments section, as we tip our hats to memorable tube of goop, gone but definitely not forgotten.

48 Responses to “Super Elastic Bubble Plastic”

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  1. maxx48 says:

    Loved these so much. The fumes were killer, in oh so many ways, but I loved the smell. The one video looks like that it was available in multiple colors in a single tube. I recall buying a carded three pack of different colors. Had to squeeze them out separately. We never spread them in our hands, but applied them around and over a rotating straw.

  2. Amy says:

    I am convinced that this or a very similar product was available in the early to mid 1950’s. At that time I would have been a child(born 1947). Can’t think it would have interested me as a college graduate. My friends who are now up to age 75 also remember playing with it. They include people who were U.S. born and one who spent his childhood in Korea. I only remember single color bubbles (blue or red) and was not able to make the bubbles as big as in the photos I see posted.

    • Joyce says:

      Amy, you are correct. I remember playing with this stuff in the 50’s and bought it at a 5 & dime store for around twenty-five cents a tube. Not sure what the name was but it was a fad in the early 50’s … not the 70’s as some people claim!

  3. Sandra says:

    I remember buying these bubble in Japan when I was a child in the mid 60s. We were stationed in Japan and would buy them off base. The bubbles were clear.

  4. Dexter says:

    that game was the best

  5. Karen says:

    I use to love to play with it. The smell wasn’t that bad.

  6. Melc says:

    I enjoyed playing with it after riding my bike behind a spraying mosquito truck or after cracking open a glass thermometer and playing with the mercury inside!

    • Sarah says:

      I love playing with this stuff! I loved the smell! I also rode my bicycle behind spraying mosquito trucks on my bike! We had a girl in our neighborhood who carried an old cigar box with a good sized bead of mercury. We used to dip our silver change in it till it was shiny and looked new again. If we used it for a vending machine, sometimes the money would slide out, thus giving us a free treat.

    • dede says:

      I was on the phone with a friend asking if he remembered the blue (only) bubble stuff, and while I was talking I did a search and we laughed about the mosquito truck and the mercury—-then I saw your comments. Too funny. You must be from the South, and of course we’re all damaged because of these “play things.” Thanks for the shared memories. And it was the 50’s —not the 70’s, I agree. Maybe a facsimile, but not the original blue bubble stuff. I can still smell it. Smile.

  7. Denise Monty says:

    Yes, I remember the stuff from the 70’s. Perhaps they had another version prior, but is is the awesome, one and only, Super Elastic Bubble Plastic that I recall. It was multicolored goo that came in a tube with a straw. And, yes, the fumes were strong. Unfortunately, I broke out in hives so I could not play with it anymore, but the bubbles I blew were gorgeous, multicolored, and it was a heck of a toy.

  8. Jay says:

    When I was about 8 or 9 I had a tube of this (1975 or 76) and stuck a glop of it when it deflated in a knothole at my grandmom’s house. 25 years later…it was STILL THERE. the tree had grown around it somewhat…but you could definetly see it in the bottom of the hole….
    …dang I loved this stuff and YEAH the fumes were a little..intoxicating?

  9. An enthusiastic former fan says:

    I have to tell you that I was looking this up for a student’s glycerin bubble science project because as a kid, I remember being fascinated with how these bubbles were able to retain their shape and become fun play balls so I could demonstrate them at our science fair. However, that’s obviously not going to happen, as in this day and age, I could go to jail hahahahahaha! Thank you for the warm and fumey memories :)

  10. Stacy says:

    I was 10-11 years old. It was circa 1976-1977 and my cousin and I were playing with our Super Elastic Bubble Plastic (multi-colored tubes) in her room. My cousin’s mother (my aunt) walked in and saw us. She freaked out, started crying and kept us in the house for hours interrogating us about what it was. Remember, this was the hazy acid days of rampant hallucinogen drug use. She was absolutely convinced we were using drugs. It was the strong smell that did us in. We could not convince her it was a toy because of that blasted chemical smell! We actually were grounded for several hours. I can’t remember how she eventually found out we weren’t lying, but it was touch and go for a while there. We thought our 2 weeks together that summer were officially over. Not groovy at all!. But I LOVED that stuff!

