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American Inventor – Hooray For Bulletball!

March 23, 2006 11:24 PM by Joe Blackmon

BulletballThe critics may hate American Inventor, but viewers have made the show a hit.  While the two-hour premiere did seem to be padded at points, the second episode moves at a much faster pace.  One of the things that will frustrate and also appeal to viewers is that the judges seem somewhat inconsistent on which inventors they put through to the next round.  They praise some people for their dedication to their invention while turning others away. 

Brian Conant is the inventor of the flatulence deodorizer.  The device is worn in the underwear and eliminates the smell of gas.  Peter Jones says “It’s the noise not the smell that creates the embarrassment.”  All four judges pass on the invention.

Erik Thompson is the inventor of the receiver’s training pole.  The receiver’s training pole teaches a receiver to catch the ball with his hands.  Ed Evangelista and Mary Lou Quinlan give the invention the thumbs up, but Doug Hall doesn’t think it has a large enough market.  As Peter Jones ponders whether to put Erik through or not, Erik compliments Peter on his tie.  The flattery pays off, and Peter casts the final and deciding yes vote.

Georgina Huerta is the inventor of the naughty knot lingerie.  The invention is basically lingerie that looks like a bow that comes undone with one easy tug.  As the model for the invention reveals herself, Mary Lou Quinlan becomes offended and goes off on the two women.  Mary Lou starts to walk out and comes back with her coat to covers up the model.  Mary Lou tells them Georgina to grow up and get a job and asks her to leave.   

Marc Griffin is the inventor of bulletball and bulletball extreme.  Marc believes bulletball will be an Olympic sport.  Bulletball is a game where players try to roll a ball past each other on a table.  Marc sold everything to create bulletball and is living in his car.  Peter Jones tells Marc it’s not going to happen with this and tells him to go get a job and get his life back.  Mary Lou says “You’ve told us that you’ve given twenty-six years of your life to this game.  I think that’s more of a life than a man can give to a dream.  Please get your life back.”  All four judges say “no.” 

Sharon Clemens is the inventor of a public restroom door clip.  The clip acts to hold a broken restroom door closed.  The invention doesn’t look like more than a potato chip bag clip re-purposed.  However, all four judges give a unanimous “yes.” 

Darla Davenport-Powell is the inventor of the here comes Niya doll.  Niya is a doll with a voice chip that speaks multiple languages.  Ed Evangelista says yes, but Doug Hall says no.  Mary Lou Quinlan believes it can be a marketing success, and Peter Jones give the last and deciding yes vote.   

Jahnesta Horney is the inventor of invisible tear gas.  Jahnesta points out that with regular tear gas enemies can see it and put on masks in advance, but with his invisible tear gas hits them with no warning.  All four judges compliment his inventiveness but pass on his invention. 

Richard Koppelle is the inventor of my therapy buddy.  My therapy buddy is basically a big doll for adults that says “Everything is going to be alright.”  Ed Evangelista says “If I walk down the street with that thing, they’ll lock me up.”  All four judges say “no.” 

Jodi Pliszeka is the inventor of the headliner.  The headliner is an absorbable pad that absorbs sweat for people wearing a wig, hat, etc.  Half the judges say yes, and the other half say no, so it looks like Jodi will be going home.  However, Mary Lou Quinlan gives an impassioned plea for the other judges to reconsider.  Doug Hall refuses to change his answer, but Peter Jones does change to a yes.   

Part of the appeal of American Inventor will likely be second-guessing the judges.  Why do they let some inventors through based purely on their passion for their invention while turning away others?  What makes a potato chip bag clip used to hold a bathroom door closed more amazing than a game called bulletball?  In the end, it will probably be Marc Griffin’s passionate plea for his bulletball game that viewers will remember about this episode over any of the inventions that actually make it through to the next round. 

Reality TV Magazine is your source for American Inventor news.  For other great American Inventor news, please also check out SirLinksALot: American Inventor.

Topics: American Inventor |

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26 Responses to “American Inventor – Hooray For Bulletball!”

  1. Kev Says:
    March 24th, 2006 at 12:56 am

    The woman judge in this reality show is absolutely hilarious. The red bow lingerie was an awesome idea, but the woman judge had a fit so no one even gave it a chance. Then the stupid hair thing came on and the woman judge started crying, so everyone said yes, even though it was the worst invention ever. The bottom line is that whenever the woman judge says yes, all the other judges will say yes, just because she is a woman and thus an emotional headcase.

