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What is ”The Magic 8 ball”

To look at it simply, a Magic 8 ball is a fortune telling device that has made its way into popular culture as a game or novelty item.

It is designed to bring an actual 8-ball to mind, being black, shiny and round, and featuring a number 8 – but also a circular section where you can see your answer. If you are familiar with the game of pool, it is easily recognizable as a giant version of a pool ball.

The ball will give you answers and predictions to any question you can throw at it, but these answers may or may not be true. In fact, some of the answers the 8-ball gives are purposefully ambiguous and allow the user to make up their own mind about what may or may not happen.

Modern Online Magic 8 balls

Modern Online Magic 8 balls are made from plastic and are filled with a dark-colored liquid. This liquid is visible through a round hole in the side of the ball (opposite to where you would expect to find the number 8) and floating in the middle of the liquid is a small implement that is similar to a die.

Different answers are printed on the sides of this die, but it is no ordinary die – some 8-balls can give up to twenty different answers. The die is shaken by agitating the entire device, and when the die settles down it will float into position in the window, revealing the answer.

Is it magic? It’s hard to say.

There is nothing magic about the manufacturing process, it is exactly what it is – a plastic ball filled with liquid. But for those who believe, even something as ordinary as this can have magical properties. Have you ever walked along a street and thought about a red car? How many red cars have you seen then? Probably more than normal!

Does this mean the universe bends to your will? Or does it mean you are more attuned to seeing particular things? The scientists will argue about this for a long time, but it shows that your internal perception can have an effect on the external world.

When you query

The Magic 8 ball, not only are you using your mind, but you are also physically in contact with the device. This means that any vibrations or involuntary micro-motions made by your muscles will have an effect on the result. The Magic 8 ball is directly attuned to what you are thinking!

Similarly, if you question the Magic 8 ball through the internet, the exact timing of your question and your physical contact with the keyboard, mouse, or touchscreen will have the potential to affect the result.

Is there something you always wondered? Is there a decision you need to make? Have you ever used a Magic 8 ball online before?
Now is the time to ask the question you desire to have answered. The Magic 8 ball doesn’t play favorites, it only answers as it sees fit. Some say the answers are controlled by spirits that no longer inhabit mortal bodies…while others say it is pure chance.

That’s the true magic of the Magic 8 ball – no matter how you think it produces the answers, everyone loves to have a go and find out what the 8 ball can tell them. There are no special skills needed, and if you are that way inclined you don’t have to pay any attention to any answer it gives you. But everyone agrees it is lots of fun, and they are always ready for another go.

The Magic 8 ball is not new

The Magic 8 ball is not new, and has been around since the 1940s or 50s. It was inspired by a device that was alleged to be able to communicate with the spirit world, which is where some of the beliefs surrounding the 8-ball itself come from.

Made famous through the medium of film and television, the 8-ball was mass-produced. You might find it strange that a device that has a history of spirit-communication could be made in such a way, but consider this: the Ouija Board, the well-known board with letters on that is still used today to talk to ghosts, was manufactured as a board game from the 1890s and sold in the thousands – and was consider to be a fun diversion rather than a tool for spiritualists.

The 8-ball suffers no such pretensions though, for even if people do believe it is powered by spirits, it has never been party to this claim.

What the Magic 8 ball does provide is a diversion from the troubles of everyday life, and perhaps gives you a little bit of insight into how your future will be (or at the very least how you might want it to be). Can it be relied on to give accurate results for any question? That’s up to you to decide.

A Online Magic 8 ball

A Online Magic 8 ball is a fun thing to play with and can sometimes make you think. If you ask a question and the 8-ball gives you an answer that you weren’t expecting (or is the opposite of what you wanted to hear), how will it make you feel?
Perhaps the 8 ball knows more about you than you think. By making you stop and wonder about the answer it gives you, you may well find that you come up with a better plan or answer that moves you closer to the things you are dreaming about.
The Magic 8 ball has no favorites and will give everyone an answer as it sees fit. If you want to know what the Magic 8 ball has to say about a problem or situation in your life, why don’t you ask it a question right now?

Several thousand people use the Magic 8 Ball online every day. You just need to ask a question, and click the button. Show your love for the Magic 8 Ball and give it a shot – you definitely won’t regret it.

We will provide many different suggestions on how to use this amazing tool. You won’t understand how you ever lived your life without making use of this amazing object.

