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Let’s talk about a soft rubber ball with a unique name made out of 2,000 filaments that squeeze and throw and went on to generate $30 million a year! 

What am I talking about? 

Do you remember the Koosh Ball? 

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, any trip to the mall on the weekend would include a stop at a novelty store like Spencer’s Gifts or the It Store. 

In a move that worked all too well, Koosh Ball was launched and placed right next to the register. With their unique colour and look, people couldn’t resist picking them up and adding them to their cart. 

The weird rubber toy that was looked at as a waste of time would go to sell 50 million balls!

How did we get here? 

Go back to 1986 in California, where engineer Scott Stillinger was unsuccessful trying to play catch with his kids. So he decided to use his degree and created a ball that would be soft, aerodynamic, and fun for them. 

Not only did they learn how to catch it, but the ball caught on, and Scott began selling them. 

By 1986, he filed for a patent, quit his job, and started a company called Odds On Products.

He surveyed family and friends for the name, and after 200 choices, landed on Koosh. 

It was weird, and it was a huge hit. Three different sizes of the balls were available, and even Archie comics even tried to capitalise on that Koosh cash!

But trouble was ahead. Other off-brand versions started flooding the market, and when Odds On tried to copyright their Koosh Ball, they were denied. Their appeal would get all the way to Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, who appealed the decision saying the court shouldn’t get involved with the copyright office. 

The Odson team decided to exit the business. In 1997, Hasbro scooped it up and have owned the keys to the Koosh kingdom ever since. 

Oh, and that comic book series about fuzzy rubber balls? That turned out to be about as good as it sounds.

Do you remember Koosh Balls? Did you own one? Let me know below!