A Brief History of the Super Soaker
The toy we love, from point-and-shoot to backpack-sized reservoirs.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: June 20th, 2012
ow that it's summer, it's not uncommon to walk down the street and see kids playing in sprinklers, splashing in kiddie pools, and having water-gun fights. And frankly, we best identify with the water-gun shooters, because let's face it: a fight-to-the-soaking (not death, of course) with the most powerful guns on the market is by far the most fun summer activity of the three. But they weren't always the mega-drenching carnage-bringers they are now.
Water guns have been around for a very long time. The earliest known example is the "Liquid Pistol," made in 1896. Early water guns were very simple. They used just a small trigger and a small reservoir to hold a few tablespoons of water—enough to annoy a potential victim, but nothing that would really get you in trouble with Mom. Nowadays, there are handfuls of different mechanisms used in water guns. The most popular is the air-pressurized reservoir, made famous by the Super Soaker brand.
With the air-pressurized reservoir, the water is pressurized by compressed air, and when the user opens the nozzle, the water comes out in a steady stream.
The first Super Soakers hit the market in 1989, and the initial line became popular in 1991, with the SS30, the SS50, and the SS100. Three more models were released in 1992 and in 1994 four more came out. The guns were the most powerful waterguns anyone had seen before, and their popularity hasn't much waned.
Starting in 1994, the company started production of the XP (eXtra Power) models, and released 26 different models between 1994 and 2001, when production of the XP models ceased.
Super Soaker has had other models since they started, including: Constant Pressure System, Super Charger, Monster, Max D (Maximum Distance), EES (Enhanced Electronic Soakage, clearly a technical term), Soaker Tag, Soaker Tag Elite, Max Infusion, Oozinator (this one was controversial because kids had the option to shoot water or "bio-ooze" and resembled an alien head), and Aqua Shock.
This year alone, Hasbro/Nerf released a new line of Super Soakers that incorporated design elements from current Nerf guns. The 2011-2012 line includes eight new models, while the company's perennial product list includes more than 10.
In 2010, Hasbro sued Buzz Bee Toys for patent violations and won—BBT had been using Super Soaker's patented Constant Pressure System for a few years, and Hasbro won the case. Buzz Bee was banned from producing certain water guns.
Interestingly enough, the brand was made popular in the 1990s by none other than Michael Jackson, who said that the Super Soaker guns were "one of his favorite toys."
Did you guys have a favorite Super Soaker? Do you or your kids still use them? If you're in the market for one for your family, here are a few of the popular ones out today:
Super Soaker: Soaker Wars Bottle Blitz
Use it as is, or expand it with an ordinary soda bottle.
Nerf Super Soaker Scatter Blast
Nerf Super Soaker Tornado Strike
Water blaster comes with spinning barrel, detachable stock, tactical rails and a water clip. Pump-handle water blaster blasts a spinning stream of water up to 20 feet away! Detachable stock adjusts to your reach!.
This powerful pump-handle blaster's spinning barrel lets you fire a spinning water stream to drench your targets!
Super Soaker Max D 6000 Water Blaster
Awesome air-powered, pump-pressurized blaster features a four-way rotating nozzle. For four different stream widths, a power gauge to track your blasting power, and a large capacity tank so you can soak more and refill less
This blaster even comes with a power gauge.
Product images and information from Amazon.com