This crystal ball

This crystal ball, as some call it, is an element that can be helpful when you want answers to some of life greatest mysteries. Most people have a natural curiosity (and anxiety) after finding answers to all the great things in life.

In addition, most people, at some point or another, are in some form of conflict or discussion whereby they cannot agree. Is there anything more neutral than letting a nice billiard ball determine the outcome of it? Of course not! Don’t take things like tarot cards, hand readings, and other similar things seriously. This Online Magic 8 Ball is the answer to all the questions you may have.

How to use a Magic 8 ball online

The first method – the simple yes/no method

You now have all your questions collected in a bowl. Now, it’s just a matter of asking some of them using our amazing Magic 8 ball. The way it should work is that, of course, you must be ready to hand out some form of punishment.

You’ll have to guess whether the question will be answered with a “yes” or “no.” One can possibly just have a piece of paper with YES on one side, and NO on the other, so that you can indicate what you expect the outcome to be.

Guess the outcome

If you guess the outcome correctly, you go free. If you guess wrong, you are penalized. The penalty frame is usually a big sip of beer, wine, or a shot. Of course, you can regulate this so that you get to something that lies within one’s normal drinking habits.

Keep in mind, it’s not about breaking people – it’s about getting everyone into a good mood while making them smile and laugh.
Additionally, one can also guess who asked the question – if you want to push the fun to the max. If you guess correctly, the person who asked it should drink an extra shot. However, it is not mandatory to ask such questions. You will also have to take a shot yourself if you guess wrong.

The second method

You can also ask our Magic 8 ball if a specific person needs to do something. The rules for this are very simple. You simply ask whether one of the other participants should do something, and then, the mythical Magic 8 ball will determine whether it should be done or not. Here, you can make rules that are with or without alcohol. Here, you will undoubtedly find some of the most fun party moments.

The Magic 8 Ball is always guaranteed to provide a fun input, and you will definitely be able to play other fun party games.

What can the magic ball be used for?

We have received many inquiries from people asking us how to use this magic ball practically – seeing as what comes from it is true. These are just a few of the answers that are randomly selected. You’re right about it, but it definitely does not change the fact that the ball can create a lot of fun. The mythical 8 ball can create some fun games, for a party or at work.
Below, we will provide different suggestions on how to bring some extra fun into everyday life, using our input.

The story of the Magic 8 ball

Two threads led to the creation of the Magic 8 ball as we know it today, and although they sound bizarrely different, the threads have more in common than it first appears.

Let’s get started by establishing what those two threads are – they are a psychic medium (who may not have been psychic at all) and the films of The Three Stooges. Are you convinced yet?

The Three Stooges is the easiest to explain. In their 1940 Three Stooges short, “You Nazty Spy!”, an oversized 8-ball is used as a fortune telling device. This may have served as part of the inspiration for the Magic 8 ball we all know and love now – it certainly looks very similar, even if the method for using it isn’t quite the same.

Long-dead ghosts

The other part of the story takes us back over a hundred years to the late 1800s. The world was a very different place at the time, and there was no internet or TV to provide entertainment. Going out to bars or shows at the theater was an option but could prove to be expensive. An alternative was meeting with friends and holding parties at home, which helped to pass the time in the evenings…as did trying to communicate with long-dead ghosts.

Yes, you read that right. Spiritualism was massively popular, and psychics were considered celebrities – it’s quite interesting to note that the human race is still intrigued by death and communicating with people from beyond the grave, as evidenced by TV shows that still make use of similar tricks and techniques that were used over 100 years ago.

For the psychics and mediums involved, providing a reading was a great way of making a living. The better your performance, the more you were likely to get paid. This does not discount that there may have be some genuine clairvoyants at the time, but if you couldn’t put on a great display, you might not get asked to another home – and if you wanted to make your money, you needed as many appointments as you could get.

Tricks were developed over time to allow for such things as clicks, knocks, and bangs to be delivered on cue. A medium going into a trance and speaking in a different voice was common, as was receiving messages from the beyond by the use of different devices, including Ouija boards and spirit writing implements.

A device called a planchette could be used by a group of people, each touching it. Free moving, it held a pen or other writing instrument, and the combined motions from the assembly could leave a written message on a piece of paper. It worked in a similar way to a glass being moved around a table or on a Ouija board – it was either controlled by “spirits” or the subconscious muscle contractions of the people who were touching it.

As time went on, the popularity of such entertainment waned as others came to the fore, but there was always a place for a good medium.

