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.