Thumb Wrestling

Thumb Wrestling

All’s fair in love and thumb war. Once the battle cry of “One, two, three, four, I declare a Thumb War!” has been proclaimed and fingers have been interlaced, it’s ON. This is thumb wrestling and it’s been a traditional childhood sparring activity since time immortal (or at least a few decades).

Your goal: pin your opponents thumb down for at least a second. There are no time limits, you can either pin your enemy/friend right away, or hang back and let them struggle and tire themselves out before you go in for the final attack. A round can last a mere minute, although there are legends of particularly tenacious appendages locking horns for hours or more.

One of the best parts of Thumb Wrestling is that it is absolutely free. Of course, that hasn’t stopped others from trying to monetize the activity a bit. A few toys have shown up over the years, such as the Wham-O Thum wrasslin set of the 60s, which offered a plastic ring for which to wage your war of thumb-on-thumb. Needless to say, it didn’t catch on.

Undaunted by previous failures, the World Wrestling Federation teamed up with 80s toy makers to capitalize on the growing craze of the WWF. Soon, action figures for the thumb in the shapes of wrestling stars of the day, such as the Incredible Hulk Hogan and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper were showing up on store shelves. They found a wanting audience, however the toys were bulky, and truth be told, a bit disappointing. It was difficult to win when you could hardly even move your thumb, let alone outwit your opponent.

As it turned out, we tend to like our thumb wrestling the old fashioned way, sans accessories, just like our ancestors. It’s a simple test of skill and dexterity, a way to practice decision-making skills under pressure, and even earn a few bragging rights along the way. And, dare we say, nary a thumb has ever made an emergency room visit as a result of this popular activity.

If you’ve waged a few thumb wars in your day, and are eager to share your battle stories, we invite you to tell us all about it in our comments section, as we tip our hats to this kid’s competition that never goes out of style.

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