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Crab Orchard, Ky.— June 30, 2023 — Spud 'N Rich, a company named after renowned creators of beloved American toys such as the Hula Hoop®, Frisbee®, and Super Ball®, is revolutionizing active indoor play with a product that transforms any room into a fun-filled amusement park. Chuck Knerr, son of Rich Knerr, is proud to present WhirlyGoRound—an indoor thrill-ride designed for boys and girls aged four to eight.

This unique amusement, phys-activated by children's core muscles and driven by the Earth's gravitational pull, brings Spud and Rich's brand of phys-active fun to a new generation. WhirlyGoRound is the embodiment of an idea that Chuck's father brought home for him to test at the tender age of 5. While Spud and Rich were occupied with the tremendous success of Slip 'N Slide® that summer, the concept was shelved. However, Chuck never forgot, fondly recalling it as "the funnest toy they never made!" Now, after extensive redesigning, Chuck has transformed the original idea into a beautifully hand-crafted, sustainable bamboo toy—a true heirloom-quality creation designed to provide endless fun for years to come, for siblings and their friends alike.

In a toy world dominated by touch-screens and digital games that encourage sedentary lifestyles, WhirlyGoRound stands apart as a physically active pastime that rewards children with exhilarating real-world experiences. The spinning motion, adored by kids, offers vestibular stimulation that enhances brain development, improving balance, coordination, impulse control, and concentration in the classroom.

"With WhirlyGoRound, we aim to reignite the spirit of phys-active play that Spud and Rich brought to the world," said Chuck Knerr. "Our toy is a testament to the timeless joy of physical movement, fostering holistic development while creating lasting memories of childhood. It's a toy that not only provides thrilling fun but also contributes positively to a child's growth."

WhirlyGoRound has garnered attention for its commitment to sustainability and craftsmanship. Each piece is meticulously handcrafted from sustainable bamboo, ensuring durability and minimizing the environmental impact. With its timeless design and enduring quality, WhirlyGoRound is a toy that can be passed down to siblings, and even the next generation. To learn more about WhirlyGoRound or to purchase this enchanting phys-active thrill-ride, please visit


About Spud 'n Rich:

Spud and Rich, the creative minds behind iconic American toys like the Hula Hoop, Frisbee, Slip 'N Slide, and Super Ball, have a legacy of bringing joy to families across the nation. With their latest innovation, WhirlyGoRound, Chuck Knerr, son of Rich Knerr, continues their tradition of phys-active fun; to foster the development of children's God-given abilities through physically active play.


Toymaker's Son puts new spin on old idea.

it was fun

Spud and Rich created more than just a company in Wham-O®—they built a close-knit family. Whether you were an office employee or worked in the factory, walking through Dad's open door meant being greeted by name and welcomed with open arms. The sense of belonging and connection extended throughout the entire organization.

Even after the business transitioned to new owners and moved overseas, the spirit of the Wham-O family endured. Former employees would gather twice a year for heartwarming lunches at a local cafeteria, reminiscing about cherished memories and embracing the fellowship that felt like home. Despite living out of state, Chuck made it a point to attend these reunions multiple times. Listening to the affectionate stories about his dad and Spud, he couldn't help but feel a mix of joy and sadness, knowing how much they all missed working together. It was a poignant reminder that something truly special had slipped away.

Now, Spud 'N Rich aspires to create a new family—a community of parents and children united by a shared love of fun and play. Just as Wham-O® once fostered a sense of togetherness, Spud'N Rich aims to recreate that warm and inclusive environment. With Whirly•Go•Round as the catalyst, they invite everyone to join this new chapter and experience the joy of being part of a fun-loving family once again. Together, let's create lasting memories and forge lifelong connections.


without Spud and Rich

Wham-O is still in business, albeit in the shadow of their glory days. Spud and Rich sold their company in 1982. There have been five different owners since, including Mattel, that haven't understood the essence of the brand: Constant product innovation that brings kids and parents joy.


