The Hoppity Hop Play Ball (1968)
Be the first on your block to have one! Bounce out of Penneys and into spring with the new Hoppity Hop Ball invented in ‘swinging’ London.
The Hoppity Hop Ball is made of tough, red plastic. Inflate with a regular air pump — small for a 4-year-old, or a full 61″ for an adult.
If you like fun, exercise, a flat stomach, or if you just like to bounce . . . get on the ball . . . grab the handle and hop.
So much fun, you’ll want to ride for hours… strong enough for Mom and Dad, too. Inflates to 14 to 18-in. diameter for kids; 18 to 20-in. for adults. Heavy-duty vinyl with air valve: fits hand or service station pump. Safety ring. Shipped deflated. Blue or red. $5.99
Preschoolers’ inflatable ride-a-horse has realistic western styling richly embossed on its heavy-duty vinyl body.
Hoppity inflates to 14 to 16-inch diameter. Has automobile tire-type valve for inflating with hand pump or at service station. Safety hand-grips help keep child steady. $6.99
The history of vintage Hoppity Hop toys (1968)
Hoppity Hop ball makes Sun shine bright
By Joseph E Kuebler – The Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) August 18, 1968
Some toy buyers say it will be as great a hit as the hula hoop. One thing is sure, “Hoppity Hop” is a sensation right now wherever it is introduced. Like the hoop, the “Hop” proves it is the simple things in life that make it big.
Hoppity Hop is a rugged vinyl plastic ball that can be inflated to 25 inches in diameter. It has a molded ring handle. It’s a “people hopper.”
Men, women and children can ride it as they bounce along. Obviously, it is aimed at boys and girls of all ages, but this doesn’t keep older folks from riding it like a cowboy on a bronco.
FOR BARBERTON’S Sun Corp., Hoppity Hop is the hottest thing to come down the pike in many a year. In fact, Sun President T. W. Smith Jr. says he can’t remember when a Sun product received such an “ovation” at that most important place — the cash register.
“We were confident it had a lot of merit,” he added, “but we had no idea demand would be this good.” How good is good?
Since Sun introduced the ball at the New York Toy Fair in the Spring, it has been swamped with orders. Every type of retail outlet from the big department store chains to the variety stores have “hopped” on the bandwagon.
Orders to date exceed 25,000 dozen, or 300,000 units, and they still are coming in. This will keep the company’s Hoppity Hop production line busy 24 hours a day for each working day the remainder of the year.
Huge demand for the bouncing ball toys
IN THE FICKLE world of toys, the men who are faced with the challenging task of trying to guess what the public will buy months hence take a long, hard look at a new product. They know an item that seems great today could be a washout in a few months.
Some remember only too well what happened to the hula hoop. Demand collapsed almost overnight.
At the toy fair, though, Hoppity Hop received an enthusiastic reception, backed up by what is music to the ears of the manufacturer — confirmed orders.
The ride ’em ball wasn’t exactly brand new to fairgoers. They had heard how a British version had been bouncing over England for the last 18 months. Sun is a producer already of virtually every type of play and athletic ball in use in this country.
Richey Smith, the company’s vice president and general manager, saw the English creation as an ideal addition to his firm’s toy family.
SMITH RECOGNIZED it as a natural for the roto-cast process Sun has developed and perfected over the last 20 years. With this method, measured quantities of vinyl plastisol are poured into molds, which are then rotated in two directions simultaneously, creating a uniform vinyl shell on the wall of the mold.
Smith assigned the firm’s design and technical men to create Sun’s version and prepare samples for the fair. Among the features they came up with were the molded “easy grip” handle that is an integral part of the ball, and a reinflatable valve, similar to the one used in tires.
JUST BEFORE the New York show, the name “Hoppity Hop” was created. Since then, the problem has been a pleasant but perplexing one — how do you handle all this business quickly enough to keep every customer happy?
In the meantime, the company has applied for design patents and registered the trademark, “Hoppity Hop.” The ball is being made in red and blue but can be produced in other colors if demand warrants it.
WHAT APPARENTLY makes the product attractive to so many people is its versatility. You can bounce it, throw it or race with it.
Hoppity Hop is at home on the beach, on the water, in the backyard or house and campground. It is designed to give a high bounce, and is ridden much like a horse with the rider leaning a little forward.
How vintage Hoppity Hop & Hoppity Horse toys were made
It’s not every year a toy maker can come up with an item blanketing just about all age brackets. For a specialist in vinyl plastisol like Sun, Hoppity Hop is a manufacturer’s dream.
Sun Corp. engineer Al Steinbrunner (left) inspects the finished product as six Hoppity Hops emerge from a mold. In its operating position, the mold (above) looks like something hurled into space from Cape Kennedy. On the production, inspection and packaging line (below):
(1) Bridget Fetters drills the valve stem hole;
(2) Mary Brown inserts the stem and inflates the ball;
(3) Geraldine Cook checks the ball underwater for defects;
(4) Marilyn Chapman deflates the ball for packaging;
(5) Opal Gregory boxes the product and
(6) Betty Gregory loads shipping cartons.
(7) Elles Temmey is foreman of the production line.
Hoppity Donald Duck
Preschoolers will love Donald Duck riding ball… the famed Disney character seems to come alive. Heavy-duty vinyl body is elegantly embossed and decorated.
Inflates to 14 to 16-in. diameter. Automobile tire-type valve; use hand or service station pump. Hand grips help keep child on Donald. $8.91.