History of Classic Toys, The Hula Hoop

Posted by GoGo Goodie on January 31, 2012.

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Hello and welcome back to GoGo Goodie's blog series on the history of classic and retro toys.  This dive into classic toys simply wouldn't be complete without covering the Hula Hoop!  One of the first things that jumped out at me as I started to research the Hula Hoop was abundance of great photography, old and new.  So I have included more photos than usual and I hope you enjoy them! 


It is widely believed that Hula Hoop type devices have been around since 500 B.C.  The early hoops were made from rattan, grapevines, dried willow and stiff grass.  In England, during the 14th century, the hoops were used by adults and children for recreation and were even used in some religious ceremonies.  Later in the 19th century, the word hula was added to the description of the hoop by British soldiers who traveled to the Hawaiian Islands.  They noticed that the movements of the hula dancers were similar to the movement of people using the hoop.

Early Wham-O Commercial

Although the hoop had been around for many years it didn't gain widespread popularity until the 1950's.  Wham-O toy company started to manufacture plastic version of the Hula Hoop in the late 50's which launched a true fad.  Within 4 months 25 million of the hoops had been sold and this just continued to climb reaching 100 million in 2 years.  The Hula Hoop has been a mainstay in the toy category ever since!



Thanks for stopping by GoGo Goodie, your Goodie Bag headquarters..... now go grab your hoop!


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