Location: Los Angeles, CA
Year Founded: 1948
Status: Sold for $80M (2006)
Co-Founder: Richard Knerr and Arthur Melin
Childhood friends and USC alumni Richard Knerr and Arthur Melin left indelible marks on numerous childhood memories with their business venture, Wham-O!, which produced iconic toys like the Hula Hoop and Frisbee. The Knerr and Melin’s first product was a slingshot, deriving their company name from the sound projectiles made when hitting their targets, but the duo hit it big with the Hula Hoop in 1958 and released the Frisbee that same year. Shortly thereafter, they introduced the Slip ‘N Slide and the Superball before releasing their final popular fad toy—the Hacky Sack—in 1980.