Imagine coming up with an idea for a useless item. Now imagine the American public goes gaga for the idea to the tune of 200 million of these useless items being sold.
Meet Dr. Fad, Ken Hakuta. He invented the wacky wall walker. Throw the small plastic device against a wall and it slowly slithers down the wall.
Dr. Fad was a guest of Live On Five in 1988. Roy Wesissenger chuckles his way through the four-minute segment as Dr. Fad shows item after item; a shark hat, a hug in a box, a fake leg and a convertible hat.
Americans have had a love affair with fads (think mood rings and pet rocks), Hakuta kids with Weissenger that a fad can't be too useful to too expensive to produce.
"They're like college pranks you pull on a national level," says Hakuta. "Everyone goes hysterics for a while and the next morning nobody wants them, but meanwhile you've made millions."