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‘Lato-lato’: What is it and why is it trending now?

We’ve seen it all before: Our childhood had ‘kisses’ (aroma beads–which you “grew” ahaha), ‘loom bracelets,’ slimes and ‘pop-its,’ heck, we were even swept in the fidget spinner craze. But now comes a new toy craze that has kids and adults battling it out to see who can outlast the other in a game of…ball-hitting.

It’s the noisy lato-lato, and it’s everywhere–in the streets, in schools, on social media.

For starters, lato-lato is a toy made out of two plastic balls connected by a string. You need to swing the string up and down in such a way that the balls hit each other, therefore making a distinct clacking sound. The objective of this game, which you play with another person with a lato-lato, is to maintain the clacking rhythm. Longest to maintain this wins.

On social media, people have been posting their videos of them playing with the toy–some casually, some rather fiercely battling it out with another lato-lato player. The lato-lato usually comes in different ball sizes and colors.


1yr old na mas magaling pa mag lato lato sayo 😂 PS: first try #latolato #tiktokbaby

♬ original sound – mami c – mami c


Lato-lato challenges 4minutes #fyp

♬ original sound – Sielyyyyyy – Sielyyyyyy


Ibang paraan paano laruin ang lato lato. #latolato #latolatoviral #lattolatto #batang90stoys #fyp #fypシ #foryoupage

♬ Cute and fun food – zomap


Nakapaglato lato na ba lahat? haha eto guys mura lang ❤️ #latolato #fyp #tiktokfinds #budol #budolfinds #lattolattoindonesia #lattolattoviral #latolatoviral #viralvideo

♬ Money Mouf – Tyga & Saweetie & YG


LATTO LATO BY ISKAY🥳💯 #lattolatto #sergeybin #sergeybinfans #kelzycapinpin #tiktokshop #fyp #trends

♬ original sound – MichTiktok – MichTiktok


Actors Paul Rudd and Jonathan Majors, as well as director Peyton Reed, have been seen playing with the toy after an Indonesian reporter asked them to participate in playing it during the red carpet premiere of Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania.”

Although the toy traces its prominence in Indonesia and Malaysia way before, it has found its popularity in the Philippines, where Filipinos can buy the toy cheaply at a price range of P15 to P25. This cheap access to this toy, which you can buy even on sidewalks, is contributing more to its craze.

According to The Borneo Post, the term ‘lato-lato’ comes from the Buginese (people of southern Celebes [Sulawesi]) in Indonesia) word “latto-latto” which means ‘making a clacking sound’.

However, it actually originated in the United States in the 1960s and gained popularity in the 1970s, wherein it was called clackers, click-clacks, and knockers, among the many other names it got – it was also originally made out of tempered glass or acrylics, but the material was changed as the original one exploded, for obvious reasons.

While it might be prominent now and is enjoyed by many, some find the clacking sound to be a little bit annoying and hazardous, causing some parts of the world to ban the toy – including the United States and the United Kingdom, which has banned the toy because it contributes to sound pollution which can have a negative effect on one’s hearing, and because there have been instances where it has caused injuries. Some schools in Indonesia have banned the toy due to safety concerns, but more so due to the noise it makes, which many have deemed a ‘nuisance.’

Here in the Philippines, toy trends come and go, but whether you hate it or you like it, the clacking sound of lato-lato is here to stay for a little while.


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