Super Soaker

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Super Soaker
Super Soaker CPS4100.jpg
Super Soaker CPS 4100
Type Water gun
Inventor Lonnie Johnson
Company
Country United States
Availability 1989–present
Materials Plastic + metal and latex parts
Slogan "Wetter Is Better!" (classic)
"It's Nerf or Nothin'!" (present)
Official website

Super Soaker is a brand of recreational water gun, first sold in 1990 by Larami and now produced by Hasbro under the Nerf brand. Invented by engineer Lonnie Johnson in 1982, the first Super Soaker went on sale in 1989.[1] The Super Soaker 50 was originally called the Power Drencher.[2][3] Rebranding the name to Super Soaker occurred in 1991 together with a series of TV advertisements.

The first Super Soaker blasters utilized manually pressurized air to shoot water with greater power, range, and accuracy than conventional squirt pistols. Super Soakers were popular for many years - so popular, in fact, that the term super soaker is sometimes used generically, to refer to any type of toy pressurized water gun.[citation needed] The Super Soaker brand was further popularized in the 1990s by Michael Jackson, who cited it as one of his favorite toys.[4]

Technology[edit]

Piston Pumper[edit]

Piston water guns have been produced for many years.[5] These guns do not have triggers; they are fired simply by pumping. Although this design feature allows them to reload rapidly, piston pumpers tend to have less range and less power than other designs.

Air Pressure (Pressurized Reservoir)[edit]

Originally made popular by the Super Soaker 50,[6][7] pressurized reservoir systems are still common for small water guns. A water gun using this system is pressurized by air being pumped and compressed into its reservoir. When the trigger is pulled, a valve is opened and the compressed air pushes the water out of the nozzle.[8]
Super Soaker started with two pressurized reservoir water guns, and has continued to produce them in various shapes and sizes.

Air Pressure (Separate Chamber)[edit]

This is a more powerful air pressure system that was also first introduced by Super Soaker. It is designed so that that water is pumped from the reservoir into an empty plastic container. As the water is pumped in, the air sitting inside becomes compressed. When the trigger is pulled, the valve opens and the compressed air forces the water out.[8] The brand first used separate air pressure in 1991 on the Super Soaker 100 and has since used the technology in many other water guns.

Spring-Powered[edit]

Super Soaker has made a few spring-powered water guns. They first made the Quick Blast in 2008. The Quick Blast was a triggerless gun which functioned similarly to piston pumpers, but had a spring-loaded piston inside. The Quick Blast had a firing valve, which automatically opened once a certain pressure was reached. The spring would then push the water out the nozzle.[9]

The Super Soaker Shot Blast, released in 2010, used a system near identical to the Quick Blast. However, it had different styling.[10]

In 2013, Super Soaker produced the Flash Blast. While this blaster was spring-powered, this pistol-sized blaster used a system different from the previous two. Its slide was cocked back once. Then the trigger was pulled, firing a short stream of water. Function of this gun is similar to Nerf guns.[11]

Motorized[edit]

Super Soaker recently made many motorized water guns. In 2011, they released the Thunderstorm, which used an electric pump to push water directly out the nozzle.[12][13] In 2012, Super Soaker made two motorized water guns: The Lightningstorm, a reproduction of the Thunderstorm with added accessories, and the Electrostorm, a smaller motorized gun.[14][15] Each of them required 4 AA batteries to run.

CPS (Constant Pressure System)[edit]

The Constant Pressure System is the most powerful system used by Super Soaker.[16] The user pumps water from the reservoir into a rubber bladder, which expands as more water is forced into it. The stretched rubber exerts a constant pressure on the water, giving the blaster a thick and constant stream throughout the entire shot. In most older models, the resulting blast is forceful enough that recoil can be felt.

Hasbro has implemented the Constant Pressure System in Super Soaker blasters a number of times since completing the takeover of Larami Corp in 2002.[17] The most recent implementation was in the 2011 'Hydro Cannon',[13] while the largest post-takeover pressure chamber (at 900ml) is found in the 2007 'HydroBlitz' blaster.[18][19]

Super Soaker CPS 2000[edit]

The Super Soaker CPS 2000 is a CPS class water gun released in 1996 by Larami. It was the first model in the Constant Pressure System (CPS) line, which initially included only a single blaster. Today, it is a sought-after and revered soaker by enthusiasts and members of the online community. It remains the most powerful stock water blaster sold in stores in terms range and soakage, a title it took from the Super Soaker 300 and has held for 17 years running. The CPS 2000 has gained a reputation for its size and power, since no other water gun comes close to it in terms of power. The CPS 2000 has been criticized for its low field life (how long it can last between refills) depleting its pressure chamber in only 1 second and only being able to fire 4 or 5 such shots before needing to be refilled, and the large number of pumps that it takes to fully pressurize (20-24 depending on version).[20][21]

The original version of the CPS 2000 was released in spring of 1996. Being the first water gun to ever sport a Constant Pressure System (CPS), it began what many refer to as the "third age of water wars" (the first beginning upon the release of the Super Soaker 50 in 1991 and the second after the Super Soaker 300 was released in 1993). The most powerful blaster of its time and still currently unmatched except by homemade water guns, it sports a 25X water output (1X equals 1.2 oz/second).

