During my time working as a primary school teaching assistant I witnessed plenty of playground crazes. It was reassuring to see the old favourites still making an appearance (although thankfully not the bone crunching clacker balls) but our more sophisticated, consumer driven youngsters had much more at their disposal than my generation ever did - Pokemon Trading Cards, Pogs and Bey Blades to name a few.
I'm sure that in the time I have spent away from the playground, there have been many more crazes falling in and out of popularity that I know nothing of.
The most enduring and successful of the crazes seem to be the ones that combine collectability and trading potential with a play element requiring skill. Bumpeez deliver on all of these factors.
Bumpeez are pocket money toys due to be launched on the 24th of this month and are being hailed as the next playground craze.
Each Bumpeez has two interchangeable components - a circular chip which is encased in a bounceable silicon ring. Both components come in different colours and designs and the silicon ring is available in different shapes which as well as adding variety to collections, requires varying amounts of skill to bounce successfully.
The Bumpeez are sold in packs of two for the pocket money price of £1.99 and purchased blind to create excitement. Special rare Bumpeez have elevated trading value and if you are lucky enough to discover a Golden Bumpeez, you win a prize.
There are several suggested games that can be played with Bumpeez either with or without the silicon ring and an online element with the official website www.bumpeez.com. Children are encouraged to make up their own games so the play potential is limited only by imagination.
I was sent a pack of Bumpeez to review. It was actually quite exciting opening the pack to see what was inside. That aspect of the marketing strategy works brilliantly.
Although my teenage daughters are well beyond 'playground crazes', they were more than willing (in fact I'd go as far as to say embarrassingly eager) to try out the Bumpeez. I sent them off, armed with a tub of pavement chalk, a Flip Video recorder and an enthusiastic boyfriend. This is what they got up to!
You are encouraged to "collect them all' so parents of children with a slightly obsessive streak should be warned - Series 1 has 100 different designs. If my maths serves me correctly, the whole collection would cost just shy of £100 if you could successfully trade all your doubles. That is significantly more than a conker and a piece of string!