Mary Carter

In Cincinnati, one such clairvoyant was Mary Carter. She had a fantastic party trick (or talent, if you prefer) with a device she invented. Known as the Psycho-Slate, it appeared as a chalkboard inside a lidded box. During a séance, Mary would allow one of the assembled participants to ask a question. She would close the lid and the sound of scratching on the chalkboard could be heard. Upon opening the box, an answer would have been written on the chalkboard!

Her son, Albert C Carter, thought it would be great to have a portable version of such a device. Taking inspiration from his mother (and perhaps a little of her knowledge of the behind-the-scenes working of such a device) he came up with a prototype of what became the Magic 8 ball. If consisted of a long tube, rather than a ball, filled with a dark liquid. The tube was divided into two, and each end held a six-sided die with answers on it. Flipping the device allowed an answer to be read from each end.
Revisions and design updates were made by Albert and others, and the tube became a crystal ball with a 20-sided die inside. Unfortunately, it was still a bit of a flop and didn’t sell particularly well.

Further revisions followed, and a fortuitous message from the Brunswick Billiards company, based in Chicago turned the fortunes of the crystal ball around. Brunswick needed something that was a little “out there” to use as a promotional item, and here was the idea – how about stop making it as a crystal ball and make it look like an 8-ball instead?

A fortune-telling 8-ball?

A fortune-telling 8-ball? Well, to be fair, it had happened before. If it was good enough for the Three Stooges, it would be good enough for the Brunswick Billiards Company!

It may have been the madness of a fortune-telling 8-ball that led to success, but the timing may also have played a factor. Previously, America had been involved in World War II, and up until 1950 everyone was either in recovery from the war, or worrying about what would happen next – but a crystal ball wouldn’t provide any real answers.

Reimagined as what was obviously a toy, the public lapped it up. The hard times were over, and new things were on the horizon. The Magic 8 ball found its market, settled in its niche, and has become more popular as the years have gone by.

Seen on TV

The Magic 8 ball is now often seen on TV and in movies, including in the tremendously popular series Friends, as well as the Toy Story movies. The House With a Clock in its Walls also features a Magic 8 ball, as did the TV shows Scrubs, Spongebob Squarepants, Seinfeld, iCarly, and many others.

Just to show that fortune telling and psychic communication have remained popular throughout the years, don’t forget that the movie Big featured a fortune telling machine that was important to the plot – while not a Online Magic 8 ball, it served the same purpose!

A different view of the story behind the toy

People always find stories about exciting mythical things – probably because, as human beings, we tend to be drawn to the mythical and the unknown. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that the world has been taken by storm by the tales surrounding the classic Ouija Board.

The idea that one could reach beyond this realm, using real development methods and a special board, quickly became a hit. As the board states, you can connect with the dead and ask them questions – if you follow the instructions correctly. This became a craze that dominated much of the 20th century.

Another idea

Another idea that was extremely popular among clairvoyant people was “The Magic 8 ball.” The ball first originated from the billiard game, becoming an object that was chosen to be a clairvoyant party favorite. The story of Magic 8 ball is actually quite random.

The Magic 8 ball was developed as an advertising product, commissioned by Chicago’s Brunswick Billiards; a very famous company in the billiard world. Brunswick was attracted to a small Alabe Craft’s product called the Crystal Ball, which did not sell particularly well. The product was still very special. It had a spherical shape but, in the middle, there was a bluish liquid that revealed either a “yes” or “no” answer. The ball was very interesting to Brunswick, and they simply had to own this toy – which they had big plans for.

Six Magic 8 ball balls with different views

How did the Magic 8 Ball become known?

Many certainly know this mythical bullet from the television, where they learned about it at one point or another. You’ve probably seen it on a TV series or movie, where it has been shaken after a question, after which a response is received. Many might even recognize the Magic 8 ball from the extremely popular TV series, “Friends”, where Ross used it to find answers to one of life’s biggest questions.

Imagine the whole scenario, where you are with other people, and you use this mysterious machine to determine the outcomes of different scenarios. The answers are random, and you will likely burst out laughing many times while using this 8-ball.

A hand holding a Magic 8 ball

Is the Magic 8 ball real?

In the sense that you can see, hold, and use it in a very physical sense, of course the Magic 8 ball is real! But does it have the ability to predict the future? That’s much harder to say.