CPS 2000's warning label.

The CPS 2000 Mk2 was a replacement to the Mk1. This version of the CPS 2000 was lighter, the Mk1 having a pressure chamber with 50% more capacity (30 oz) than the Mk2 (20 oz). sources have reported the Mk1 as having greater shot time, output, and range than the mk2 but the difference is only marginal.

The most visible differences between the two are;

  • The Mk1 has a much longer pressure gauge than the Mk2.
  • The Mk2 has a tethered reservoir cap to prevent loss, the Mk1's is untethered.
  • The pump handle on some Mk2s has a grey disc with a pin visible. This is absent on the Mk1.

Awards[edit]

In 2011, the Nerf Super Soaker Shot Blast was awarded "Outdoor Toy of the Year" at the 11th Annual Toy of the Year Awards, which is held at the American International Toy Fair in New York City.[22][23]

Legal issues[edit]

In 2010, Buzz Bee Toys was successfully sued by Hasbro for patent infringement.[24][25] Hasbro claimed that Buzz Bee Toys infringed on a patent related to its "Super Soaker water toy." Although it is unknown exactly what the dispute was over, it is strongly suggested that Hasbro was suing for the Water Warriors Hydro-Power water guns, which were becoming too similar to Super Soaker's Constant Pressure System. Since then, the Water Warriors line has not contained a single Hydro-Power water gun.[26]

In November 2013, Lonnie Johnson and his company Johnson Research and Development Co. were awarded nearly US$73 million following a dispute with Hasbro over underpaid royalties from 2007 to 2012.[27]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.biography.com/people/lonnie-g-johnson-17112946?page=2
  2. ^ iSoaker.com: History of the Super Soaker
  3. ^ "Who invented the Supersoaker?". Customer Service. Hasbro. 
  4. ^ Michael Jackson.com - It's a Super Soaker!
  5. ^ "Super Soaker Other Pressurization Systems Soaker Evolution Tree". The Armoury. isoaker.com. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "Super Soaker 50". The Armoury. isoaker.com. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Murrie, Steve and Matthew (2007). Every Minute On Earth. Page 172: September 1, 2007. p. 172. ISBN 0439908876. 
  8. ^ a b "How water guns work". Physics. Super Soaker Central. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Super Soaker Quick Blast". iSoaker. iSoaker.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "Super Soaker Shot Blast". iSoaker. iSoaker.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Super Soaker Flash Blast". iSoaker. iSoaker.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Super Soaker Thunderstorm". iSoaker. iSoaker.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "NERF Super Soakers". TheHotToys. TheHotToys.com. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Super Soaker Lightningstorm". iSoaker. iSoaker.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Super Soaker Electrostorm". iSoaker. iSoaker.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  16. ^ iSoaker.com: Armoury -Super Soaker CPS 2000, Manufactured by Larami Ltd., 1996
  17. ^ When and How Did Super Soaker Get “Nerfed”? | iSoaker.com
  18. ^ "Super Soaker Hydro Cannon". iSoaker. iSoaker.com. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  19. ^ Super Soaker HydroBlitz (Aquashock Series) | iSoaker.com
  20. ^ "Stop, and read this article". SSCentral. 2004-08-10. Archived from the original on 2005-02-11. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  21. ^ "Super Soaker CPS 2000". Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  22. ^ Per-Lee, Myra. "The 11 Best Toys of 2011". InventorSpot. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 
  23. ^ "Toy of the Year 2011 Award Winners". TheHotToys. TheHotToys.com. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  24. ^ "Hasbro sues other toy makers over patents". 2 June 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  25. ^ Skariachan, Dhanya (2010-11-30). "UPDATE 1-Hasbro wins patent case against Buzz Bee". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-05-20. 
  26. ^ "Water Gun / Water Blaster Product Analyses Listings / Soaker Database (water warriors blasters)". The Armoury. isoaker.com. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  27. ^ Seward, Christopher (2013-11-06). "Super Soaker creator awarded $72.9M from Hasbro". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2013-11-08. 

External links[edit]