Perhaps the inspiration for The Beatles rubber ball came from 60’s band, the Cyrkle, and their hit song “Red Rubber Ball.” The group was not only discovered and represented by Beatles manager Brian Epstein, but the band spelling was created by the one and only John Lennon.
All the kids on the playground wanted to play Four Square with the item most requested – the official Beatles rubber ball.
Manufactured in the U.S., the inflatable rubber ball was 9” in diameter and was available in glossy black, translucent brown, translucent orange, or translucent green. The ball featured a white 5½” oval, which advertised a graphic drawing of the Beatles and facsimile signatures, in red and black ink. The glossy black rubber ball was also manufactured in a smaller 6’’ version.
The Shenstone company had been credited as having produced this item; however, there is no record of this or any other company having been involved.
The white 5½” oval on the ball was later manufactured as a stand-alone sticker in the Eighties, although some research points to these being the actual before-market labels for the ball.
An improved ball, designed as an ‘All Rubber Play Ball,’ was also manufactured for the U. S. market by Holland Hall Products out of Stamford, Connecticut, and was touted for use at ‘beach, pool, backyard fun.’ After inflated, the green, pink, or yellow ball measured 14” in diameter and included an additional selling point – a ring lip on the side for the designated ball handler to grasp. The header card attached to the retail package read: ‘©NEMS Enterprises Ltd. Manufactured exclusively for Seltaeb Inc.’ and brandished the band’s cheeky poses atop an orange oval.
Holland Hall Products, Inc. was named in a NEMS Enterprises, Ltd vs. Seltaeb, Incorporated lawsuit filed in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Judicial Department, dated: New York, New York, July 6, 1965.