Traveling nationwide, attending numerous tradeshows and conventions such as the National Aquatic Conference, Tim Leefeldt, architect and inventor, is drawing attention to his next generation, handball size water toy, and educating attendees on the innovative future of water sports. The WaterRipper, reminding customers of summer fun with its red, white and blue design, looks like a ball, but skips like a rock and catches like a bag. So what is it? It’s a water absorbing bag, different because of its patented density design, low profile skip pattern and water absorbing properties.
The concept has been 23 years in the making, but two years ago Leefeldt saw successfully marketed water ball products on store shelves, and began the patent process for his design. He then brought it to market to see how it would hold up against his competitors. Leefeldt explains his ambition to bring his water toy design to market, commenting, “I couldn’t play with today’s standard water ball. I couldn’t catch it, it went too far, and I spent more time chasing it than playing with it.”
Marketed for ages five and up as a water toy, Leefeldt is also noticing adult interest, as the water toy carries an adult attitude. Recognizing the cross interest in sales, the WaterRipper is not only sold in toy and hobby shops, but can be found in pool stores, as well as surf and mountaineering shops. For those independent retailers looking for a new summer favorite, Leefeldt’s distributor, USA Pool Toy, is selling the WaterRipper at a wholesale price of $3.50, with a minimum order of a dozen. Leefeldt also sells directly via his website, at a retail price of $9.95.
In keeping up with more than today’s summer fun trends, Leefeldt has invested in an iPhone app to promote his product. According to Portio Research, Leefeldt could possibly be marketing to 256 million users by the end of 2015 with his app. The purpose of the app is to provide users with a 30 level game, demonstrating the different uses of the WaterRipper. Users will also be able to purchase the water toy from the app and be eligible for a discount, if a position is earned on the game’s leader board.
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