Surely you’ve heard of them, whether it’s in social media or from your children begging for some, Pop Its are the explosive toy trend of the year. They’re known primarily as Pop Its, but have many names such as crazy poppers, crazy snaps, bubble pop fidget toys, and push pop fidgets. The idea behind them is a sheet of silicone that provides a bubble-wrap-like sensation of popping, giving endless stimulation to the user. They’re non-toxic, can be used for more than just bubble popping, and come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Knock-offs are rampant, but the original is still the highest quality you can get. Pop culture is all over them, since they appeal to adults and children alike, whether it’s for reducing anxiety or just for fun. This fidget toy has come to fame following the toy industry utilizing the demand of other popular toys such as the fidget spinner.
Where did this massively popular bubble wrap inspired educational toy come from though? The answer is not as straightforward as you might expect, as they were invented almost 50 years ago!
A New Children’s Toy
Independent inventors do not have it easy, especially when most ideas have already been done. It isn’t necessarily the inventor of the Pop Its that might surprise you, but just how long ago it was first created before it became the sensation it is today. In 1975, Theo and Ora Coster created the first version. Before that, Theo was a survivor of the holocaust and a classmate of Anne Frank. He ended up in Tel Aviv, and this is where he met his wife Ora. The two wanted to create games and toys for children, making the world a little brighter in spite of the horrors they faced in their own youths.
The Costers did exactly that, creating a legacy with a long and colorful history of inventing toys such as the well-known Guess Who? game. They created the first edition of the Pop Its toy following a dream Oro had that was full of bubbles after her sister had passed away from breast cancer. Who knew it would become the cultural superpower it has, after all this time!
Theo and Ora tried to sell their triangular prototype toy for the better part of 30 years, pitching it to classic toy company after toy company without success. It appeared to be a bust, after decades of attempts to make its big break into the toy sphere. With the cultural clout that toys like the Beanie Baby, Barbie Doll, the Nintendo Entertainment System, Rubik’s Cube, Furby, Game Boy, Star Wars, Slinky, Silly Putty, and other games had, companies like Hasbro and Spin Master wanted nothing to do with this new invention. No one seemed interested in the Pop It toy invention, so what could they do? Fantastic inventions are not happened upon every day, but was this one of them? Or would it prove to be a fruitless journey? Obviously, we know the answer now!
Capturing the World’s Imagination
In 2009, the toy company FoxMind acquired the invention and turned it into a sensational educational toy, creating a plethora of iterations of it for some time. A decade later, FoxMind teamed up with Buffalo Toys to make a deal with Target, calling the toy they put on the shelves Pop It! With the Pop Its, they also created popping games under the umbrella brand known as Go PoP.
What gave them their explosive rise in popularity was approaching social media and its influencers and the marketing hits that platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Tik Tok have. Traditional advertising doesn’t seem to be worth it in this day and age anymore, so where do you turn? Global culture and especially advertising meant for young children isn’t as straightforward as newspaper ads and the 5 minute long commercial breaks between cable cartoons. Influencers and especially circles in social media such as TikTok created the reaction they wanted (though maybe they didn’t expect it to this degree), and it went nuclear from there.
The pandemic and being locked in our homes made a lot of these stress relief toys appealing, while also being beneficial for children and adults who might be neurodivergent. Whether people want to acknowledge their influence on the world, or they just want to call it a fad, the Pop Its popularity can’t be denied. We encourage you to read more about them if you’re interested not only in the history, but also in what other fun ways they can be used, and maybe where to get your own. Don’t worry, you can pop in peace without judgment here, no matter your age!
Looking for more info on Pop It Toys? Check out these great articles!
- What Are Pop Its?
- History Of Pop Its
- Pop It Bubble Game
- How Do Pop Its Work?
- Where Do I Buy Pop Its?
- Pop Its: TikTok Famous