I received an email an email last week from someone who remembered having a game where you spun coins on these “paddles.” My inbox is full of emails just like this one. They are enjoyable to receive, because they often force me to do some research. For this one though, I only had to think back to my childhood. I inherited a Parker Brothers Loop-a-Lot from my sisters. And although I was terrible at it, I will always remember it.
The object of Loop-a-Lot is to balance coins in these circles on a long paddle. Then you spin the paddle. The forces of spinning the paddle produces centrifugal force. This keeps the pennies in place and makes you look like a big deal.
Unfortunately that never happened to me. I would load up my Loop-a-Lot, start spinning, and the pennies would go flying dangerously across the room. My mother would tell me to go play outside, but when I did that it was even worse, the pennies would fly into the neighbor’s yard and I was out a penny. It is only by sheer chance that I never broke anything in the house. Although I am sure I did leave a few marks on the walls of our living room.
Both of my sisters were quite proficient in Loop-a-Lot and it drove me crazy that I lacked the skills to do what they did. Still I persisted and while I never became an expert, the memory of the attempt has stayed with me.
One aspect of Loop-a-Lot that I never got to witness firsthand was the advertising. Thanks to the internet though, I get a glimpse of what made this so compelling to my sisters. This zany commercial features a fellow with a German accent who is terrible at Loop-a-Lot. While the kids are just amazing at it and have a bit of an attitude about it. Style points for hands on hip from this kid. He is a boss.
What really makes the commercial the coolest is the random appearance of a chimp at the end. The chimp, of course, is also much more skilled.