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Hula Hoop (1957 and beyond)

Developed by Wham-O, the creator of the Frisbee, the hula hoop was modeled after the wooden toy used in Australian gym classes. Made of polyurethane, the cylindrical tubes were placed around the head or spun around the waist. In order to keep the hoop aloft, the user has to gyrate and wiggle their hips, imitating Hawaiian hula dancers. Wham-O introduced hula hoops in California and they spread across the U.S. like wildfire. After only four months, Wham-O had sold 25 million units! By the time winter of 1958 rolled around, U.S. sales had cooled. Wham-O took the hula hoop to Europe and the Middle East. Hula hoop mania was re-ignited.