Just Frances

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Chinese jacks

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 29th, 2012 by Frances Ryan.
Tags: youtube, silly, random, olden days, happy, entertainment

Today’s post is a random memory and a bit of a musing about Chinese jacks. So, let’s go!

Chinese jacks, for those who don’t know, are these awesome little plastic ring things that kids would clip together in the 1980s for playing, well, Chinese jacks. But we’d also use them for Hopscotch markers and necklaces or other bits of jewellery.

They were fun and bright and silly. All of the sorts of things I love. We had loads and loads of them when we were kids. Some were pastel, others were bright, and others were neon. There were even translucent ones. I remember sitting there clipping them together in little sets, or stringing them together as chains and bracelets. But what I don’t remember is what happened to them. Where did they all go? Have they been thrown away after all of this time, or are they somewhere at my folks’ house, stashed away in a box?

I guess that’s it. I don’t really have much more to say about them, I just thought that I’d let you know I was thinking about them.

[Note: This video is not meant as an endorsement. I have no relationship with the company portrayed and am not in a position comment on them or their products.]

Of course, this all reminds me of those plastic charm necklaces we had back in the 80s, too. Yeah, they were, like, so awesome. Like, you know, totally radical, dude.

I wonder what today’s kids will reflect on when they’re my age…


I haven’t thought of Chinese Jacks for years.  Neither have I seen any, even though I’ve found some other rather interesting things while going through various boxes upstairs.  I’ll need to dig into the “attic” for some more boxes. Maybe some are stored further back.

by Mom at 1:13am (GMT) on March 31st, 2012

Well, if you do find any, I don’t need them. I’m sure the grandkids might like them—or the dump. If, however, you run across any Garbage Pail Kids trading cards, I’ll take those because they made me laugh.

by Just Frances at 5:15pm (GMT) on April 2nd, 2012

Hi Frances - I was “googling” chinese jacks and stumbled upon your page… the video happens to be a review of my product. I too had fond memories of this game/accessory and just had to bring them back! Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and thank you for sharing!


by Wacky Jax at 8:23pm (GMT) on April 5th, 2012

Yay! I was so excited to see that someone was still manufacturing them. I’ve not seen them in shops in ages (since the 80s, I suppose) but I really do have such fond memories of them. I hope that the resurgence of ‘all things ‘80s Retro’ is a boon to sales!

by Just Frances at 8:41pm (GMT) on April 5th, 2012

Great blog post.  Have you seen the jacks at http://www.buychinesejacks.com?

by Craig at 12:32pm (GMT) on July 8th, 2012

I’ve had a bunch of Chinese jacks for years, but never knew what they were actually. I thought I’d heard them called that and finally Googled them. I’ve been using them as a very useful knitting tool. Because they are an open ring, I can slip them onto a knitting needle to keep track when counting stitches and to mark changes in a knitting pattern. I still have plenty, but would love to find some more just in case.

by Peg at 2:37am (GMT) on July 11th, 2014

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