Hula-Hoops, those wacky plastic rings that millions of Americans swung around their hips and waists a quarter-century ago, are coming 'round again.
Part toy, part fad and definitely all pop culture, the Hula-Hoop today is embraced by kids and aerobics-minded Baby Boomers who remember the craze from the early 1960s.
"I try to Hula-Hoop for 15 minutes each day," says Eve Diamond, a 34-year-old Encinoite who'd hula'd as a child. These days, she hopes that her lavender-striped Hula-Hoop will help to melt the inches from her waist.
The Wham-O division of Kransco Manufacturing, the San Gabriel firm that makes Hula-Hoops, says sales doubled last year, to 2 million. That's the best performance since 1958, when the country was swept by the Hula-Hoop craze and 25 million of the lightweight rings were snapped up at $1.98 each. Today's model retails for about $5 and comes in yuppie pastel shades. Hula-Hoops sail out of Toys R Us in Woodland Hills at the rate of about 20 a day, says sales clerk Bob Lawson.