  2. Anonymous Says:
    March 24th, 2006 at 4:40 am

    In my opinion, Doug Hall is just a jealous man. Have you noticed that he says NO to almost everything? Nothing is good for him and nothing will never sell for him. I think he’s jealous because some people have come with great ideas.

  3. zeta Says:
    March 24th, 2006 at 10:28 am

    Yes, the woman judge is a flippin’ idiot. She apparently thought the woman was selling sex and not lingerie. Hopefully, the woman who came up with that will just go to Fredricks of Hollywood and pitch it there.

    Saw this show for the first time last night, I won’t watch again. The judges are jokes. I wonder if we will see a Racial Discrimnation lawsuit with the Niya doll rejection: four white judges. You know some nutball will sue.

    What’s so pathetic is that the judges don’t even offer hope. A simple, “We aren’t interested, but someone else might be willing to market you,” is apparently too much for them to say, as if they are the end all of Who Is A Real Inventor.

    And, if I am on an airplane with someone with a gas problem, that carbon filter will be nice.

  4. Sabrina Says:
    March 24th, 2006 at 12:31 pm

    Ok, the red bow lingerie was a horrible idea on so many different levels that I really don’t want to go there, I was truly offended and anyone that feels different is just a horny male.

  5. Anonymous Says:
    March 24th, 2006 at 12:40 pm

    She was selling lingerie for bachelor parties. Meaning you could see everything, which makes it gross(maybe not for u, you are used to it) to be on TV. Specially when the show airs early and kids may be watching it.

  6. Glenn Hudson Says:
    March 24th, 2006 at 1:52 pm

    When I first heard about the American Inventor TV show I got really excited because I have a new product, the “shootAndstar rebounder” (a new revolutionary basketball shooting practice device), that I am trying to market. I have had some really good success so far but could really use a nice national TV boost.

    In my opinion, any inventor who has an invention worth really pursuing shouldn’t give it up to the ABC television show “American Inventor”. My reading of their contestant informatation is that the 9 contestants, who probably are the only ones with somewhat marketable ideas, get $50,000 to use in further development of their product idea. (NOTE: This isn’t money for the winner to pocket.)

    Also, each of these supposed winners give up a year of pursuing going forward with their marketing of their product while ABC has an option for a year to decide whether they will even try to get the product in to the marketplace so the inventor can actually make money off the invention via royalties. I have not read their 36 page contestant form fully enough to know what the royalty percentage will be but am sure it will probably be to ABC’s advantage.

    Also the big winners MILLION dollar payoff is only a royalty advance for which ABC has 5 years to mess around trying to get the product to market while the inventor gives up their control. I don’t know what happens to the advance if they don’t launch the product or if it fails during testing.

    Glenn E. Hudson, President
    Sporting Advantage Inc.
    309-359-6100
    http://www.shootAndstar.com

    PS- Please take a look at my website so you can see an exceptional invention that American Inventor will never get an opportunity to see because I won’t just give it away to them!

  7. Anonymous Says:
    March 24th, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    Nice basketball rebounder, but they had that at fairs for years now…

  8. freakgrrrrrl Says:
    March 24th, 2006 at 4:38 pm

    How Mary Lou flipped out on that one lady was hillarious! For lingeire, the knot thing was a fairly good idea but it wasn`t an actual invention(not that many of these things on the show are). It was more like really kinky clothing design. I agree Mary Lou is very annoying and gets worked up over what seems like everything.

    The dude who came up with that bullet ball thing was nuts. He claimed to have spent all that money on something that really is very simple. The other day, I sa some kids playing the same kind of thing on a table with a bouncy ball.

  9. Anonymous Says:
    March 24th, 2006 at 6:07 pm

    I used to play “bulletball” with my friends when i was little. I don’t think he sold all of his stuff. He said that so he would get on the next round. You really don’t need much to pull a thing like that off. You can only spend about $1000 max. Selling that wedding ring he mentioned was good enough. It’s just wood and balls.

