Why the Magic 8 Ball Still Holds Our Fascination

Can a classic toy stay relevant? Signs point to yes

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Abe Bookman's toy was a flop. He should have seen it coming. After all, the toy was a fortune-telling device.

It was 1950, and for the previous four years, Bookman's company Alabe Crafts had tried to market the Syco-Seer. Sold as a "miracle home fortune teller," the toy was a cylinder filled with dark liquid containing a pair of floating dice, their surfaces scribed with fateful predictions. Users would ask a question, shake up the Syco-Seer and then wait for the device to give them the answer.

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