Posted by: Marty Fahncke | June 20, 2007

American Inventor – Review of Inventions (Episode 3)

American Inventor is in New York and Chicago this episode.  As before, I’m reviewing products looking for ones that I feel have some potential in the world of DRTV (infomercials, home shopping, etc.)

And just as a reminder, don’t forget my upcoming teleseminar for inventors!  Click here for more details.

Invention:  Whiz Ball
Inventor:  Elmer George (76 year old man)
Summary:  A hand-held paddle game designed for fitness and dexterity. 
Comments: Not a totally innovative invention, as there are other paddle games out there that are similar.  However, this has a good story behind it, with the fitness angle, and I’ve certainly seen less original products be successful in the fitness category!

Invention:  Peel Away Shower Curtain
Inventor: Sandra Erickson
Summary: A shower curtain with a peel-away liner so you can simply peel off the inside layer, and throw it away when it gets dirty. 
Comments: This could either be the dumbest idea, or the best idea ever.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I think there could be a market for this.  Furthermore, it takes a “durable” product and makes it a “consumable” product, which is great for resales. 

Invention:  Dog Ball
Inventor: John and Henrietta Sparks
Summary: Retractable leash housed inside a weighted base.
Comments: The judges put this one through, but I don’t think it is original enough to make it through to the finals.  I don’t see it as a good DRTV product either, as it’s a bit too niche. 

Invention:  Fingertunes
Inventor: Howard Batterman
Summary: A glove that plays music (piano or drums) when you move the fingers. 
Comments: The judges rejected this item, but it actually has some potential.  It’s not a DRTV product, but I can see this invention on the shelf at Toys R Us or WalMart.

InventionExpert Racers
Inventor:  Wesley Caudill
Summary:  Die-cast competition racetrack
Comments:  A plastic racing ramp for Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars.  Looks pretty much like a pinewood derby race track with sound effects.  Wesley said he has over $300,000 invested in it.  For what, I can’t imagine.  It’s not an amazing invention, but I do think the product has some merit, and would sell ok in toy stores.  Not a DRTV product. 

Overall, there wasn’t anything on this episode that would make a great DRTV invention.  The judges rejecting the following:

Carlo Giansanti – Copper hat and glasses
James Davis – Dryswim Trainer
Tom Jermyn – Body Squeegee Towel Saver
Sophia Kandelaki – Webcam, recorder, air conditioner, jewelry box. 
John Lorinz – Safe sex in a bottle – Condom Keychain
Molly Balevre – Musical Sneaker
Christina Raitano – Cart Cure
Joe Sparks – Easyrun Belt
Dean Rose – Instant Abs
Steve Frey – Six Tap
Steve Imes – Wee pod
David Le – Helmet and shoulder pads
Silvio DiSalvatore – Black Cougar


  1. I couldn’t find anyone’s website except Especially the “Black Cougar” I think that guy needs the character to prevent him from kidnapping kids!

  2. See:

  3. Correction – Christina Raitano – Cart Cure, DID get a YES as a Chicago Finalist….

    I do wish they shared more of the invention! They are not just for babies…that IS out there. These are for ALL ages/races/genders, they fit on any cart (stores and airport rented carts) and are small enough to fit in your back pocket AND come with a protective carrying case until you get home to clean it! Oh, does anyone know that 83,000 tons of wipes fill our landfills a year? Or can a person with a low immune system go to ANY store in there area and purchase a handle cover to suit there personality trait (I don’t mean Elmo) or even protect them from germs? No!

  4. Steven Frey’s Six Tap can be found at

  5. Christina,

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, and thank you also for the correction. Your segment on the show went by so fast, it wasn’t clear that you had made it through. I appreciate you setting the record straight.

    While we’re setting the record straight, I would also like to say that contrary to how it looks on my posting, I don’t think your product is bad at all.

    As the parent of five kids, I really appreciate what your product does. When my kids were babies, I was horrified when they chewed on the handle of the germ-infested shopping cart.

    I was really appreciative when many grocery stores started providing anti-bacterial wipes for the carts, and was one of those annoying parents blocking the doorway wiping down the cart before putting my baby in! What I hadn’t thought about was the landfill/waste side of that equation.

    Based on all of this, I do believe your invention is a good idea.

    Suggestion: If you can get them positioned in a store where it’s the FIRST thing you see when you walk in, and you can set it up so that you can place it on the cart immediately, while still allowing a durable, drool-proof tag to stay on it so you can pay for it when you leave, you will have a winner!

  6. Thanks for the advice, I had that in mind as well! Oh, Cart Cure fastens around the handle with velcro…and can be wiped with a tissue if any drool, rain, etc gets on it. (There are three styles, 1 being plastic, 1 cloth, and 1 antimicrobial fabric)

    Take Care

  7. First of all James Davis the inventor of the dryswim trainer DID GET 2 votes. One from Sarah and the other from George. They did not show that on the airing of the American Inventor.

    The problem with the dryswim trainer appearance was bc the inventor james davis sized the dryswim trainer incorrectly. As in swimming all swim strokes and especially the freestyle the feet need to be stabilized by the kicking action. If no kicking action no stability as is when you are on a dryswim trainer the feet NEED to be set firmly in the stirrups, which for the show did not happen. I encourage you to see the dryswim trainer as it is supposed to. Click on my website dryswimtrainer to see PROOF OF CONCEPT.

  8. I figured I’d jump in here too! Like Christina and James have said, much of our time in front of the judges was not shown on air.

    In my case, I was very clear up front that the Six Tap is a NOVELTY product, not intended to be a “better way” of opening a beer. Geesh, that would be pretty stupid.

    No, the idea was to have something to have fun with, and share a laugh or two at tailgating parties, just like the “Beer Helmet” that has sold hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

    But that’s okay, I had fun and am actually looking forward to coming up with something new for season three!


  9. Steven,

    Thank you for the clarification. After looking at your website, and seeing that you have positioned your invention as a novelty product, I can see a market for it. Just like the “beer helmet” that has been around forever, the Six Tap could do quite well in catalogs such as The Lighter Side ( and at stores such as Spencers (

    Keep chasing the dream Steven, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next year!

  10. […] of Inventions (Episode 4) I was a bit harsh in my comments about the inventions rejected in Episode 3, so I’m going to be nicer in my comments about the rejected inventions from this […]

  11. I am a very big inventor.
    Send me something, let us have discussion.

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