  10. Chris Nicholson Says:
    March 25th, 2006 at 1:30 am

    Does anybody know a single item that Doug Hall has actually invented? Early on they said that the average American home contains four of his inventions, but didn’t cite any examples. Later he said the the typical American home has something like a dozen items invented by him “and his team,” but again, he didn’t mention any specifics. When Doug was explaining his problems with BulletBall he said that he had invented plenty of games himself, but again, didn’t name any.

  11. Anonymous Says:
    March 25th, 2006 at 1:38 am

    Like I said Doug is just a jealous man. That’s why he doesn’t like any of the inventions. Remember the guy who invented that bike? with the seat in front. It wasn’t like the greatest idea ever, but he could go far with that invention. He used engineering pretty well. Doug said no because according to his “engineering experience” that was “crap”. He was just jealous the guy was able to pull that bike off with basic engineering.

  12. Christina Says:
    March 26th, 2006 at 2:06 pm

    Here is Doug’s site. http://www.doughall.com
    They still don’t really name any of his inventions…hhhmmmm

  13. game player Says:
    March 26th, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    BulletBall looked like a great game! I am a sport game player and the most simple games are the best to play. Imagine, baseball came from hitting a ball with a stick and soccer came from just kicking a ball around…

  14. Anonymous Says:
    March 26th, 2006 at 3:38 pm

    A lot of people have played bulletball. So it really isn’t an invention. I used to play at school during my lunch break. Of course we didn’t have all the sofisticated stuff.

  15. Simmssays Says:
    March 28th, 2006 at 9:44 am

    For any inventors looking to feature their products, the website http://.www.AmericanInventorSpot.com has a cool gallery of inventions where inventors can post their products for free.

    You may want to check it out.

  16. Hill Says:
    March 29th, 2006 at 2:25 pm

    I’m with freakgrrrrrrrrrl. I can create bulletball with about $300. I guess the balls are nothing short of raquetballs, and it’s just a wooden table with wings on it. Does anyone know why he had all those lines and circles on the board? It looks like it was just pingpong without the paddles. Paper Football is pretty much the same game, just better.

  17. sickhang Says:
    March 29th, 2006 at 5:48 pm

    I am dying to play Bullet Ball! I played all the time as a kid too. It looks like Marc really developled the game! Good work Mr. Griffin. Now where can I buy one?!

  18. marshall_april Says:
    March 31st, 2006 at 1:34 pm

    I did some research on Doug Hall’s inventions. One website I found said that he was under contract with companies and could not reveal the names of his inventions. I think this is crap. How does anyone even know he’s a legitimate inventor? I could say the same thing about myself and I have never invented anything in my life.

  19. John Huerta Says:
    March 31st, 2006 at 5:43 pm

    I saw that naughty Knot Lingerie and I thought it definitely has potential. Doug Hall later recanted on an episode of the View. He said that a lot of women have been calling asking where they can get it. He said it was exciting. It’ simple but clever.

  20. Lingerie girl Says:
    April 6th, 2006 at 12:34 pm

    I’m one of those who made it a hit! Watch it every time.

  21. steelyray Says:
    April 15th, 2006 at 10:17 am

    I’m an inventor, and engineer, and a businessman, the son of an inventor as well. Dad and I have learned a few things on inventions and markets over the years.

    1. Never fall in love with your invention.
    2. Never be afraid to scrap it if an alternative gets the job done easier.
    3. Invest your money and time wisely. There are cheap ways to do expensive things, and expensive ways to learn cheap lessons.
    4. Do your research into the market and your homework to see what’s out there.
    5. Some products are excellent as one-off’s, but have no market because the costs don’t line up.
    6. Some have no practical daily value. Are you really going to go get and put on this shaving mirror and thingy in order to shave while squatting on the toilet? I don’t think so.

    Bulletball is nothing but a walled table and a few balls. It takes up a lot of space, and doesn’t have enough gameplay interest. Furthermore, the game can be easily reproduced on any hard table surface. I can’t see purchasing a dedicated table just to smack a ball around with my hands. The man clearly fell too much in love with his product idea, and didn’t realize how other people would view the end result.
    The same goes for ‘My Therapy Buddy.’

    Doug Hall is an inventor. He owns ‘the ranch’ in Cincinnatti which is a marketing / development research firm, which consults on large company products. I would expect him to hold no-reveal contracts with these companies. Despite his personality, he’s legit. The average household uses about 18 products that were developed at ‘the ranch.’