How the Knerr and Melin kids would look forward to dad coming home with a new fun idea. What Spud and Rich looked for as their kids played with the toys.

Not all the toy ideas were winners. How Instant Fish was bigger than Hula Hoop but was dead on arrival. Why even a celebrity couldn't change the fate of Poke-A-Bone. What was a mink stole for your navel?!

Why the Frisbee Pie company story is wrong. How Super Ball was the inspiration for the Super Bowl. Was there a Disney connection? Um, Water Weenie?!

Kids are being sucked into an artificial world of digital distractions, Resulting in shorter attention spans, hyperactivity and inability to regulate emotions. Physactive Fun and Vestibular stimulation are therapeutic and help ground children in the real world. WhirlyGoRound makes the real world real fun.

Video games condition young brains to expect immediate gratification which leaves them unprepared for real life. Learning to spin on WhirlyGoRound is not only thrilling, it gives them a sense of accomplishment in the real world. That's so important for developing a work ethic and responsibilities.

Kids love to spin because it feels good. Spinning feels good because it provides powerful vestibular stimulation that enhances balance, coordination, spatial awareness, ability to focus on tasks and even the ability to concentrate in class. It's thought that vestibular stimulation helps young brains develop, probably why it feels good. Also why it doesn't feel good for adults!


Fostering the Development of Children's God-given Abilities Through Physically Active Play.

IMAGES & VIDEO available in hi-res


The Knerr patio where Chuck tested the WhirlyGoRound prototype.

Chuck sold Slip 'N Slide® door-to-door that summer.

"Spud was the brother Dad never had so he felt like my uncle," said Chuck.

Spud and Rich twirling Hula Hoops (from TIME Sept 1958)

TIME magazine 1958. There had never been such demand for any product. In April they couldn't make them fast enough. By September, you couldn't give them away because every household had one or two.

Spud and Rich playing around at work (from LIFE Dec. 1965).

LIFE magazine 1965. The year of Super Ball®. A very specific recipe for cooking rubber resulted in a ball that would seemingly bounce forever and if you threw it down hard enough, might go into orbit.

Spud and Rich playing around at work (from LIFE Dec. 1965).

The LIFE photographer brought a model (secretary) to play it straight while the "boys" played. They're not your typical 'Man in the Gray Flannel Suit' businessmen.

Before they made toys, Spud and Rich made Sporting Goods. Their first product was a wooden slingshot sold by mail order.

Practicing with another product (Sportsman Crossbow), they made everything fun.

They started Wham-O® by making slingshots in Chuck's grandparents' garage.

On Spud's desk are Hula Hoop®, Monster Magnet® and Willie. Rich is cocking an Air Blaster while Spud holds a Boomerang.

The Frisbee® on the desk holds the Kleenex 'targets,' which Spud tossed in the air for Rich to shoot.

Spud was caught in the act, spraying co-workers with Silly String®.

In the Knerr's back yard, Chuck is piloting Aqua Jet while his sister Lori cheers.

In the Melin's front yard, Rich directs a photographer as they shoot a commerical for Monster Bubble. Chuck is watching and learning.

Children playing on a Slip 'N Slide on Spud's front lawn.

Also at the Melin's, his daughters and neighbor kids were featured on the Slip 'N Slide® box.

Water Wiggle was another summer water toy known for "cool splashing fun."

Spud and Rich playing with bright pink Super Stuff

Super Stuff was a powder created by an oil company to prime their wells but it didn't work. Spud and Rich saw a gooey bit of fun.

A big day for everyone as the millionth Super Ball came off the assembly line.

Beginning in 1976, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum held an annual Frisbee® Day on the mall in Washington DC.

Rich in the Smithsonian, taking in the Frisbee® display.

Spud and Rich were invited to speak on Frisbee® Day.

IMAGES & VIDEO available in hi-res


3 year old boy spinning on WhirlyGoRound.
Girl spinning on Whirly•Go•Round