|Charles F. (Chuck) Foley||Neil Rabens|
But there is an other name which you will find if you look into the books. It is Reyn Guyer. He gets the money. He kicked Chuck Foley and Neil Rabens out as they were the employees of Reyn's father. Unluckily for him he did not invented Twister, but he would have liked so. Although he always says he did, the United States Patent office says there is no Twister patent or anything related on his name.
Yeah! Well, Milton Bradley's got a def one. It's a Twister! (Twister! Twister! Twister!) Yeah, all the girls and homeboys Playin' Twister! (Twister! Twister! Twister!) Spin the spinner and call the shot. Twister ties you up in a knot. That's Twister. Yeah, Twister! Check it! Right foot blue! (Right foot blue!) Left hand red! (Left hand red!) Left! Right! Yellow! Blue! Green! Yeah, Twister! Now, everybody's chillin' With the Twister. (Twister!) Wherever things are illin', You'll find Twister! (Twister! Twister!) That's Twister. Yeah, Twister! Yeah buddy! You gotta get it. Yeah Twister! From M.B.!
The company's fear of public criticism and its own skepticism about its potential for success were obliterated when Johnny Carson demonstrated the game on the "Tonight Show". And it didn't hurt matters that Eva Gabor, wearing a low-cut gown, was one of Johnny's guests that night.
With Eva splayed out on all fours on the polkadot vinyl mat, Johnny twirled the spinner and took his turn. When he climbed on top of Eva, the studio audience went into hysterics, screaming and laughing. Milton Bradley executives knew immediatly they had a huge hit on their hands. More than three million copies of Twisters were sold during its first year of release.
Skill-and-action games were popular because they intrigued both adults and children. They satisfied a kid's natural tendency to by hyperactive, and made a unique addition to adult parties - after all, grown-ups need to have fun, too.
Rick Polizzi and Fred Schaefer, Spin Again, Board Games from the Fifties and Sixties, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA 94103, 1991 ISBN 0-87701-830-8, p 116-117
Twister was the subject of a huge publicity campaign when it was introduced in 1966. After Johnny Carson and Eva Gabor hooked themselves together in front of millions of viewers on the "Tonight" show in May of that year, the rush was on to buy the game. Considering the simplicity of its design (the vinyl sheet was the greatest expense of the package), Twister has been a profit-making dream for Milton Bradley.
The goal of Twister was to outlast opponents by stretching and entwining your body like a human pretzel around a large vinyl sheet emblazoned with multicolored circles, without falling down. With more than two players, the vinyl sheet got so crowded that the results were often hilarious, and sometimes downright lewd.
Other companies studied Milton Bradley's success with the teen-oriented Twister, and came up with goofier variations on the theme. Parker Brothers created Funny Bones, a "social interaction" game that had cards with nursery rhyme commands like "head bone connected to the elbow bow," or "back bone connected to the hand bone." Players did what the cards said, often resulting in comical poses.
Gil Asakawa and Leland Rucker, The Toy Book, Alfred A. Knopf, 1992, New York, ISBN 0-394-58076-1, p 178-179 http://gillers.com/toybook.htmIntroduction to The Toy Book.
Pretzel was picked up by the Milton Bradley company, who, against Guyer's wishes, changed the name to Twister. But even with the name change, the game still had trouble once it got to market. Major retailers balked, not sure where it fit in or if customers would understand it. Company fears that they might have a huge flop on their hands vanished, however, on May 3, 1966, when Twister was featured on 'The Tonight Show'. Helping matters was the fact that one of Carson's guests that night was Eva Gabor. All it took was one shot of Eva on her hands and knees, with Johnny climbing over her, and no longer was there any doubt what this game was all about. Further proof: during that first year alone, more than three million copies were sold.
David Hoffman, Kid stuff, great toys from our childhood, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA 94103, 1996 ISBN 0-8118-1162-X, $ 15.95, p 39
Dr. Toy at www.drtoy.com Toy History
Last Update: 2000-12-22