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Wham-O

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With over 50 years of heritage behind us and over 70 products that appeal to people of all ages, the Wham-O® brand is synonymous with fun, play and sport.

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Wham-O Headquarters, Emoryville, CA, USA* The Wham-O website says: From the off-the-wall novelty items to classic “basic” toys and sporting goods, WHAM-O® means innovative products that spark the imagination, give people pleasure and hold their interest. Just think about how any boy in the 1950s could have grown up without a WHAM-O Slingshot. That was the product that gave the company, founded in 1948, its distinctive name. When the missile hit its target, it made the sound “WHAM-O”!

The zany founders of WHAM-O®, Arthur “Spud” Melin and Richard Knerr, became known as the gurus of blockbuster fads. A look at the history of WHAM-O brand products provides an interesting and entertaining peek at how some world-renowned products came to be.

We manufacture and market some of the most recognizable consumer brands in the world today, from such classics as Frisbee® Disc’s, Slip ’N Slide® water slides, and Hula Hoop® toy hoops, to cutting-edge outdoor brands like Morey®, Boogie® body boards, Snow Boogie® sleds, and BZ® Pro Boards.

Our on-going commitment is to provide the highest-quality recreational products that bring families, friends, and teammates together, in every season of the year, indoors and out. When it comes to carrying on the tradition of fun, you can count on Wham-O®. *

** Wham-O Inc. is a toy company currently located in California, USA. They are known for marketing many popular toys, including the Hula Hoop, the Frisbee, Slip ‘N Slide, Super Ball, Super Stuff and Trac-Ball.

Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin, two University of Southern California college graduates unhappy with their employment, began the company in 1948 as WHAM-O Mfg. Co. in the Knerr family garage in South Pasadena, California. When they outgrew the garage they rented a building on S. Marengo Ave in Alhambra, California. The company eventually moved its manufacturing plant to neighboring San Gabriel, California.

Their first market idea was a slingshot. The idea came up as the founders hurled meat into the air for the training of pet falcons and hawks. The name Wham-O was used because it was a term the founders used as a sound effect when they released the sling.

Wham-O’s initial success can be seen as a result of the insight of its founders. Knerr and Melin aimed their products directly at kids, going out to playgrounds to reach them. They also did extensive research to find new product ideas, including traveling all over the world.

For many years, the company’s product strategy was to have a stable of eight to twelve simple and inexpensive products, such as Frisbees, Super Balls, and Hula Hoops. New products would be developed and added to the line for a tryout period, and old ones retired (either for a few years or permanently) as their popularity waned. Since the toys weren’t expensive or complicated, they were sold by a wide variety of retailers, from large department stores to corner Five and Dime shops.**

** en.wikipedia .org

photo courtesy Coolcaesar @ en.wikipedia .org


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