Richard Knerr, Hula Hoop, Frisbee Marketer, Dies at 82
Knerr and Melin started their company, Wham-O, in a garage. In the first year, it sold as many as 40 million Hula Hoops; by 1960, 100 million--a mark no other toy had ever reached. After too many households had several hoops, the fad evaporated, leaving Wham-O marooned on a mountain of tubular plastic. Total profit: $10,000--a result of business inexperience and millions of unsold hoops.
Other Wham-O brainstorms included the Water Wiggly sprinkler, the Slip 'N Slide water slide, the Limbo Game and Silly String, a seemingly endless stream of liquid that hardened after being expelled from an aerosol can, all too often in a child's hair.