WHAM-O: Hey Kids, Toys Are Even More Fun When You Design Them Yourself!

akroyd.jpgUnBeige readers, you’re all winners in our eyes, and so we enjoy telling you, from time to time, about various design competitions and contests–whether opportunities to create greener electronic gadgets, design a t-shirt, or simply embarrass your family on basic cable. Then, when you win (and you will), we can feel like the beaming convenience store clerk who sold the winning lottery ticket and is mobbed by local news anchors. Today we’re pleased to announce a contest for the youngest UnBeige readers (or future UnBeige readers): The good people at WHAM-O are marking 60 years of “zany” fun (although we think it is the antithesis of zaniness to put “zany” in scare quotes throughout a press release) with the first ever WHAM-O Kid Inventor Contest. Hurry and gather your young, design-savvy progeny around the screen for details!

The contest highlights the sources of many of WHAM-O’s most successful toys. Did you know, for example, that the Frisbee was born of the enjoyment one Walter Morrison experienced when playing toss with a popcorn lid? Or that the Hula Hoop was inspired by an Australian kids’ game involving bamboo rings? Now any kid between the ages of 6 and 17 can throw their popcorn lid into the bamboo ring by inventing a new toy (or improving on an existing one) and submitting their idea to WHAM-O by March 31st. “In the end, one innovative kid will take part in the process of having his or her toy idea evolve into a sellable, marketable toy, which will be featured around the country as part of the legendary WHAM-O toy lineup,” says Chris Gurlinger, the company’s vice president of marketing. The winner will also get $2,000, which may or may not be payable as a lifetime supply of Slip ‘N Slides.

A word of advice, kids. Don’t get any of your toy invention ideas from a man calling himself Irwin Mainway (pictured above left), no matter how great his products–Bag o’ Glass, Johnny Space Commander Mask, Teddy Chainsaw Bear, and our personal favorite, Doggy Dentist–may sound.