Wham-O is a lifestyle brand that has been synonymous with fun, play and active sports ever since Arthur “Spud” Mellin and Richard Knerr founded the company almost 75 years ago! Wham-O manufactures and markets some of the most highly recognizable consumer brands in the world today, including classics like Frisbee® discs, Slip ’N Slide® water slides, Hula Hoop® toy hoops, Hacky Sack®, Super Ball®, Trac-Ball®, and Boogie® Body Boards. Wham-O designs, develops and markets toys, games, sporting equipment, and accessories including bodyboards, hoops, sprinklers, and water slides.
Wham-O toys form deep emotional connections with people over time. They're among the best-known outdoor brands, at a time when the backyard is the new vacation spot! You couldn’t be a kid and grow up without playing with Wham-O toys. Wham-O sports appeal to all ages! They're steeped in the cultural tradition of classic, well-made toys.
The Frisbee® and Hula Hoop® were inducted into the National Toy Industry Hall of Fame (1998, 1999). The Super Bowl name came from the Super Ball and is also on exhibit in the Strong Museum! Wham-O toys are sold in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Japan, Korea, and Australia. Watch classic Wham-O TV commercials!
1948: Wham-O founded.
1957: Frisbee introduced. Pluto Platter rights acquired from Fred Morrison.
1958: Hula Hoop introduced.
1961: Slip 'N Slide introduced.
1965: Super Ball introduced.
1971: Morey Boogie Board introduced by Tom Morey.
1974: Hacky Sack footbags invented by Marshall and Stalberger.
1975: Trac-Ball introduced.
1978: Kransco buys rights to Morey Boogie Board.
1982: Wham-O purchased by Kransco Group, after Hasbro makes an attempt to buy Wham-O.
1983: Hacky Sack introduced by Wham-O.
1994: Mattel buys Wham-O from Kransco.
1995: Wham-O buys Aspectus.
1997: Wham-O becomes independent when an investment group from Charter House and Seven Hills Partners purchases it from Mattel.
2002: Founder Arthur "Spud" Melin dies.
2002: Wham-O buys BZ surf brands from Earth & Ocean Sports.
2006: Wham-O sold for $80 million to Cornerstone Overseas Investment Limited, a Chinese company that owns/controls five Chinese factories.
2008: Founder Richard Knerr dies.
2009: Wham-O sold to investment firm, The Aguilar Group.
2010: Wham-O acquires Sprig Toys.
2010: Fred Morrison dies.
2015: StallionSport Ltd. and InterSport Corp. acquire global rights to Wham-O Inc.
2018: Wham-O partners with Smarcircle LMT ltd. to introduce SmacircleS1 e-bike.
2021: Critical Content, creates a live-action TV show for NBCU, called Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide, based on Wham-O’s popular Slip 'N Slide, with participants going head to head and navigating a series of obstacles. Match-ups take place in oversized chutes, jumps and tunnels.
2021: Anjar & Becker Associates become the exclusive global licensing agents for Wham-O.
2021: Anjar & Becker Associates license Wham-O pet toys to Jazwares.
2021: Anjar & Becker Associates license Wham-O classic, retro toys to Winning Moves, to be introduced in 2022, in time to celebrate Frisbee's 65th Anniversary.
2021 - Slip ‘n Slide 60th Anniversary (1961 intro)
2021 - Boogie Board 50th Anniversary (1971 intro)
2022 - Frisbee 65th Anniversary (Introduced in 1957 as Pluto Platter)
2023 - Wham-O 75th Anniversary (formed 1948)
2023 - Hula Hoop 65th Anniversary from trademark filing (1958 intro)
2023 - Hacky Sack 40th Anniversary (1983 intro)
2025 - SuperBall 60th Anniversary (1965 intro)
2025 - Trac-Ball 50th Anniversary (1975 intro)
2026 - Slip ‘n Slide 65th Anniversary (1961 intro)
2026 - Boogie Board 55th Anniversary (1971 intro)
FUN FACTS ABOUT WHAM-O PRODUCTS
Fun Facts about Frisbee:
* The Frisbee is one of the very few toys that have sold more than 300M pieces.
* 1998 - The Frisbee® was inducted into the Strong Museum National Toy Industry Hall of Fame.
* It soars, spins, skips, and sails. It flips, and floats, flutters, and flies.
* Frisbee connects people with each other.
* 1957 - Wham-O introduces the Frisbee, known then as the Pluto Platter™ Putt Putt, inspired by the countrywide obsession with the UFO phenomena.
* 1958 - The brand name Frisbee was introduced, influenced by the comic strip called, “Mr. Frisbie” and by the tins from the Frisbie Pie Co.
* 1958 - Wham-O filed for Frisbee trademark.
* c.1964 - Ed Headrick created official Pro Model Frisbee, with a black racing stripe, Olympic Rings, ridges in the upper surface of the disc, and the official weight printed on a gold decal.
* Headrick founded Disc Golf, the Disc Golf Association, now known as professional disc golf Association.
* 1967 - International Frisbee Association was formed by Headrick.
* 1967 - Frisbee Football, where two teams competed on a football size field, started. Later this was known as Ultimate Frisbee, where you scored by catching a Frisbee in the opponents end zone.
* 1974 - World Frisbee Disc Championships were held in the Rose Bowl in front of 50k fans.
* 1974 - At Dodger Stadium, Alex Stein, a 19 year old, ran out into the field during a Dodgers / Red Game with his dog Ashley Whippet and a handful of frisbees. Alex threw, Ashley ran, jumped and caught ... and Canine Frisbee or Disc Dog was born.
