It seems I was not the only one to have invented VacMan – to find an application for vacuumatic technology in the toy industry.
The wife of an industry friend and colleague had used a vacuumatic pillow in her physical therapy work for years. One day she suggested to to her husband, unbeknownst to me, that one could make a toy using this principle. My friend was not overly supportive of his wife's product idea, but he did agree to employ an affiliated toy designer on the west coast to mock something up out of a rubber glove. It leaked a bit, worked fair to middlin', and could be posed with the middle finger extended and others curled down. We never outgrow our adolescent humor, do we?
A little while later, my friend whose wife had come up with the idea that he pooh-poohed did a double take at Toy Fair, when he crossed the 9th floor bridge and saw the big, splashy intro that CapToys was giving to our VacMan product – the new archenemy of Stretch Armstrong. His wife had been on to something, alright, but a day late and a dollar short.
We had pitched the product for years before finally showing to the legendary John Osher, of Spin Pop, and later Spin Brush toothbrushes. He was one of the industry's great impresarios.
My friend's wife later was among the first to identify Harry Potter as a property worth paying attention to, though that license later went to a company other than her husband's, as well.