Entrepreneurs

Twister and Nerf inventor: This 3-word phrase works like magic

The man who helped make Twister and Nerf household names recently shared his secret to success, and it all comes down to a three-word phrase.

What happens if?

Reyn Guyer, the veteran toy-maker whose products have sold millions, believes that simple question enables inventors to break the rules — a key part of creating a breakthrough product.

Some of Guyer's best ideas have come from thinking about how he could challenge social norms, or break the rules. When Guyer began developing Twister in 1965,

"The rule was don't be in close proximity to other people except when you're dancing," Guyer said.

Guyer later licensed the game Twister to toy giant Milton Bradley.

For Nerf, the rule Guyer broke was "don't throw the balls in the house." He later partnered with Parker Brothers, the company behind Monopoly, to bring what would become the most popular foam ball for kids to market.

After decades of thinking big, Guyer still keeps busy inventing "The Curly Lasagna," a series of stories and songs for kids and a new dice game Rally Roll.

When a group thinks they have a valuable idea, they should move on it, Guyer said.

"Don't sit around and talk about it. Make one, do it."