Nasta Hit Stix
If air drumming was just too quiet for your kids in the late Eighties, Nasta had the perfect product for you, Hit Stix. Now you can do away with the worst part of air drumming, the relaxing silence.
Nasta Hit Six were a set of two drum sticks that were attached via audio cable to a small 9V powered amplifier you could clip to your belt. They were not meant to be used as drumsticks on a drum or any surface, instead your movements through the air with the Hit Stix would generate sounds. For example, a standard air drumming would generate a snare drum sound, but by changing things up, you could also produce a drum roll sound.
Their ability to be played in the air is what made them so interesting, it also turned out to be a problem for Hit Stix. Playing drums is a very natural motion, and most kids couldn’t help but try to play them as real drums. This resulted in either frustration because they refused to make the sound they wanted, or in damage to the actual Hit Stix.
While fairly sturdy, breaking your Stix was a little too easy, which was frustrating for a toy that retailed for $19.99 when it was released. That would be $45.74 today.
Originally offered in partnership with Radio Shack, very quickly you could find Hit Stix in other toy stores. If you are looking for a set today, you will that they came in two package types, a wider box with larger imagery and a more narrow box. Both contained the same product, and pricing for them is generally the same. Online, you will pay about $50 for a play set in good condition.
Your own portable rhythm section! Play your Hit Stix Electronic Drumsticks anywhere, even in the air – no surface is needed to create real drum sounds! Amplifier clips to your belt so you can take the beat to the street!
Hit Sticks were a big enough hit that they spawned a more powerful successor, Hit Stix 2, in 1989. The new Hit Stix let you change the tone and sound by adjusting sliders on the sticks. By playing with various combinations, you could create 44 different sounds. Otherwise, they function very much the same as the original, with a 9V battery-powered amplifier producing the sound.
Hit Stix 2 would be joined by two other Histruments from Nasta, the Hit Keys Keyboard and the Hit tar
ices had stayed about the same for all three of these Hitstruments at the time. You could pick them up from prices ranging from as low as $15.99 to as high as $19.99.
Hit Stix were one of those toys that advertised well, but didn’t live up to their promise. The technology just wasn’t good enough to make a dependable air instrument in 1988 for under twenty bucks. Still, to kids who got them as a gift, they left a powerful mark on their childhood.