* 1976 - Headrick left Wham-O, patented Disc Golf, oversaw construction of 800 disc golf courses in 20 countries.
* By 1982, IFA has over 100K members in 30 countries.
* In 2018 - Wham-O's 70th birthday, 27 unique Frisbees were marketed by Wham-O.
* The Hula Hoop is one of the very few toys that have sold more than 300M pieces.
* 1999 - The Hula Hoop was inducted into the Strong Museum National Toy Industry Hall of Fame.
* The modern Hula Hoop was inspired by bamboo exercise rings that children in Australia were playing with.
* In 1957, 400K bamboo rings were sold in Australia by Toltoys.
* 1958 - 25M Hula Hoops were sold in less than four months after Wham-O's launch!
* 1958 - Hula Hoop was trademarked by Wham-O.
* 1960 - More than 100M units sold by Wham-O in the 2 years after they were introduced, which was $45M in revenue at the time.
* 1965 - Shoop-Shoop, a Hula Hoop with beads trapped inside to make noise was introduced.
* By 2018: Wham-O has more than 20 different Hula Hoops, including classic LEDs, Glow in the Dark, DIY, and hoops with whistles and sounds.
* Wham-O Hula Hoop tricks included: Kill the Buzzard (around the neck), the Natural (around the waist), the Knee Knocker, the Stork, Play War, Skip with the Hula Hoop, Run through it, Giant Horseshoes, Upsy Daisy, Roll and Catch, and Push-o-Hoop.
* During the 1960s, more than 20M Super Balls were sold by Wham-O.
* The Super Ball is on display in The Strong National Museum of Play
* Super Ball was created by a chemical engineer by accident from Zectron.
* 1965 - Zectron Super Balls were introduced by Wham-O. They could bounce back 93% of the distrance from which it was dropped.
* The NFL named the Super Bowl games after Super Ball!
* Once dropped out of a 23rd floor hotel window in Australia, the Super Ball shot back up 15 floors.
* By 2018 - Wham-O expanded the line to include new colors and sizes.
* By 2018 - Over 25M Hacky Sack footbags were sold.
* 1972 - The Footbag (Hacky Sack) was invented by John Stalberger and Mick Marshall and 2M were sold prior to 1983.
* 1979 - Stalberger and Ted Huff formed NHSA, the National Hacky Sack Association.
* 1983 - Wham-O introduced Hacky Sack.
* Wham-O marketed Hacky Sack as a soccer training aid.
* 1984 - World Footbag Association (WFA) was formed in Golden, Colorado.
* 1994 - The International Footbag Players' Association (IFPA) serves as the International governing body.
* 2000 - The International Footbag Committee (IFC) was formed to sanction the rules.
Fun Facts about Slip ’N Slide:
* Robert Carrier invented Slip 'N Slide and called it Aquatic Play Equipment.
* 1961: Wham-O introduced Slip ‘N Slide.
* 9M Slip 'N Slides were sold by Wham-O (1961-1992).
* By 2018: Wham-O had over 30 water slides, some with inflatable features, pools, and water splashes, including Super Slip 'n Slide, Slip 'n Splash, White Water Rapids, Fast Track Racers, Wet Banana, Slip 'n Slide Splash Tunnel Pirate Ship.
* Other Wham-O water hose toys include Aqua Jet and Water Wiggle.
* In 2020, its 60th year on the market, sales soared 180%, before they were sold-out!
* NBC will air Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide, based on Wham-O’s popular Slip 'N Slide, with participants going head to head navigating a series of obstacles in the Spring/Summer 2021. Critical Content, a leading independent nonfiction production studio, developed giant sets on 16 acres for the live-action TV show. Bobby Moynihan, host of Saturday Night Live, will host and there will be celebrity guests. Match-ups will take place in oversized chutes, jumps, and tunnels, including the Big Slipper, the show’s 65-foot-tall slide, with winners getting cash prizes and a chance to compete in a grand ﬁnale event. The unscripted show takes the spirit of the classic backyard slide and transforms it into a real-life water park full of gigantic slippery rides. The first of 10 episodes of Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide is scheduled to premiere on Sunday, August 8, immediately following the closing ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics.
* Tom Morey, a surfer and beach lover in Hawaii, invented the first bodyboard in his backyard on July 7, 1971. Morey borrowed an electric carving knife and a household iron, whittled some scrap polyethylene foam into a small rectangular mat and covered it with newspaper. The first Boogie Board was born, and history was made. He trademarked the name and placed and placed an ad in surfing magazine. By 1977 he was producing 80,000 per year.
* BZ is considered to be the number one high performance board on the market. Bobby Szabad was one of Tom Morey’s first backyard factory workers in the very early days, and one of the first Morey Boogie team riders. While head of production at Morey’s Kransco plant, Bobby left to start his own company, named BZ.
* The first major professional competition was held at the Banzai pipeline with a $5,000 prize purse. Over the years, the Pipeline competition evolved into what has become known as the World Bodyboard Championships. Top surfers from around the world converge on the North Shore of Oahu to compete.
* Churchill – In 1940 Churchill designed and patented the swim fin using vulcanized rubber.
* 1971: Morey Boogie Board was introduced by Tom Morey.
* 1978: Kransco buys rights to Morey Boogie Board.
* 2002: Wham-O buys BZ surf brands from Earth & Ocean Sports.
* 1975 - Wham-O introduced Trac-Ball, which features a racquet that acts as both a basket to catch the ball and a curved scoop to throw it. Air action balls can bank and curve allowing you to throw a curve ball around stationary objects, like trees.
* By 2018 - Trac-Ball added LEDs for night play.
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