Super Soaker Inventor Lonnie Johnson’s Net Worth: How Much Money Did Rifle Make?

Lonnie Johnson Net Worth

Leonardo da Vinci, Nikola Tesla, Elon Musk, and others often come to mind when one thinks of the greatest engineers of all time. Lonnie Johnson, however, has more than enough experience and innovations to be placed in the same category as these other brilliant engineers.

Although he’s most known for creating the Super Soaker water gun, he’s also developed high-tech equipment for the likes of the Air Force and NASA. What is Lonnie Johnson’s current wealth as a result of his achievements?

Lonnie Johnson Net Worth

Lonnie Johnson is a successful engineer and inventor from the United States, with a $300 million fortune. Lonnie Johnson became famous and wealthy after developing the Super Soaker water cannon. In the early 1990s, the Super Soaker was the top-selling toy in the United States, and it has since gone on to earn more than a billion dollars.

Super Soaker: A Water Gun That Changed the World

Super Soaker A Water Gun That Changed the World

Lonnie was striving to create a novel refrigerator water pump design in 1982. His plan was to replace Freon in the refrigerator’s cooling system with pressurized water.

Lonnie hooked up a prototype heat pump he had built to the bathroom sink one night. To quote him directly:

“I turned around and I was shooting this thing across the bathroom into the tub and the stream of water was so powerful that the curtains were swirling in the breeze it sent out. I thought, ‘This would make a great water gun.'”

The Super Soaker was revolutionary because it was the first squirt gun that could shoot a concentrated jet of water 20-30 feet by using air pressure generated by a hand pump.

Although Lonnie would have liked to promote the Super Soaker on his own, he was completely broke. Instead, he decided to pursue a licensing strategy. After experiencing failure with his first licensing partner, Lonnie teamed up with the toy manufacturer Larami. In 1989, Larami began producing the weapon commercially.

The earliest version of this toy was dubbed the “Power Drencher” because of the pressurized air used to guide the water’s trajectory as it shot through the device. Larami failed to market the Power Drencher in 1990, hence sales were nil. The product was rebranded as the “Super Soaker” with a massive television advertising campaign beginning in 1991.

The Super Soaker dominated toy sales in 1991, 1992, and 1993. The rifle made $200,000,000 in 1991 alone.

Over two hundred million Super Soakers were sold in the first decade of the toy’s production, earning Larami over a billion dollars.

How much are celebrities and the rich worth? Read our star net worth articles to see how they live so well:

The Super Soaker Was a Huge Success, Selling Over 200 Million Units Worldwide

Lonnie received a royalty payment for each of the 200 million Super Soakers that were sold. Over the last three decades, he has amassed a fortune from royalties.

Super Soaker was acquired by Hasbro in time. At one time, Lonnie filed a lawsuit against Hasbro for unpaid royalties. The judge sided with Lonnie, and Hasbro was ordered to pay him $73 million to make up for royalties that should have been paid annually over the course of five years (2007-2012).

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