  11. Gina says:

    I could never get this to work for me. I could never blow bubbles with gum, either.

  12. Keith says:

    It’s called Amazing Elastic Plastic now.

  13. Sparkina says:

    I so had this stuff as a little girl! Once I sat on it by mistake and it got smushed into the rug and my nans (grandmother) just about had a meltdown!

  14. Bernadette says:

    Loved playing with the bubbles and little plastic straws when we were kids. There wee 3 of us and I remember when my dad brought it home. We thought it was great. It was multi coloured. Different swirly colours. Don’t think it did us any harm. We’re all 60 ‘s babies and doing fine. Aaah memories ……

  15. Vicki says:

    It’s still available (or available again). I’ve seen it in Mexican and Asian stores. :-)

  16. Patricia says:

    We played with this and then we chewed it to make it snap and pop like bubble gum. Nice, right?!?!

  17. Jan says:

    My daughter-in-law bought some today and it brought back so many memories! My husband said he used to chew it. I remember the smell. It smells a little different than it did back then but it sure is the same thing!

  18. Joey Spagna says:

    I blew great bubbles with this crap.

  19. Sue Ann Maley says:

    Please, share with me where to purchase. Tried Party Store and Target . Thanks!

  20. Jackie says:

    I’m a child of the 80’s and i remember this stuff. It was sold at the grocery store and it was 50 cents or so. And it was in a cardboard backed package. There were 3 colors usually. It was a combo of red, blue, green, or yellow i believe. So much fun!

  21. Kevin says:

    Wow, the glorious 1970’s. What a magical time on earth. Being a kid was extra special. I remember making bubbles with this rainbow colored toothpaste tube. I always tried to save the bubbles, but they would all eventually deflate. This was one product that I passed time with back then being an only child. The pop rocks, baseball cards, 8 ball, wacky packs, bottle cap and wacky wafer candies, the music, the peacefulness and tranquility, great TV shows, etc. All greater times than today for sure. Of course the sunshine too.
    Yes, I would bet anything that the sun did shine a little brighter back then. The only tears, were tears of joy. If only I had a time machine…..

  22. mike says:

    i’m a somewhat younger old fart. i used to steal the stuff by the pockets full. the 70’s. yeah baby. used to chew on the stuff and blow bubbles without a straw. the taste and smell were addicting. i have said before. i would kill to get some today. so would most of my friends on the beach in so. cali. hahhahahahaha. MEMORIES OF GOLD…

  23. mom of two says:

    Well, my daughter’s teacher is giving this stuff out as prizes! As soon as my daughter described it to me, I remembered the fumes and looked online if there was any info about it being dangerous. I contribute my lack of intelligence to this stuff and inhaling too many whip it’s at dairy queen!

  24. extatic fan says:

    Im 14 and i remember that a few of my biddies and i would run out to stop and shop as really little kids with out parents and beg them to buy us the stuff and we would get it all over everywhere and probably sniff the fumes for a while…does anyone know where to get the stuff anymore? it completely dissappeared!!! :(

  25. marvinsmagicgirl says:

    we sell it at FAO Shwarz in NYC, its called Magic Plastic now! It’s been improved since. You can buy it by coming to the store in person or phone ordering it through the store. The only other store that has it in the world is Hamley’s in London. It’s my job to demonstrate it in the store! (Best job ever)

    • Puppi Dog Toys says:

      We have been making Magic Plastic in the UK since 1947 and it is still being sold around the world. You can find us on facebook

  26. Allicat says:

    I was Avatar last night and looking at the wings of the fling dragolike creatures with the lovely swirly colours reminded me about this stuff that I used as a kid It would have been in the mid 70’s (so I am sure the 50’s people had their own version first) It was wonderful and kept me occupied and entranced Thanks for the memories and I ma so glad I found this on the internet so i was not imagining it !

