So you've got the hottest idea since the Pet Rock, the jelly bracelet, the Wacky Wallwalker. You know you could make a million bucks if you could get it on the shelves for Christmas. You don't have the big money to manufacture it yourself and you are afraid to show it to anyone because they might just knock off the idea. So what do you do?
Call the FADS Phone Hotline. If he's in, fad-meister Ken Hakuta will pick up the phone himself, or if you leave a message on the recording, he'll call you back.
Hakuta, who lives in Washington, masterminded (and masterfully marketed) the Wacky Wallwalker, the sticky octopus toy of which, Hakuta says, he has sold almost 150,000 since he bought worldwide rights. By his calculations, the Wacky Wallwalker "has outsold the Pet Rock 120 to 1, Rubik's Cube almost 3.5 to 1."
Hakuta's fad phone -- a Mickey Mouse phone, of course -- is his way of sharing what he has learned about the fad business from his own experience. So far he hasn't given much encouragement to the vast assortment of ideas from plastic charms on belts to Halley's Comet hairpins to a "pet knot from a tree."
Hakuta's advice is free. "It's just fun for me, and only costs me the price of an expensive phone bill." (Outside Washington the number is 800-USA-FADS; in D.C. dial 861-8020.) Besides, it gives Hakuta the chance to tell callers that he still has "the only fad that refuses to fade."