Flips and Flops & Flying Clowns

From the collection, two closely-related catapult games 1920's-30's.

The game's object is to shoot a clown figure from a flexible steel launcher onto a rotating wooden spinner. The clown's wire arms catch the spinner's wires; the launcher's action is adjustable using a wingnut and bolt.

The story goes that Orville Wright (yes, that Orville)- at his niece Ivonette's request- designed the original Flips and Flops game in 1925, decades after the Wright bros.' historic flight at Kitty Hawk. The Wright-Dayton Co. was located at Front & Second Streets, Dayton 2, OH; The Miami Toy Company (in which Ivonette's husband was an investor) manufactured it, and also issued a redesigned set with more detailed clown figures later on. A similar design was also marketed as Flying Clowns by The Dutch Novelty Shops of Holland, MI which patented the version: No. 1523989.


These are popular games with visitors to my collection- a very colorful, clever and reliable design.

Dimensions: 23" L x 13.5" H x 6" W (Flips and Flops)

Materials: stained and painted softwoods, various gauge wires, flat springsteel, wing nut & bolt

Condition: toys, VG; boxes, fair to poor

Images: copyright the author
History details: www.wright-brothers.org