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c. 1967 - 2011

Remember the Space Hopper?

You could hop and bop to your heart’s content

Volunteers (from left) Neal Richardson, Dave Mountfield and Glen Poole ride space hoppers at the launch of Bounce Your Balls for Cancer on Brighton beach. (Photo by Gareth Fuller - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

You may know it as a skippy ball, a sit-and-bounce, or even a hippity-hop.

Whatever your name of choice, its very likely that at some point you’ve sat on a Space Hopper at least once in your life.  

Essentially a big and heavy rubber ball with some form of handle, the Space Hopper is Italian in origin. It was formally invented—and indeed, patented— in 1968 by Aquilino Cosani, a man working for a rubber ball manufacturing company.  

Cosani called his invention the “Pin Pon.” It become a craze in the U.K., and went on to be emblematic of a British 1970s childhood.

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In the U.S., the Hoppity Hop was released in the same year that Cosani pattered his invention. The classic, orange, Space Hopper, however, bounced into America in 1971.

And if you’ve ever wondered exactly what kind of a creature’s face it was that leered out of the orange plastic—it’s a kangaroo.

1967
12-year-old Matthew Redmond entertaining people on Stockport Road with his “Bouncing Egg” from a toy fair.
SSPL/Getty Images
1968
Teresa Nash demonstrates a spacehopper in front of a painted background soon after a U.S. toy importer ordered $6 million worth of the toys.
Potter/Express/Getty Images
1969
Marjorie McCoy, the British and World professional ice dance champion, on a spacehopper during Brighton toy fair.
Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images
1969
A spacehopper in use during a production of the Mystery Plays in Yorshire, England.
Tony Ray-Jones/ SSPL/Getty Images
A pantomime featuring a toy bouncing ball.
1971
Michele Durlow, bouncing on a Spacehopper, models an outfit from Littlewoods’ range of winter clothes for children.
Evening Standard/Getty Images
1971
English actress Deborah Watling on a space hopper.
Reg Burkett/Daily Express/Getty Images
1971
Helen Archer jumping on a Space Hopper on a beach in Felixstowe, Suffolk.
PA Images via Getty Images
1982
Crossing a sports field with traffic cone hats and space hoppers, Butlins Holiday camp, Skegness.
Barry/In Pictures via Getty Images
2006
Volunteers ride space hoppers at the launch of Bounce Your Balls for Cancer on Brighton beach, England.
Gareth Fuller/PA Images/Getty Images
2010
A world record breaking attempt for the most amount of people bouncing on Space Hoppers, Merrion Square, Dublin. The new record is now 1505.
Julien Behal/PA Images/Getty Images
2011
Thomas Senkel flying a space hopper with drones, and currently capable of staying aloft for up to half an hour.
E-Volo/Barcroft USA/Getty Images
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