…Throwback Thursday tried the item in today’s commercial!
I’ll confess, I’ve never actually owned/tried today’s product, but I do remember this commercial. Of course, as a kid, I thought it looked cool, but in 2019, this commercial reminds me of Flashdance. I don’t believe I ever actually asked for it, but given my ability/gift to rupture my Achilles tendon while sitting on a couch, it probably was best that I never owned today’s toy…or even tomorrow’s toy.
This week, the theme is extreme jump rope-like toys, which translate to things I never owned. I did have a jump rope (actually, I had two – one was a Super Soaker jump rope, the other was part of my donation prize package for Jump Rope for Heart in fifth grade), and I jumped rope at recess and in gym class during elementary school with those plastic pasta noodle-type jump ropes that screamed “I’m going to hurt your ankles if you don’t jump in time.” I was not into double dutch, but I did like jumping with several people. However, I mostly preferred to jump solo. Today’s extreme jump rope promised solo play would be just as good as jumping with someone else.
In fact, today’s product promised it would be good if you just wanted to show off.
Because they hire kids that can do this kind of stuff, not the klutzy kid!
Cue the Flashdance-style moves and music and extreme jump rope, when you click play!
I know Worlds of Wonder had their issues towards the end of its life, but they did not skimp on advertising.
Skip Stik was jump rope to a whole new beat, a three-foot plastic handle with a eight-foot rope attached to each end. The bar twisted apart, which I’m assuming made the Skip Stik a traditional jump rope. I have no idea, I’m just assuming. There isn’t quite enough information out there about this product. All I know was the advertising felt like Flashdance, featured cool workout gear, had dramatic music, and only really had two lines of dialogue (aside from the product’s slogan) – “Faster! Faster!” and “Skip Stik.”
According to OMCA (Oakland Museum of California), this was the information printed on packaging for Skip Stik:
“For a 21st century jump rope try Skip Stik from Worlds of Wonder, Inc. It is a twist-apart 3-foot bar with foam hand grips attached on each end to an 8-foot rope. Players hold the bar horizontally in front of the body, rotate the rope around and jump over it! It comes in a variety of pastel and neon colors and includes an instruction booklet with lots of tricks to learn.”
They looked into the future, and it required showing off and jump ropes attached to a plastic stick. Of course!
The girls in the commercial clearly are masters of jump rope, or they’re gymnasts/dancers. They’re just so good at it.
I could never do any of this! I’m pretty sure tossing it in the air and catching it would have been the mother of all challenges for me.
I danced, but I’m also a klutz. Jumping rope was enough for me, so I’m pretty sure six-year-old me never asked for Skip Stik.
This wasn’t the only time Worlds of Wonder ventured into “taking jump rope to a whole other level” territory. They also had a product called “Hop, Skip & Jump,” which was a jump rope that doubled as a belt/fashion accessory. It came out in 1989, but like Skip Stik, there just isn’t much information about it. In fact, with the exception of this short write up (and photo) on the OMCA (Oakland Museum of California) website, I can’t even find a commercial for Hop, Skip & Jump.
(OMCA also has a write up on Skip Stik, because they like to show off their knowledge!)
Worlds of Wonder really aimed high for being innovators of fun, taking the traditional toys and activities of youth, and making them high-tech or much more interesting. Unfortunately, the story of Worlds of Wonder, and their ultimate demise (by the time Skip Stik was introduced, they were already in deep financial trouble) is pretty well known.
Seems by this point, they already had created these offerings, but had to get them to market despite their troubles. This was from a tape in 1988, but I’ve seen their commercials on videos from as late as 1990 (they even had products featured on the then equally-troubled Child World’s Video Toy Chest), as the company didn’t officially fold until 1990. They had been operating in receivership via its creditors since 1988.
First it was school supplies, then it was jump rope. They’d already conquered bringing dolls and stuffed animals to life. The only thing Worlds of Wonder couldn’t do was keep their finances in check.
If you are looking for a Skip Stik, because by all means, you’re in your thirties and still need to “show off,” Amazon has something similar called a Jump Stick, but even that is a little hard to get. But it’s obvious Skip Stik is the OG, from a time when jump rope needed to be so much more than just…a jump rope.
And yes, from a need to show off.
Tomorrow, Flashback Friday takes jump rope to a different level by throwing out the middle man altogether, and trying something totally different.
There’s no rope. That’s your only teaser.
Oh, and the commercial is classic for its jingle.
See you tomorrow! Have a great Throwback Thursday!