David Strang at his Wicked display booth at Toy Fair
If you like to whistle while you work, London’s Wicked toy company has a wicked device that lets you whistle while you work out.
The manufacturer brought its new Mega Jump Sonic jump rope to this week’s Toy Fair trade show at New York’s Javits Center, and aroused plenty of attention thanks to the loud whistle it made whenever its skilled jumpers performed with it.
The Mega Jump Sonic actually has two whistles—one which is quieter in case the louder one is annoying to non-jumpers.
“Jump ropes are becoming so huge for adult fitness—but no one’s taking charge of the kids’ market,” noted Wicked founder/CEO David Strang. “But we didn’t want a novelty rope, so the Sonic is great quality—and we have a YouTube channel with two U.K. champion jumpers as instructors.”
The Mega Jump Sonic joins Wicked’s single- and double-length Mega Jump models (the double-length is for Double Dutch play). But the company, which was founded in London by Lang 20 years ago, is best known for its Booma boomerang line.
“Twenty years ago, there was just TV—and no cell phones,” said Lang, a Scot who grew up in Australia—and insists that he’s not anti-technology. “There were no programs to get kids more active and away from TV with active sport and skill toys.”
So Lang began importing boomerangs from Australia, having discovered that there were no “proper returning boomerangs” in the U.K.
“There were souvenir ones, but no sports ones,” he said, “and we needed indoor ones because the weather is so bad in the U.K.”
So Wicked devised a “soft and safe” returning foam boomerang 19 years ago, and sold tons of them.
“Other people have done them, but ours are fool-proof for everyone,” said Lang. “Now we’re the biggest manufacturer of boomerangs in the world, and even export them from the U.K. back to Australia!”
The Wicked booth was fully stocked with its extensive Booma line of indoor and outdoor boomerangs, traditional Aussie two-bladers, and various three-blade boomerangs, including the Sonic Booma that whistles similar to the Mega Jump Sonic rope, and the new Night Booma LED featuring bright multicolored and multifunctional LED lights. Several “new and improved” Sky Rider frisbee-like flying discs were also on hand, most notably the new Sky Rider Ultimate LED and the new Air Square flyer.
Also shown was the Microjet foam version of the traditional lightweight balsa wood flyers, and Wicked’s UKick take on the traditional Chinese sport of jianzi, where players try to keep a heavily weighted shuttlecock in the air using their bodies. It was voted Best New Toy at the London Toy Fair.
Finally, Wicked showed its line of balls, including the Mega Bounce XTR ball (bounce return rate of nearly 85 percent) and giant inflatable Mega Bounce XL—which comes with a foot pump. And not to be left out was the new Mega Tube.
“Kids generally throw it as high as they can,” said Strang of his 10-ft. long inflatable tube. “Boys want to hit each other with it!”
As it says in the company’s sales booklet, “There’s no rest for the Wicked!”