Super Soaker water guns are made by Hasbro under the Nerf brand. The toy was invented in 1982 by an engineer named Lonnie Johnson, but was not put into mass production until 1989. They were originally sold under the name Power Drencher, but were later rebranded to Super Soakers in 1991 after a series of TV advertisements. That year over 2 million of the guns were sold.
Super Soaker sales peak in the summer months when children are looking for a way to be entertained outdoors while remaining cool. To date, more than $1 billion dollars’ worth of Super Soakers have been sold throughout the world. The brand has enjoyed such popularity that the term Super Soaker is now often used to describe any type of water gun.
While on the surface the Super Soaker may look like a toy, to a child, it is much more. Many childhood disputes have been solved over the years with an epic Super Soaker battle. Kids in neighborhoods often group off into armies and take their water fights to the streets where they battle it out for bragging rights.
As a result, the Super Soaker brand has released bigger, better guns over the years. The water reservoirs become larger and the pumping mechanisms become more efficient. The goal is always to maximize soakage while minimizing the physical work needed to drench the opponent. Each model of Super Soaker is carefully engineered and tested to meet the strict demands of 9-year-old warlords
In recent years, Super Soakers have seen a renewed surge in popularity, despite the increase in anti-gun sentiments. Though some say Super Soakers encourage violent play, parents see the toys as the anti-screen. They force children outdoors and to interact with one another in real time.
To help alleviate outcry from the anti-gun movement, Nerf makes sure that Super Soakers are always painted bright colors and are not shaped like actual guns. Though they share some components, like a trigger, it would be very difficult to mistake a Super Soaker for an actual gun. Most parents agree that the benefits of social interaction and outdoor play outweigh any negative aspects of a gun-like toy, so it’s safe to say that the Super Soaker is here to stay.