Inventors: Neil Rabens, Chuck Foley, Reyn Guyer
Company: Milton Bradley
Object of the game: "The game that ties you up in knots" requires players to move their hands or feet to various spots on the mat, as determined by the Twister spinner. The last player to stay upright on the mat wins.
History: Reyn Guyer was working for his dad’s design company when he came up with a back-to-school promotion for a brand of shoe polish. The promotion became a game called King Footsie, which used the players as game pieces. He took it to 3M, but the company rejected the game. Reyn and his father stuck with the idea and brought in game developers Chuck Foley and Neil Rabens who refined King Footsie into what ultimately became Twister. Milton Bradley bought it with high expectations but had trouble selling it. The company decided to discontinue it, but no one told its PR company, which had pitched the idea to The Tonight Show. Johnny Carson played the game on air with guest Eva Gabor on May 3, 1966, making it an instant hit.
Updated versions: Twister has been released in several special editions, including a Hannah Montana version and a Girl Talk version.
Trivia: Originally rejected by the public, Twister's sales have now topped 70 million.