When it comes to faddish toys, Wham-O Inc. has produced more big hits than Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. Among the company’s products are the Frisbee, Hula Hoop, Superball, Slip ‘n’ Slide, Hackey Sack and Silly String. Wham-O also counts Boogie Boards and Sea-Doo water sports equipment among its brands.
Wham-O was founded in 1948 by Arthur “Spud” Melin and Richard Knerr and its first product was the Wham-O Slingshot. Melin and Knerr claimed that when a missile fired from their slingshot hit its target, it made the sound “wham-o.” Thus, they named their company Wham-O.
Wham-O remained an independent company until 1982, when it was bought by Kransco Group Cos. Mattel bought Wham-O from Kransco in 1994 and sold it to a group of investors in 1997. In 2006, Wham-O was bought by Cornerstone Overseas Investments, a Hong Kong-based toy manufacturer.