Bop It is a popular audio-based game that is developed and produced by Hasbro, and has proved to be a popular way for children to pass the time on long journeys, even if it is to the annoyance of the other passengers. But who set off this noisy and repetitive phenomenon?
The inventor of the Bop It was Dan Klitsner, who patented the design in 1996, the year that the original version was released. The basic functions of the original involved three buttons/levers, and the player being instructed to either ‘bop it’, ‘pull it’ or ‘twist it’, with the game speeding up as it goes along, with longer games likely to get a higher score announced at the end. With the aid of fellow designer Bob Welch, the game would develop into more versions, spin-offs (such as Zing It or Groove It), and features (e.g. ‘flick it’ or ‘shout it’), with the game still going strong today.
Different versions released since the original include:
– Bop It Extreme
– Bop It Extreme 2
– Bop It Blast
– Bop It Download
– Bop It Bounce
– Bop It Minis
An example of the game of Bop It being played can be seen below:
The bouncy ball is one of the most simple, yet enjoyable products on the market, and even at such a low price, can keep many children (and perhaps some adults) entertained for hours on end. But who was the first to invent or design this intriguing product?
Who Invented The Bouncy Ball
In 1965, an American chemist named Norman Stingley developed a way to compress the substance of rubber, and after teaming up with toy manufactors Wham-O, worked past initial faults, and eventually created (and marketed) a small, strong, rubber ball that would be known as Super Ball, with the new craze taking off almost immediately, with customers finding many uses and creating their own new ways to have fun with the product.
The balls were able to bounce at around 70% of its kinetic energy in each single bounce (with improvements to that figure seen in some balls after further developments), due to the compressed rubber inside. Many variations and improved versions of the bouncy ball have been made since the 60’s, and it still remains one of the most enjoyable toys around.
Further proof that the bouncy ball was, and still is a popular and fun type of toy came when Sony used around 250,000 of them as part of an advertising campaign:
Lego, manufactured by the Lego Group, are one of the most well-known and instantly recognisable types of toy in the world, due to their basic concept and potential for seemingly endless possibilities, and have been credited with expanding the ability of imagination and creativity of the children (and adults) that use them. But who brainstormed this product?
Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter from Denmark, conceptualized and invented the idea of Lego bricks. He came from a poor family and worked as a carpenter to make ends meet, and used his workplace skills to begin to produce toys made out of wood (around 1932). He considered it as his real job during that time, and went further by constructing miniature furniture and houses to sell. By 1934, his company was already addressed as Lego, the name under which the toys were sold.
In 1947, he decided to use plastic to make these toys, and by 1949, Christiansen had already made a total 200 wooden and plastic toys. In that same year, his company started to manufacture toys called ‘automatic binding bricks’, which were comprised of interlocking bricks. Christiansen named this product after his company, Lego, which was derived from the Danish phrase ‘leg godt,’ the meaning of which is to ‘play well.’ He also emphasized on his employees the importance of quality.
In 1954, his son Godtfred Kirk Christiansen assumed the position as Lego Group junior managing director. He was credited for introducing Lego bricks as a more enjoyable and fun toy system. In January 1958, months before Ole Kirk’s death, the patent for the modern version of Lego bricks was approved.
Today, the Lego Group has progressed even further. It has already designed and manufactured thousands of themed sets that are guaranteed to bring fun and enjoyment for everyone, with a monumental range of themes, and licenced special editions based on movies and TV shows. The company has expanded to include movies, books, videogames, clothing, and even Legoland theme parks, and now have one of the most recognisable products in the world, that is still going strong today, with Ole Kirk Christiansen proving that you can be successful regardless of your background or social status, with creativity and imagination, the very things that his product stands for, being a critical factor in his success.