It climbs down stairs and that's about it. But that didn't mean nobody wanted one. In fact, the 87-foot piece of wire three inches in diameter and two inches high when flattened was driving kids crazy.
In the time following World War 2, people across the country fell in love with a toy developed by Richard James. Know what it was? Everyone knows it's slinky.
The slinky originated from James’ experience as a shipbuilder when a coil spring he was working with fell off a shelf and began to gyrate and make slithering movements as it moved across the floor.
Photo Credit: http://www.toyhalloffame.org
The spring appealed to his curiosity and he devised a plan to create a toy out of it. He went from store to store and was rejected by all of them until he found a small shop that agreed to take four dozen units on consignment.
But before James got home the toy had sold out and the shopkeeper was begging him for several more.
James and his wife set out producing and selling the slinky full-time and over the Christmas season, the toy became a major hit selling out at Gimble's Department store in Philadelphia.
He sold almost 14 million units over the next 10 years and it’s estimated that over 250 million have been sold to date as Slinky’s continue to make it on Christmas wish lists everywhere.