Every Saturday morning for decades, televised mayhem has unfolded at a pace that would have curdled the blood of Attila the Hun. But now comes toymaker Ken Hakuta, a father of three small boys, and a man determined to revive the vast pantywaistland of children's commercial television. Together with WCBS in New York City, he has developed a new, nationally syndicated kids program that will showcase original inventions demonstrated by the inventors themselves -- elementary and junior high school students from across the country.
The program is called "The Dr. Fad Show," a name derived from Hakuta's renown in certain circles (such as Hula Hoops and Frisbees) as Dr. Fad, the world's premier specialist in marketing novelties, including more than 200 million Wacky Wallwalkers (INC., April 1987). Most of the featured inventions are as fanciful as his own. One, for example, is the Porta-Pet, a fur-covered balloon that you inflate and hug if you're on the road and miss your cat or dog. Others include the two-person skateboard and the mechanical page-turner for sheet music. And one entry has even made it to market: the Stuff-a-Belt, an elasticised fashion accoutrement into which the wearer crams personal belongings.
The show will also feature the Fad Forecast, a weather map that pinpoints where fads are hot. Hakuta's goal, however, is to foster not fads, but the notion that anyone can be creative. "To get on "The Dr. Fad Show,' you don't have to be the brightest kid in class," he says.
The same may be true of grown-ups in the future. Should Dr. Fad prove as big a sensation as Dr. Ruth, Hakuta's is mulling over a similar format for adults.