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Bet You Didn’t Know This About the Hula-Hoop

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It’s one of those toys I never could get the hang of, so I never really bothered with it. I guess I couldn’t get my hips to swivel good enough to work a Hula-Hoop.

It was another one of those Wham-O toys that included the Frisbee, Super Ball, Hacky Sack, Silly String and Slip ‘n’ Slide. The Hula-Hoop made its debut in 1958 and sold an estimated 25 million in the first four months of production alone.

The inspiration came from wooden hoops that Australian kids used to exercise in gym class by twirling them around their hips. Wham-O began making a plastic version and called it a Hula-Hoop because it reminded the company owner of the Hawaiian Hula dance.

The Hula-Hoop took the country by storm. Every kid just had to have one, but the craze didn’t last long. Sales tailed off, but they never went away. In 2004, Ripley’s Believe It or Not verified that a circus performer in Boston was able to simultaneously spin 100 Hula-Hoops around her body. That same year, two people in Tokyo, Japan were able to spin a Hula-Hoop that measured 13-feet-four-inches in diameter around their waists at least three times.

The story on the Wham-O company name comes from the first product they made. It was a sling shot and Wham-O is supposedly the sound it made when you used it.

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