  27. Pascale says:

    I remember having played with something like Super Elastic Bubble Plastic. It was in 1982 I think, and I was in France. A friend had these tubes with smelly gum like stuff we could put on straw and blow bubbles with. Since I first used a Sharpie pen, I have been reminded of the smell every time I would uncap one.Today I finally decided to look for the toy and searched Google with the terms: bubble making toy smelling of ethyl. Super Elastic Bubble Plastic was amongst the first hits… I don’t know why but it made me feel good to see the product REALLY existed! Peace!!

  28. Walking (staggering?) down Memory Lane this morning with a friend and fellow child of the 70s about this stuff. I’d forgotten that it was supposed to be in colors; mine always seemed to end up gray, probably because the colors all mixed by the time they got on the straw and ready for inflation. Any colors were just in a sheen, like one on an oil slick. I also remember this coming in super-tiny tubes that they sold by the cash register for, I think, 15 cents. It was a great addition to your purchase if you hadn’t spent every last penny on whatever you came in to buy. I credit the fumes for positively reinforcing this lust for impulse products to this day.

  29. casey says:

    I’m 17 and I remember playing with this stuff. They came with a little red straw, and four colors (red, blue, Green, and yellow). My brothers and I would buy them at the cabin all the time. They stopped selling them 3 years ago because no one bought them. I loved those bubbles so much! I wish they’d make them again. I use to chew them after they’d pop! I turned out fine! This toy is safe!!!!!!

  30. I survived Super Elastic Bubble Plastic! I remember it wasn’t too easy to make the ball either. It took a few tries!

  31. Amy says:

    I grew up in the 70s and always begged Mom to buy me this! Every now and then she would give in. Now, whenever I have bread sitting on the counter too long, it starts to smell EXACTLY like Super Elastic Bubble Plastic! I always sniff my bread before I eat it and if it has that smell, it goes in the trash. I assume it’s the beginning of mold growing and reacting with the plastic bag, but it reminds me of my childhood!

  32. Milnemgal says:

    What was the stuff in the 1950’s that was similar but in a tiny tube with a tiny straw, all similar to the Super Elastic Bubble plastic except that it blew hard glass-like bubbles and had really strong fumes that we just loved, btw.
    Anyone old enough to know what I’m referring to?

  33. Andrea Arce says:

    70s? I played with this stuff in the early 2000s. Looooved it.

  34. suzinne says:

    Am a painter, and was painting a teal green, and a year or two ago had a flashback about this toy from the 60s. Remember the goo being a dark, inky green (like my paint) that you applied to the end of a straw, and yeah, having acetone in it – the stuff stank! Kinda had the consistency of liquid cement. Regardless of the ick or just plain TOXIC factor, this stuff was a hit in the hood in the Bronx circa 1960s. Could imagine you’d get high from inhaling!

  35. Tim says:

    I remember buying about 100 tubes of this and sitting in my small windowless bathroom in the dark and opening every tube at once. Someone said that the fumes may kill my brain cells but I never felt any….mzzzblllbloberspizznic…

  36. Libby sroka says:

    I used to play with this. The first time I had some my dad brought it back from Germany. That was in the early ’60’s. We considered it quite a novelty and could not wait for him to go back a get some more. Later on when my own kids were young I would buy it at a specialty toy store. I never saw it in a “regular” toy store. I would love to find some again. I loved it.

  37. Jocelyn says:

    I remember buying these in the little quarter machines :-)

  38. Dave says:

    Every time my sweetheart uses her spray nitro it reminds me of that toy. I have been trying to remember the name for years. Thank you for posting the name. Had a great time with it, the balloons lasted a fair length of time.
    I am 56 and have suffered not ill effects….LOL.
    Thanks for the memories.
    Dave

  39. Hg70 says:

    I remember the commercial from Saturday Morning Cartoons. Yes, this was the 70s. I was obsessed with it! Ours was the Wham-O! Brand and the bubbles were multi-colored swirls. We were young children and allowed to play with this, but when Slime was introduced in the 80s…that we weren’t allowed to have! Too messy! Good times!

  40. Jason says:

    Whenever I reapply rainx to my cars windshield, it reminds me of this bubble stuff in a tube.

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