The Magic 8 ball is sold as a toy, and as such is not considered to be serious device to be used for predicting the future. However, its roots are entangled with spiritualism and fortune telling, so the potential for accurate results is there.

As with many things, its capabilities can be accepted on faith. If you want to believe that it will give you accurate predictions, then that option is open, but many people will only treat it as a pastime, something to be played with.

Scientific studies

Interestingly, many scientific studies have been performed on psychic abilities and trying to predict the future. The results have generally shown that it is not something that is easily proven, and most so-called psychic events do not happen exactly as people expect.

One factor that has been shown to have an effect is to concentrate on one particular outcome, and to expect that it will happen. In self-reported studies (which can be prone to bias) it has been shown that this often works.

For example, if you are looking for “THE ANSWER IS YES”, and you concentrate on that phrase, you may find it comes up quite often. In reality, there is a 1 in 20 chance of it appearing, and you are now predisposed to notice it.

If you’ve not seen a yellow car in a very long time, the next time you go out, you’ll probably see one. This is caused by your brain subconsciously searching for a yellow car – the thing you are focusing on. The yellow cars were probably always there, you just didn’t notice them last time you went out as you weren’t looking for them.

Influence the universe

Some will say that this shows you can influence the universe around you with your thoughts, and if that is the case, then the Magic 8 ball certainly is real – it would be foolish to think otherwise.

Most people will fall on the side of caution, and agree that you are just more likely to notice things when you are focused on them. It is difficult to prove which one it is, as even in quantum physics particles can change their behavior just by being observed! This is because electrons within atoms behave as waves until they are observed, at which stage they begin to behave as particles – the observation itself forces this process.

If science says that the future of a particle can be changed just by looking at it, who are we to argue that the result on a Magic 8 ball can’t predict or even alter the future? It is no longer a matter of faith or belief, but proven scientific fact.
Would you dare to question the power of an Online Magic 8 ball?

Is everything the Magic 8 ball says correct?

Are the Magic 8 ball’s answers always correct? From the outside, it seems that all outcomes from this magic ball are incredibly random and based on an RNG algorithm. However; if you want to know if these outcomes are truly random, think carefully and only ask the question once. There is a general understanding that if you put the same question into the Magic 8 ball several times, the outcome will change and you will not experience the same answer.

People who do this clearly don’t want to know the correct answer to their questions. People re-use the ball to hear what they really want to hear. The first answer that appears will always be the correct one. So; if you asked if you will win the lottery, and the Magic 8 ball said you wouldn’t, don’t bother to ask again. The first answer was true.

How to make a Magic 8 ball?

A Magic 8 ball is made on a production line in the same way that many other toys are made. It is currently made from an assortment of plastics and contains a mysterious blue liquid. Exactly how it is put together and made to work may have been a bit of a mystery to you – until now.

To understand how it is put together, you must look at the history of the development of the Magic 8 ball. The original design was a long tube filled with a thick dark liquid, split in the middle with a 6-sided die in each end.

Flipping the device allowed the die to float to the top and have one face viewable through a small window – each side of the die had a different message inscribed on it. Flipping it again allowed the user to view the answer that would show at the opposite end.

Mysterious dark liquid

The modern Magic 8 ball online works in a very similar way. The round 8-ball is actually just a shell that houses an internal tube. Unlike the original, this tube only has one viewable end, but the important part to note is that the entire 8-ball is not filled with a liquid – it is only this tube that contains the mysterious dark liquid.

The original device received a patent in the 1940s and was known as a liquid-filled dice agitator, which is exactly what the current Magic 8 ball is. By shaking or moving the ball around, the die is agitated within the liquid, and will float to the top to give an answer.

There are several significant changes to be aware of since the initial offering. One of the biggest problems (and most complained about issues) of the early models was that shaking the device could result in bubbles forming in the liquid. According to some sources, shaking the 8-ball is not necessary to obtain a different result, just a small flick of the wrist can do it. However, most people are happier shaking the 8-ball, as it feels more natural and gives the impression of receiving a more random answer.

As shaking was common, the bubble problem was also very common.

These bubbles could impede the motion of the die, but of course you could still get a random result. However, and more importantly, the build up of bubbles would often obscure the viewing window.

This would make it difficult to determine what the result was, which really is the entire point of using a Magic 8 ball. Since the 1970s, the tube has been redesigned with a funnel and bubble trap, greatly reducing if not entirely eliminating this problem. The bubble trap was invented when Ideal Toys bought the original manufacturers in 1971, and the trap itself was subsequently patented in 1975.

