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Former Banker Makes Millions Inventing Baby Dolls Water Babies keep Dan Lauer’s family afloat

Water Babies

(ST. LOUIS, November 20, 2008) –Twenty years ago Dan Lauer made the decision to take a leap of faith and quit his bank job. Now, at a time when his banking buddies are experiencing their worst year yet, Dan is supporting his family with the profits from a crazy idea he couldn't get out of his head.

Dan left the comfort and security of his position as vice president of Royal Banks of Missouri to pursue a seemingly absurd passion – creating baby dolls.

Unlike most dolls that are the product of marketing and research by large toy manufacturers, Dan’s dolls were created from his childhood memories. Dan grew up in the ‘60s with sisters who drew faces on filled water balloons to make warm, jiggly babies. Dan liked the warmth and weight of the water dolls and worked to find a way to bring them to market.

After three years and 700 rejection letters from toy companies, Dan turned his dream into reality. He raised enough capital to get his idea off the ground and onto store shelves.

Dan’s invention, called Water Babies, became the second best-selling large doll of all time (behind Cabbage Patch Kids). More than 17 million Water Babies have been sold, and the dolls have been redesigned for this holiday season’s global re-launch (at Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us and other stores).

Water Babies have earned Classic Toy status. Moms who had Water Babies when they were young are now buying the dolls for their daughters to cherish.

Water Babies come with their own bottle and easy-fill funnel. The funnel allows parents to fill the doll through a leak-resistant valve in the doll’s back. The babies are available in two sizes (9-inch newborn and 13-inch Water Baby), and each size offers three ethnicities: Caucasian, African-American and Hispanic.

Water Babies are available in their new look this holiday season at mass and specialty stores, including the online retailer ShopWildPlanet. Retail prices range from $14.99 to $39.99.

For more information on Water Babies, please visit: Water Babies web site Shop Wild Planet


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Founded in 1993 in San Francisco, Wild Planet creates kid-cool products that garner parent approval. Wild Planet playthings focus on fun and imagination and are available in more than 55 countries worldwide.