Super-Soaker Inventor Lonnie George Johnson Shares The Story Behind His Uber-Fun Creation Online
August 28, 2018 15:27 By Fabiosa
Super-soakers first appeared in the 1980’s and grew to be one of the most popular toys of the time, selling millions of units in the following years. American inventor and engineer, Lonnie George Johnson, invented the toy originally called the “Power Drencher.”
After some adjustments and a name change, the toy hit shelves in America selling for between $10 and $60, depending on specifications. By 1991, the toy generated sales worth $200million.
As a child, Johnson was fascinated by science. Once he burned down his house trying to make rocket fuel. On another occasion, he built a go-cart using a lawn mower and scrap from a junkyard. Thankfully, making the super-soaker was accident-free.
Decades after, the toy hit shelves, millions of children and even adults around the world continue to have a lot of fun with it. What started out as a prototype with no funding for mass production got picked up by Larami and became the best-selling toy in the world.
He is on Reddit!
The toy may be several decades old, but it is getting a lot of buzz on social media as one Reddit user shared this throwback picture of the inventor from the 80's. Fans of the toy have been sharing comments, reminiscing about their childhood and awesome moments they had playing with super-soakers.
Johnson is also on Reddit and took time to answer questions from his fans, in spite of a busy schedule.
Making the toys were fun and financially rewarding for Johnson. Larami became a subsidiary of Hasbro Inc. and Johnson went on to invent more toys. A court awarded $73million in unpaid royalties for his inventions in 2013.
Do you have a super-soaker? Then you are one lucky person. It may be hard to believe that an engineer who works on high-tech science projects is the brains behind this awesome toy, but it is true. So, pump away and enjoy the thrill.