But what about the mysterious blue liquid itself? Is it imbued with psychic powers? Is it made in a secret ritual that only a global elite of 17 people know the true ingredients of? No. It’s quite simply a blue dye mixed with alcohol. Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s about as simple as it gets.


Of more interest is the die. Six answers would never be enough in this day and age, and so the standard Magic 8 ball includes a 20-sided die, known as an icosahedron. This is a shape that borders on spherical, and each face is triangular in shape.
The whole die is made of white plastic and features raised white letters to display the answers. The die is evenly weighted, making any answer as likely to appear as any other. The answers on the traditional die are generally positive, with 25% being negative. This generally makes the Magic 8 ball a pleasant experience if asking multiple questions, as it is more likely to agree with you than to disagree with you.

There are openings on the die for the mysterious blue liquid – sorry, blue dye and alcohol – to enter. This makes the die only very slightly buoyant, which is why it floats very slowly to the viewing window. The dark liquid is no longer thick and mysterious, it’s just that the die doesn’t float very well.

In the original designs, the liquid was thicker, which accounted for this effect. The current consistency is not that much different to plain water.

Whichever method was used, the answer to your question is still revealed slowly and in dramatic fashion, which all adds to the fun. Sometimes the die will sink lower than others and take longer to reveal the answer – but where is the fun if you can’t imagine that the Magic 8 ball online is giving serious consideration to your request?

Size, shape, and style

The size, shape, and style of the ball has evolved over the years, going from being a tube to becoming a crystal ball and later still the 8-ball design we are all familiar with. It doesn’t end there though, as other sizes and shapes are available, including novelty items shaped in a variety of ways.

Inside, however, the technology remains the same and all use a floating answer die within a thin liquid. It is an effective and convenient solution that doesn’t require much from the manufacturing process. Any other method for producing a result like this could easily become over complicated and increase the price of the manufactured product, which would not work too well for a product that is currently considered to be little more than a toy for children.

To recap, the current design of the Magic 8 ball is made of an internal tube with a built in bubble trap, filled with a blue dye/alcohol mix featuring a slightly floating die, encased in a round hard shell designed to look like a traditional pool 8-ball, although significantly larger. While the blue liquid is not particular toxic, if you decide to take you Magic 8 ball apart, do not drink it!

You could get an upset stomach, and the dye would no doubt color many things blue.
Leave the liquid where it belongs, inside the Magic 8 ball. It is good for predicting your future, but not a lot else!

It was not the original toy

This ball, however, was not Alabe Craft’s first attempt at a toy, which was composed of a dark blue fluid that could give you answers. The original idea for the toy’s predecessor dates back to a man named Alfred Carter, whose mother was a clairvoyant. She claimed that she could communicate with ghosts, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The first reproduction of the playful toy was “Syco-Seer: The Miracle Home Fortune Teller,” patented in 1944 by Carter and his brother, Abe Bookman. Abe helped Carter with production and distribution. Together, Bookman and Carter developed Alabe Crafts. “Alabe” was a composition of “Alfred” and “Abe.”


In 1946, the product developed into the more compact and cheaper to produce “Syco-Slate: The Pocket Fortune Teller.” Both of these toys featured dark blue wax inside, through which one would be able to receive an answer.

When it turned out that Syco-Slate didn’t work so well, Bookman tried to present the product with a new crystal ball on the outside, however, it didn’t increase sales much. Fortunately, Brunswick Billiards came in 1950 with a suggestion that became a popular new toy for decades to come.

The Magic 8 ball contains a 20-chance funnel with 10 positive answers, 5 negative answers, and 5 unclear answers like “Concentrate,” “Ask Again,” and “The Answer Unclear, Try Again.” The answers appear on the white part of the ball. Had it not been for a billiard enthusiast, the world would never have seen this magic toy – and what a catastrophe that would have been!

Who invented the Magic 8 ball?

The Magic 8 ball was based on an idea by Mary Carter, a clairvoyant in Cincinnati in the 1940s. As part of her performance, she would let “spirits” write a message on a chalkboard in a closed box. Mary called this device the Psycho-Slate, and it is most likely that the board was not written on by spirits at all, but was instead a particularly clever trick in the style of stage magicians.

Albert C Carter

Her son, Albert C Carter, decided that a portable fortune telling device would be popular with the public and so developed the idea into what he called the “Syco-Seer”. The idea was simple – you just think of or ask out loud a question with a yes/no answer, and the device will do the rest.

