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.
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.
12-year-old Matthew Redmond entertaining people on Stockport Road with his “Bouncing Egg” from a toy fair.
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.
Marjorie McCoy, the British and World professional ice dance champion, on a spacehopper during Brighton toy fair.
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A spacehopper in use during a production of the Mystery Plays in Yorshire, England.
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A pantomime featuring a toy bouncing ball.
Michele Durlow, bouncing on a Spacehopper, models an outfit from Littlewoods’ range of winter clothes for children.
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English actress Deborah Watling on a space hopper.
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Helen Archer jumping on a Space Hopper on a beach in Felixstowe, Suffolk.
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Crossing a sports field with traffic cone hats and space hoppers, Butlins Holiday camp, Skegness.
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Volunteers ride space hoppers at the launch of Bounce Your Balls for Cancer on Brighton beach, England.
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A world record breaking attempt for the most amount of people bouncing on Space Hoppers, Merrion Square, Dublin. The new record is now 1505.
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Thomas Senkel flying a space hopper with drones, and currently capable of staying aloft for up to half an hour.