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Kid Invents Water Talkie

Richie with his water talkie.
Richie with his water talkie.
The water talkie is perfect for shark warnings.
The water talkie is perfect for shark warnings.

10 year-old Richie Stachowski was snorkeling for the first time with his dad in Maui. Excited by some exotic sea turtles and eels swimming by, Richie quickly became frustrated when he couldn't get his dad's attention to show him. For the rest of the family vacation Richie began brainstorming - scribbling notes on coasters in the hotel room. When they returned home he searched the internet for information about underwater talking devices. Then he invented his own.

Three months and $267 later, after tests in the bathtub and fish tank, Richie pitched his water talkies to Toys "R" Us. Richie had invented a toy that allows people to talk to each other underwater. Words don't come out clearly and you have to be within a certain range to hear but it's one of a kind. His two hour speech resulted in his water talkies being placed in every Toys "R" Us store. During the first three month, it brought in over $50,000.

Not long afterwards, Richie became the president of the four-person family pool toy company, Short Stack LLC - named after his favorite food, pancakes. Richie's partner Bob Miller handles brand building, international sales and specialty stores. His mom, Barbara, manages national sales and mass market retailing. Richie works with his dad doing product development. Richie also invented a few other water toys but the water talkie is one of the most popular.

Richie had plans to sell his company from the beginning so it came as no surprise when he agreed to sell Short Stack three years later. Skipping a grade seven history exam, Richie and his parents signed a deal with Wild Planet Toys of San Francisco. Short Stacks had been bought for seven million dollars - definitely worth skipping an exam for.

Do you know any accomplishments made by a kid? They didn't have to invent anything. They could have won an award, saved an animal or you name it.

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