Top 25 "It" products of all time: #23 -- The Magic 8-Ball

Magic 8-ballWhen I was in the sixth grade was my peer group went through it's Magic 8-Ball craze. In that simpler time, we asked the all-knowing orb simple questions such as if a girl in history class go out with us, or if our brother would find out we ran his bicycle into a tree. We knew even then that the Magic 8-Ball really could not provide the answers to our juvenile queries, but there was always that sliver of hope that it would confirm the answer we hoped for.

With it's 20 possible responses, ten positive, five negative, and five non-committal, the Magic 8-Ball has never lost its appeal. Today, there are no less than 15 magic 8-Ball knock-off variations, some of which have become quite collectible. There are 8-Balls honoring Bart Simpson, and commemorating Star Wars. 8-Balls come in romantic themes and several different colors. You can even get a Magic 8-Ball which answers in the pirate vernacular of SpongeBob SquarePants. Although it is actually shaped more like a cube than a ball, the basic concept still remains the same.

Kids still like the Magic 8-Ball. They can be great fun at slumber parties, or when the kids are simply hanging out. The toy can encourage kids to engage in conversation about aspirations, option seeking, and dealing with possible outcomes. A magic 8-Ball might stimulate more original thought from a child than an iPod ever could.

A brand new Magic 8-Ball can still be had for about $10 to $12, which appears to be the going price range for one on eBay right at this very moment. There is even a virtual Magic 8-Ball available online, if you're not particularly inclined to purchase one for yourself or your kids.

I myself have never owned one, and I probably never will, but I can tell you this: If I had a Magic 8-Ball close at hand right now, I might be seriously tempted to ask it a question or two about my future income and career. Then, I'd immediately set it aside, forget about it, and get my butt back to work, because as we all know, a Magic 8-Ball never really gave anyone anything more than a little bit of passing entertainment.

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