Wham-O toy company bought this new type of plastic from Philips Petroleum Company. Originally known for its Wham-O Slingshot, the company quickly added two new products to its production which became well-loved childhood staples – a flying disc toy called the “Pluto Platter”, which became today’s Frisbee, and the Australian amusement, the Hula-hoop! The Hula-Hoop craze ignited, selling more than 25 million hoops in the first four months at a cost of $1.98 each…growing to more than 100 million sold within two years. Marlex produced by Phillips was the only plastic resin source that could maintain sufficient production for the rapidly growing hoop trend!
“The great obsession of 1958 – the undisputed granddaddy of American fads…the hoop rewrote toy merchandising history,” noted Richard Johnson in his 1985 book American Fads.
Read more on this Petroleum Product Hoopla at AOGHS.org.