10 “Ridiculous” Inventions That Became Universally Popular

Published October 6th, 2020 - 11:50 GMT

Some inventions that evaded our life in the past era are essential, and we can’t imagine life without them anymore. Some inventions made our life much easier, saved us time and efforts while others solved problems that we didn’t know existed until we used them. On the other hand, some “inventions” were not as important and although they might be considered “silly inventions”, they became popular as people enjoyed using them.

Here are 10 silly inventions that became widely famous!

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1. Silly Putty

1. Silly Putty: Silly Putty was first made by General Electric engineer James Wright from silicone oil and boric acid. The fact that it could bounce was interesting but no one could find a practical application for it until a toy shop owner got her hands on it and immediately saw that it could be used for entertainment rather than industry. Silly Putty didn't become immediately popular. A marketing consultant nearly went bankrupt because of the investment he put into this product until a newspaper story in 1950 created a huge demand for the product. It's been available ever since, bouncing on floors and picking up newsprint for decades.

2. ThighMaster

2. ThighMaster: ThighMaster is an exercise equipment that first gained popularity in the early 1990s. It consists mainly of two pieces of metal tube bent in a loop and connected with a hinge, and it is supposed to help firm and shape the inner thighs. Suzanne Somers was the face of the ThighMaster who contributed to its popularity.

3. Pocket Fisherman

3. Pocket Fisherman: The pocket fisherman seems to solve a problem you didn't know you had. As its name implies, the product is a compact fishing rod that has a notch which can be easily attached to your belt or wrist strap. It has a compartment in the handle that holds hooks, sinkers and other small gear. It can fold up to fit into small compartments.

4. Furbies

4. Furbies: The Furby is an electronic toy that would initially speak its own language but gradually learn English as you interact with it. It could also converse with other Furby toys and use motion sensors to detect when it was being touched or moved around. It was launched in 1998 and gained large popularity at that time.

5. Shake Weight

5. Shake Weight: The Shake Weight consists of a handle and two weights, but it's not a dumbbell. The weights attach to the ends of the central handle via springs. Users should hold the handle in the center and shake it to get a workout. The advertisement contributed to its populararity as according to the ad, a workout for six minutes is equivalent to 5 times working out with normal weights.

6. Roomba

6. Roomba: The Roomba is a vacuum cleaner robot launched in 2002. It was funny to have a robotic disk that rolled around, bumping into things and vacuuming the floor. People laughed at it in the beginning but it was met with success. The engineers behind iRobot developed robots for space exploration and defense projects.

7. BeDazzler

7. BeDazzler: This invention was probably the “fashionistas” favorite device in the 80s as it gave them the opportunity to customize their outfits in a costless, easy way. BeDazzler resembles a manual stapler. You insert a setting and stone in the device, position the fabric or your piece of clothes just right and press down to set your stones. And voila! You got yourself a new customized outfit.

8. The Hula Chair

8. The Hula Chair: The Hula Chair is a chair with a motorized seat that moves in a circular motion as you sit on it. The commercials advertising this product showed people performing normal activities, including office work, while sitting on it doing simultaneous workout and getting massage all at the same time. According to vendors, the chair is meant to help you develop stronger abdominal muscles while simultaneously giving you an invigorating massage in the process.

9. The Flowbee

9. The Flowbee: The Flowbee creates an easy way to cut hair. It is an invention that combines electric shears with a vacuum cleaner. The device pulls your hair through suction and trims it with recessed blades. The vacuum collects all the trimmings. the flowbee advertisement promoted it as a cure to male baldness!

10. The Snuggie

10. The Snuggie: It’s a blanket with sleeves. It wasn't the only nor the first sleeved blanket on the market, but its ad campaigns that included Ellen DeGeneres and Jon Stewart made it popular.

1. Silly Putty
2. ThighMaster
3. Pocket Fisherman
4. Furbies
5. Shake Weight
6. Roomba
7. BeDazzler
8. The Hula Chair
9. The Flowbee
10. The Snuggie
1. Silly Putty
1. Silly Putty: Silly Putty was first made by General Electric engineer James Wright from silicone oil and boric acid. The fact that it could bounce was interesting but no one could find a practical application for it until a toy shop owner got her hands on it and immediately saw that it could be used for entertainment rather than industry. Silly Putty didn't become immediately popular. A marketing consultant nearly went bankrupt because of the investment he put into this product until a newspaper story in 1950 created a huge demand for the product. It's been available ever since, bouncing on floors and picking up newsprint for decades.
2. ThighMaster
2. ThighMaster: ThighMaster is an exercise equipment that first gained popularity in the early 1990s. It consists mainly of two pieces of metal tube bent in a loop and connected with a hinge, and it is supposed to help firm and shape the inner thighs. Suzanne Somers was the face of the ThighMaster who contributed to its popularity.
3. Pocket Fisherman
3. Pocket Fisherman: The pocket fisherman seems to solve a problem you didn't know you had. As its name implies, the product is a compact fishing rod that has a notch which can be easily attached to your belt or wrist strap. It has a compartment in the handle that holds hooks, sinkers and other small gear. It can fold up to fit into small compartments.
4. Furbies
4. Furbies: The Furby is an electronic toy that would initially speak its own language but gradually learn English as you interact with it. It could also converse with other Furby toys and use motion sensors to detect when it was being touched or moved around. It was launched in 1998 and gained large popularity at that time.
5. Shake Weight
5. Shake Weight: The Shake Weight consists of a handle and two weights, but it's not a dumbbell. The weights attach to the ends of the central handle via springs. Users should hold the handle in the center and shake it to get a workout. The advertisement contributed to its populararity as according to the ad, a workout for six minutes is equivalent to 5 times working out with normal weights.
6. Roomba
6. Roomba: The Roomba is a vacuum cleaner robot launched in 2002. It was funny to have a robotic disk that rolled around, bumping into things and vacuuming the floor. People laughed at it in the beginning but it was met with success. The engineers behind iRobot developed robots for space exploration and defense projects.
7. BeDazzler
7. BeDazzler: This invention was probably the “fashionistas” favorite device in the 80s as it gave them the opportunity to customize their outfits in a costless, easy way. BeDazzler resembles a manual stapler. You insert a setting and stone in the device, position the fabric or your piece of clothes just right and press down to set your stones. And voila! You got yourself a new customized outfit.
8. The Hula Chair
8. The Hula Chair: The Hula Chair is a chair with a motorized seat that moves in a circular motion as you sit on it. The commercials advertising this product showed people performing normal activities, including office work, while sitting on it doing simultaneous workout and getting massage all at the same time. According to vendors, the chair is meant to help you develop stronger abdominal muscles while simultaneously giving you an invigorating massage in the process.
9. The Flowbee
9. The Flowbee: The Flowbee creates an easy way to cut hair. It is an invention that combines electric shears with a vacuum cleaner. The device pulls your hair through suction and trims it with recessed blades. The vacuum collects all the trimmings. the flowbee advertisement promoted it as a cure to male baldness!
10. The Snuggie
10. The Snuggie: It’s a blanket with sleeves. It wasn't the only nor the first sleeved blanket on the market, but its ad campaigns that included Ellen DeGeneres and Jon Stewart made it popular.