The Larami Corporation was a toy company established in by David W. Ring in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1959.[1] Larami produced licensed toys based on several movies and television shows. The toys were manufactured in Hong Kong and Japan, were often of low quality, and were sold on racks in grocery store toy aisles for less than a dollar. By the 1980s, Larami had a growing water gun product line, and launched the Super Soaker brand in 1991. In 1995, Larami was acquired by Hasbro Inc, who changed the name of the company to Larami Inc. before retiring the name in 2002.[2]

Larami Corp.
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryToys
Founded1959
Defunct2002
SuccessorNerf
ProductsWater guns, action figures
ParentHasbro

HistoryEdit

In 1947, David W. Ring and his brother founded Ring Brothers Toy Wholesale, selling toys to retailers out of the back of his car.[1] Ring founded the Larami Corporation in 1959 after being introduced to toy imports during a trip to Japan earlier that year.[1] Larami specialized in low-cost, low-quality licensed toys based on popular movies and television shows during the 1960s and 1970s, toy guns, and toy water guns.[3][4] During the 1980s, Larami expanded its water gun line, licensing designs for a battery-operated water gun from inventor Alan Amron in 1984.[5][6] By 1987, Alan Davis and Myung Song had become co-owners of Larami.[7]

At the 1989 North American International Toy Fair in New York City, Davis and Song met former Jet Propulsion Lab engineer Lonnie Johnson. After being impressed by his prototype of a pressurized water-air reservoir, Larami licensed his designs and developed the Power Drencher. In 1991, the Power Drencher line was relaunched as the Super Soaker.[8][9] Talk To Me Products filed suit against Larami in 1993, alleging that the Super Soaker infringed on their 1978 patent for a battery-powered water gun. On March 11, 1993, Talk To Me Products' claims were dismissed,[10] as their patent referred to a water gun "having a chamber therein". Instead, the Super Soaker had a detachable chamber at the top of the water gun.[11]

Larami was acquired by Hasbro Inc in 1995.[12] Hasbro continued to manufacture Super Soakers under the Larami name until 2002, when Hasbro began marketing the Super Soaker as part of the Nerf line.[9]

ProductsEdit

Larami toys were produced based on several movies, television shows, etc.[3] By the 1980s, Larami Corp. had a growing water gun product line.[2] It was Larami Corp. that eventually marketed and sold the Power Drencher, rebranded as the Super Soaker in 1991[2] which was based on the pressurized water-air reservoir invented and developed by the former Jet Propulsion Engineer Dr. Lonnie Johnson and Larami designer William Raucci.[9]

MoviesEdit

Television showsEdit

Battlestar Galactica Cylon Bubble MachineEdit

 
Battlestar Galactica Cylon Bubble Machine in its packaging

In 1978, Larami created a Cylon soap bubble toy called the Battlestar Galactica Cylon Bubble Machine to coincide with the television series of the same name.[13] In the same year, a commercial was also made for the product featuring its use in dispensing "big bunches of bubbles"[15] and a jingle.[13][15] The jingle was described in one review as "amazingly goofy with a chorus yelping, 'Battlestar Galacticaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ...CYLON BUBBLE MACHINE!'"[16] and in an interview Re-imagined Series comics writer Greg Pak as said "I still periodically find myself humming the tune song [sic] to the Cylon Bubble Machine commercial."[17] In a Los Angeles Times article covering Battlestar Galactica's influence on Facebook, the toy's Facebook Fan Page is noted alongside the book The Science of Battlestar Galactica's.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c PSU Administration. "David W.Ring Family Scholarship created to help entrepreneurship students". Penn State University. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Pre-Super Soaker History".
  3. ^ a b "Larami Toys". Retrieved 2008-08-25.
  4. ^ Toynfo "Toy Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2008-08-25.
  5. ^ Porges, Seth. "The Best Battery Powered Gun". The Top 6 Water Guns of All Time. Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  6. ^ Green, Amanda. "History Of The Water Gun". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  7. ^ Cook, Bonnie. "Alvin Davis, 78, businessman behind the Super Soaker". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  8. ^ Walsh, Tim (2005). Timeless toys : classic toys and the playmakers who created them. Kansas City, Mo.: Andrews McMeel Pub. ISBN 9780740755712.
  9. ^ a b c "History of the Super Soaker :: :: iSoaker.com". www.isoaker.com. Retrieved 2018-09-04.
  10. ^ "Larami Corp. v. Amron, 27 U.S.P.Q.2d 1280 (E.D. Pa. 1993)". 3 March 2018.
  11. ^ Eastwood, Brian. "The case of the Super Soaker and the chamber therein". MIT Sloan.
  12. ^ Miller, Greg (29 July 1999). "Little Squirt Turns Big Shot". Los Angeles Times.
  13. ^ a b c David Moss. "Larami". Battlestar Galactica Memorabilia. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  14. ^ "Space 1999 Merchandise Guide: Larami". Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  15. ^ a b goldcylon (9 January 2007). "YouTube - Battlestar Galactica Cylon Bubble Machine Commercial". YouTube. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  16. ^ "#89 BATTLESTAR GALACTICA". Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  17. ^ Jason Berek-Lewis (5 April 2006). "Battlestar Galactica Comics Are Dynamite!". Broken Frontier. Archived from the original on 9 May 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  18. ^ Jevon Phillips (7 January 2009). "'Battlestar Galactica' countdown: Facebook was possibly built by Cylons". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 August 2010.

External linksEdit