For those kids expecting a gift from Santa in 1988, the toy that everyone wanted, whether they were a kid or a kid at heart was a Koosh ball.
Developed by Scott Stillinger in 1986, the Koosh ball was named because of the sound it made when it hit the ground.
The ball was made from multiple rubber pieces, and was developed in mind for young kids to be able to make it easier for them to play and throw a ball.
Stillinger opened OddzOn Products to produce the Koosh Ball, and brought in his brother-in-law, Mark Button, to work with him. Button had been an employee at Mattel and worked on the marketing of the ball.
The ball was made with 2000 rubber filaments, and came in multiple colours, and soon had glow-in-the-dark filaments as well as metallic filaments and every possible colourful combination for those who wanted multiple Koosh balls.
The Koosh ball became the most popular ball selling in the toys division of stores across North America and eventually the company was sold for a reported $30 million, with 50 different Koosh products available.
For me, the Koosh ball was one of those items that all of a sudden everyone had – it was the gift item of the moment, and then faded away, still popular in some circles, but forever remembered for burning brightly for a short time in the mid 1980s.