The year Chichester went crazy for ‘Kooshes’

Koosh ball and book
Koosh ball and book
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According to the Observer, we were all crazy about the Koosh in 1989.

That year, the paper printed an article singing the praises of the toy, which was called ‘the ball with nice manners’.

The article read: ‘Executive stress has been countered by measures as diverse as the Rubik’s cube and Newton’s cradle - but now, for frenzied office-workers everywhere, comes the Koosh ball.

‘These balls of rubber spaghetti are already a giant-seller in the United States and now Matchbox Toys are bringing the tactile tickles to Britain complete with “The Official Koosh Book”.

‘Devotees of this unbounceable, ouchless, and highly grabbable object, which looks for all the world like the sort of things which would attack the “Star Trek” crew in the good old days, can now experiment with 22 “Kooshy” activities.

‘Described as the world’s first rubber ball with manners, the Koosh ball is the invention of Silicon Valley engineer Scott Stillinger, who has co-written the book with John Cassidy.

‘Apparently the ball was invented when Stillinger and his children began looking around for a rubber ball with training wheels, having become bored with traditional bean beags, tennis balls, and foam rubber balls as they bounced too much, offered no good grib, or hurt when they bopped you.

‘A quantum leap in the technology and theory of rubberized micro-mops has led to the Koosh ball. Each ball is made of more than 2,000 radiating natural rubber filaments, is colour fast, and weather resistant - so, safe for children aged three and above, as well as the frustrated executives.

‘Among the bizarre activities suggested are Lacroosh, played with kitchen sieves; nose bonk; hopskoosh; bop the brother; a koosh version of football; koosh squash; jugging with kooshes, and even ‘kooshy kooshy koo’ - demonstrating the ball’s versatility in the bath.

“Both the book and the accompanying Koosh ball appear to be highly user-friendly; the balls themselves are rapidly likely to become family pets; and they are vaguely relaxing.

‘Whether we will go as Koosh crazy as our American friends remains to be seen, but meanwhile the book and ball are great fun - if not as ultimately satisfying as those balls you hurl at the wall and hear the sound of breaking glass.’

Today, the number of Koosh balls sold is estimated to be in the millions.

Do you have a Koosh ball?

Do you remember playing any of these games?

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