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Full series and process: 90s TOYpography
In 1982, a NASA engineer named Lonnie Johnson, had the idea of making a new type of heat pump that worked off water alone (instead of Freon gas, like the rest of them). When he switched on the pump, water fired out, and he said to himself, "this would make a great water gun!"
So Johnson made a prototype gun out of Plexiglas with room for an air pressure chamber and water reservoir inside. He tried and failed to work with two toy companies before he met with Larami Toys in 1989. Johnson wowed the company president by accurately shooting paper cups off a table from across the room, and Larami took it on. In 1990, the water gun was released under the name “Power Drencher" and sales were virtually non-existent. Then some genius in marketing called it the "Super Soaker" in 1991 and it sold 2 million in one year.
In 1996, Larami introduced the Constant Pressure System (CPS) line of Super Soakers, which included the CPS 2000 Mark 1 — perhaps the most powerful water gun ever made by a toy company. It was so powerful that there is an urban legend that someone’s eye popped out of the socket after they were hit in the face at close range. Larami quietly discontinued the Mark 1 with a weaker gun. Now the CPS 2000 Mark 1 sells for over $300 on Ebay.
I loved my Super Soaker 50 so much, I just got rid of it a couple years ago. I was in love with that thing. My brothers and I didn't have water gun fights until the Super Soaker came out and changed the game completely.
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