Bowling all wound up…It’s Strolling Bowling!


I’m impressed with the innovations of man. Sometimes it’s fuel cells, sometimes it’s our space exploration program, and sometimes it’s Strolling Bowling. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Strolling Bowling was a toy created by Tomy in 1979 and is a strange toy indeed.

It’s a little plastic bowling alley that unfolds and has pins that you flip up at one end. You have a wind-up bowling ball with orange feet that you place at the other end of the alley. To knock down the pins just wind ‘er up, release, and the ball hops down the lane. I thought this was hysterical due to the ball having feet and after seeing the commercial again I still get a chuckle watching the ball hop.

This contraption held my interest for the longest time when I was a kid and I think it might be because it had an element of skill involved. The ball hopped in varying ways, but could be predicted, so you could calculate where to position your ball. Seeing all the pins getting knocked down was great fun and satisfying, too.

Even though it’s not as impressive as man’s other innovations, such as Velcro or the spork, it did take a lot to keep a young child of the 80s occupied and Strolling Bowling did that superbly.

Strolling Bowling commercial (via tracy80sgirl)

Warning: the Strolling Bowling jingle has burned itself into my mind forever since the 80s and will most likely stay in your head once heard.


Martin Touhey goes by the screen name Sleepyeyed and has a passion for retro things of all kinds. One particular passion has led him to the creation of a documentary film about his favorite video game - Dragon's Lair. See the teaser at

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