    The Niya doll in my mind is too easily reproduced by other companies. It’s a doll with a chip and a speaker. What language it speaks is hardly earthshattering from a technological standpoint.

    The lingerie was clever and a good product. But the problem here was that think what would happen if ABC, a family media company, spent a million developing women’s lingerie. Especially in the days after the Superbowl fiasco. THAT is why the woman had to react.

    And now for the bike: this product cannot be sold. It’s simply unsafe. It encourages riders to ride on the front, which is generally a bad idea. Although people do this anyways, any company that would market this would get themselves into a heap of liability trouble. Also, it’s not very marketable. The people who ride on the front of bikes do so usually because they don’t have a bike of their own that fits them. In short, they have no money. The kid, whom I have a lot of respect for, has a good product which high-income people don’t need and low-income people can’t afford.

  22. May Says:
    April 19th, 2006 at 11:34 am

    I loved the naughty knot underwear thing. Adult novelties sell $$$$. Though i wouldnt say it was an invention, more a design. im sure over the internet it would make millions. i’d agree, the female judge thought she was selling sex not the item itself. and the other judges are pathetic, they can’t voice their own oppinion. u can see they liked it, but the stripping shocked them and left them speechless. when they got over the naked girl the female judge had already stormed out, acting like she was too good for anything racy. she acts like she has a respectable reputation, but after that i would say she is just plan blonde. so when the she threw a hissy fit the others kept quiet. what a group of pus… not men at all. that female judge is over them like a hawk, not intentionally. the males are just little sheep with no balls to disagree with her.

  23. Haffa Hart Says:
    April 22nd, 2006 at 2:14 am

    I think Bullet Ball with walls is more of a game than without them so it isn’t just like playing on a plain table. I mean, how would you duplicate it, really? If you just put some stuff there it would knock over. The man has a legitimate, albeit simple game, but as mentioned by someone else, so is baseball, basketball, hockey, ping pong, etc. I did not care for the way this man was treated. Passionate, with a vision, or neurotic nut job? It’s a fine line, but the jerks who call themselves judges were condescending and rude. Their opinion is their opinion, period. They should learn how to treat these people with some basic respect. I hope somebody else caught Bullet Ball’s potential and funds this guy’s game.

  24. Sonja Says:
    April 30th, 2006 at 7:54 pm

    The lingerie idea has, I’m sure, been done before, though not marketed. But it’s only an enlarged scarf, I doubt you’d be able to patent it. But the design would definitely sell. American Inventor was just definitely not the place to try to market something like that. Nothing on public daytime TV is. If you want to market something like that, which I know I would probably be willing to purchase, do it somewhere more appropriate. That judge had every right to be offended and upset about a woman completely unveiling herself on daytime television. That’s just wrong. If you want to parade a naked woman around, do it somewhere else, please.

  25. Derek Says:
    August 7th, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLz8puMoIE4

  26. Marvie L Johnson Says:
    October 29th, 2007 at 7:56 pm

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    The new product idea “_____ back packs” for children in which I, Marvie L Johnson, have conceived could have the potential of becoming a significant financial asset. _____ back pack designs warrant a professional analysis assessment to share the vision of competitive market potential well beyond its immediate intended market. The back pack idea is just the origin with high market potential to branch into other areas of the children’s market; apparel, coloring/activity books, bathroom toys and dental products, entertainment DVDs, comforter and linen sets and more. Please! Take a momment to consider the successful marketing paths of companies such as Barbie, Disney, Dora, Sponge Bob, Bratz, Rugrats which have done so well in the children’s market. Your select team of dedicated professionals could present and relay this idea to the right company. The back pack concepts has the ability to encourage repeat buys and backend/continuity sales, appeal to the masses in multiple demographics, impulse driven, extremely visual while serving the standard back pack fashion turning this registered trademark name into a well known name brand in just a few years. The vision is to launch “_____ back packs” into _____ buddy products”.

    *FINANCIAL PARTNER/INVESTOR NEEDED TO BRIDGE THE GAP FOR MY NEW PRODUCT IDEA TO END MARKETS THROUGH DIRECT LICENSING:

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