This was the first instance of the technology that exists inside a modern Magic 8 ball.

Albert built a tube that was separated into two compartments, one at each end. Each compartment was filled with a thick dark liquid (some sources suggest it may even have been molasses) and had a six-sided die placed in it.

Each die had a message carved on each face instead of numbers. A lid with a viewing window was attached to each end, and by flipping the device over, the die on that side would make its way to the top and display its message through the window, giving an answer to the question answered by the user. Psychic or random? It didn’t really matter, as it was the effect that counted.
In 1944, Albert built a prototype and applied for a patent. He began to show the device at toy shops and called it a “Miracle Home Fortune Teller” – only just a step away from his mother’s clairvoyant shows. Showing the device at toy shops certainly indicated that Albert didn’t take fortune telling as seriously as his mother purported to.

Eventually, Albert found an interested shopkeeper by the name of Max Levinson. In fact, he was so interested, he wanted to get involved in the production and marketing of the toy. Max introduced Albert to his brother-in-law, Abe Bookman (some sources say Buchman) who was an engineer.

Engineering background

Abe used his engineering background to suggest several improvements to the way the device worked, including altering the internal shape of the compartments to make the die spin to give a greater variety of results.

To improve the look of the Syco-Seer, a designer was hired to give it a makeover. By 1946, the three had formed a partnership called Alabe (Albert and Abe) Crafts Corporation, and they were ready to launch the product on the world.

The manufacturing was arranged, and the launch to retail was planned for 1947. Unfortunately, Albert Carter died around this time – he was known to be an alcoholic, and it is presumed that this played a large part in his death.

Whether that same alcoholism played a part in signing over the rights to the business to his partners remains unknown, but in 1948 the patent was approved, and the remaining partners set to work on improving the product.

The existing Syco-Seer wasn’t selling as well as had been hoped, and so Abe Bookman looked into ways to reduce the manufacturing costs. He reduced it to a single chamber and renamed it “Syco-Slate, The Pocket Fortune Teller” – borrowing and adapting the name from Mary Carter’s original device.

Gypsy fortune tellers

As a marketing ploy, it was decorated with zodiac signs and demonstrated in stores by “gypsy fortune tellers”.
With the new look, the lower price, and smaller size, Abe thought he had a winner on his hands. Unfortunately, the sales still didn’t improve.

Racking his brains, Abe couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t going to well. Then, it struck him – how do you have your fortune told? With a small tube or a crystal ball?

The next iteration of design saw the tube being encased in a clear shiny ball. This brought with it an upgrade to the dice – the 6-sided ones were banished, and replaced with a 20-sided one instead. A psychology professor named Lucien Cohen was hired to write the 20 required answers.

Many more answers, a product that truly looked the part, and the involvement of an academic – surely the device was ready for the big time!

It wasn’t. Sales were sill miserable, as was Abe Bookman.

Just as he was about to give up the whole thing as a bad idea that had only gotten worse, the Brunswick Billiards Company got in touch. The Chicago firm needed a promotional product and wondered if it would be possible to change the crystal ball design for that of an 8-ball.

Of course it was!

The Brunswick Billiard Company quickly got through their stock, and Abe began receiving calls asking for more – but not just from Brunswick. It seemed that the 8-ball had finally hit the sweet spot, and everybody wanted one.

The success and growth in sales continued, and in 1971, Alabe Crafts was bought by Ideal Toys. Ideal implemented a new feature to help prevent bubbles forming in the viewing window with the use of a funnel and a bubble trap. This idea was patented in 1975, and every Magic 8 ball made since then has incorporated a bubble trap.

Tyco Toys

Between 1982 and 1985, CBS bought and sold Ideal on to View-Master – they discovered that being a broadcaster was much easier and more profitable that selling toys. View-Master, known for their 3D image viewers as well as Magna-Doodle, was in turn bought by Tyco Toys in 1989.

Tyco had been around for over 60 years at this stage, and were well-known for train sets, later branching out into character-based products.

In 1997, Tyco were sold to Mattel, who are now the current manufacturers of the product. The View-Master and Magna-Doodle products ended up under the Fisher Price brand.

For the original inventors, the sales of the modern device would be an absolute delight – around 1 million Magic 8 balls are sold every year.

Not bad for a device that was based on an idea from a clairvoyant using a box of tricks!