The omnipresent bouncy ball is an icon of childhood, with its bright colors, impressive ability to translate kinetic energy, and just plain old fun. Having these rubber balls in your vending machine is sure to be a high-flying hit with your customers.

The first bouncy ball was created in 1964 by a chemist, who then searched for a partner to sell the new toy. The Wham-O corporation eventually picked up the idea, refining the formula to make it more durable and marketing it under the the name “Super Ball.” Today, the superball is produce by the millions. These bouncy balls come in numerous sizes, from huge to very small ones designed for vending toy capsule machines.

The bouncy ball is made of a chemical compound known as polybutadiene, which conveys the property of rebounding nearly proportionally to the amount of force of the throw.

Stories about about the superball craze of the 1960′s, when various stunts were attempted by all ages with the toy — from bouncing it down city blocks, to dropping it off high-rise buildings, zinging it around corners, and putting a spin on the ball so it would rebound towards a wall multiple times. The bounciness is due in part to some very complicated chemical engineering and physics. In fact, the bouncy ball is often used by teachers to demonstrate physics and math problems based on some interestingly contradictory effects of the bouncing rubber ball.

For vendors, bouncy balls are a high-margin item. They are inexpensive for the consumer, and very inexpensive for you — $12.99 for 250 Regular Mixed Bouncy Balls (27 mm) is a cost of  5 cents per ball. Selling these for 25 cents means a profit of 20 cents per ball, or $50. At 50 cents per ball, that 45 cents margin, or $112.50. Not bad for a single machine. With multiple machines, combined with selling candy and gumballs, a vending business can really start taking off.

If you are not a vendor, a couple bags of bouncy balls make a great give-away at children’s parties — or even corporate team-building events. Have your staff break up into teams to try a bounce the balls into cups or exercise their team-building skills by trying to find ways to navigate the bouncy balls through a series of obstacles for ‘points.’