Roughly three years ago, a Taiwanese inventor stepped into Geospace International’s (ToyShow) New York showroom with a kind of anti-gravity boot that propelled its wearer high into the air. While the product had at this point existed in 12 to 14 markets worldwide for the past 9 or 10 years, it sold for about $400 a pair as a fitness product, catering specifically to an adult audience. This time, the inventor wanted to offer a cheaper product that would reach the American children’s market. He’d come to the right place.
Geospace president Dennis Binkley, already an old-hand at marketing and distributing innovative toys, quickly agreed to work with the inventor to craft and distribute a product that would attract entry level buyers at under $100. Binkley formed Air Kicks Inc. to distribute the bounding boots.
Powered by patented Jumping Jax technology, AIR KICKS Anti-Gravity Boots feature heavy-duty, interchangeable T-springs that transform downward energy into a bouncing motion that is gentle on joints, muscles and bones. The boots’ high-traction tread is safe to use on any indoor or outdoor surface. AIR KICKS fit over normal running shoes in three sizes: AIR KICKS JR.; larger AIR KICKS SR., which have an adjustable split foot plate to ensure the perfect fit for everyone; and KICKAROOS, made of materials suited for young children between 33 and 146 lbs.
“Kids don’t think of it as exercise,” Binkley told TDmonthly Magazine, a boon in an era wrought with child obesity. “Parents are challenged to think of things that keep kids active.”
The product has become so popular it now sells in Hong Kong and in other overseas toy markets. In Binkley’s own words, “it has been a rolling success.”
What follows are more details on these popular products.