No matter how hard you try to dodge the subject, water balloons will inevitably come up (or at you!) at some point during the summer, especially if you have kids. What’s more fun on a hot July day than dousing your friends and family with a surprise ball of rain?
Josh Malone, an inventor, consultant, and father of eight in Plano, Texas, had lost a few too many minutes of his life filling and tying up water balloons for neighborhood wars, and decided to draw upon his creative background to provide a solution. Enter Bunch o’ Balloons -- Malone’s brand new device that can fill 100 balloons with water in a matter of seconds.
It took a few years to create, but the genius idea immediately scored points among parents everywhere, and has racked up over $300,000 in a few days on Kickstarter.
“They’ve been waiting for it,” Malone tells Ellen’s Good News.
The project’s video explains in detail how the product functions, but basically, the balloons are attached to tubes that are connected to one tube on a hose with an elastic band and screw. After you turn on the hose and fill up the balloons, a simple shake loosens them all, allowing your ammunition to fall into a bucket all tied up and ready for launch.
“It was a bit of a process over several years of filling tiny water balloons, it was very time consuming,” Malone explains. “We tried this out as a prototype and it kind of worked right away… usually it takes a lot more tries and failures.”
While other devices exist to help create water balloons, the most they can handle at a time is 10 balloons. That wouldn't last one round in combat, but 100 gets the battle off to a good start.
Thus, Malone believes Bunch O’ Balloons was worth the effort.
“We just had a lot of fun with it,” Malone says. “A lot of people give up, but I told my kids we were going to get through this pack of 500. Once you get over the hump, it’s a lot of fun.”
Clearly, people agree, as Malone set out to raise $10,000 and has far surpassed his goal. He says he tried going to toy companies initially, but as the product is unproven, investors and manufacturers didn’t want to take the risk.
Instead, over 9,000 anonymous backers are willing to shell out some cash to make summertime that much easier.
“We maybe had a slight hunch that people would get it and appreciate it,” Malone comments. “When you think about it, it has broad appeal. It’s simple. It strikes a chord.”