What Happened To Jumping Jacks?

Older readers may have fond memories of these. But where did they go?

You’ll either remember Jumping Jacks or you won’t, depending on your age. They were small fireworks which you would light (and sometimes throw) which then burned in an erratic way, jumping all around the garden with sparks and crackles. 

Jumping Jacks
Jumping Jacks

Unfortunately the UK government decided at some point in the late nineties that Jumping Jacks, along with some other fireworks such as bangers and mini-rockets, were simply too “dangerous” in terms of erratic flight and their appeal to youth on account of their low cost (i.e. a pocket money item). So they were banned from sale to UK consumers.

There isn’t anything similar on the market because by definition anything trying to replicate a Jumping Jack would also have an erratic flight. The only novelty effects currently available under existing CE fireworks regulations would be ground spinners and crackling ball fireworks, both designed to be lit on the ground at close quarters and then crackle and fizz with sparks.

As Jumping Jacks are now quite old and haven’t been around for some time, they’ve become collectable items. If you have any old ones lying around in a drawer or the attic they might be worth something! There’s a healthy trade in these and other vintage fireworks (on the basis of collecting them, not for letting off) among collectors. I have a whole sub-forum dedicated to these items and other vintage pyro in my busy online community: Vintage Fireworks Forum.

Thanks to UKFR Forum member TONYB for kindly supplying the photos used on this page.

Further information and next steps

If you are following the Beginner’s Guides then you can click here to return to that page. Alternatively you can click here to see the main menu of each firework type in this section if you want to read more (or click on the menu at the top of this page to access all of my guides).

If you have any questions then please feel free to join my Fireworks Forum and ask away. Members are always here to help beginners and no question is too silly.

If you’re ready to buy fireworks for your display then the Buying Fireworks section will guide you further.