PHILIPPINES — Following a long line of popular toys like aroma beads, loom bracelets, slimes, and fidget spinners, the latest toy craze has captivated both children and adults worldwide.

Lato-lato, consisting of two plastic balls connected by a string, requires players to swing the string up and down, creating a distinct clacking sound as the balls collide.

The objective is to maintain the clacking rhythm for as long as possible in a game played between two lato-lato enthusiasts.

The popularity of lato-lato has spread across the streets, schools, and online platforms, with its affordable price range of P15 to P25 in the Philippines contributing to its widespread appeal.

Although the term ‘lato-lato’ originates from the Buginese language spoken in Indonesia, the toy actually traces its roots back to the United States in the 1960s, where it gained popularity under various names such as clackers, click-clacks, and knockers.

When the lato-lato went viral on TikTok, the lato-lato challenge also gained popularity.

The challenge even featured during the red carpet premiere of Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantamania, after a reporter from Indonesian news outlet detikcom asked the cast to participate in the challenge.

Actors Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Jonathan Majors (Kang the Conqueror) and director Peyton Reed were featured in the challenge, with Reed emerging as the winner.

Meanwhile in the Philippines, children all over the country have gotten hooked on lato-lato, and in Calasiao, Pangasinan, there’s even a competition for the longest streak of successfully making the two balls hit each other.

However, the balls can hit the arm and cause bruises or bumps.

To keep yourself and your children safe, Dr. Miko Amansec advises those who use lato-lato to cease playing if they get a bump or bruise.

He also said doing ice compression for 15-20 minutes two or three times a day can help lessen the swelling of the affected area.

Wrap your arms in a towel to protect them and take care not to accidentally make the balls hit the eyes.

“Encourage play but encourage play in a safe environment,” Amansec said.