These simple toys were all the rage for a time during the 1980’s. They were the sort of thing normally sold by blokes in the street or at Sunday markets, and sold all the more due to them being at pocket money prices, and incredibly easy to demonstrate. Best of all was that when you did buy one, unlike something like jumping beans, they did actually work, at least until the stickiness finally wore off that is, which was usually after they had fallen on the floor a few times and picked up pieces of hair and dust.
The toy consisted of a little octopus (other forms such as little men and spiders were also available) that was made out of a very stretchy rubber. The rubber was covered in a tacky substance which made them feel very strange against your fingers. The idea was to throw them at something vertical and shiny (Mum’s freshly cleaned windows were ideal) where they would first stick for a time before gravity took effect and the top legs would gradually peel away. Once the weight of the octopus body could no longer be supported the whole thing would flip over, and the legs that had just lost cohesion would stick back to the glass. The new top set of legs would then start to come away, and in this manner the thing flipped its way down the entire surface.
If the rubber got too covered in dirt it would no longer stick properly, and would either bounce straight off when you threw it, or else briefly stick then drop straight off to get even dirtier. Washing it in warm soapy water could bring it back to life for a while, but eventually even this did no good and the toy was reduced to something you could squidge and stretch, and perhaps ping at your little sister like a rubber band.