Hiram College Alum Wins ABC’s ‘The Toy Box’

HIRAM, Ohio – Nathaniel Eaton, Hiram College 2017 alumnus, won the second season ABC network’s “The Toy Box” with his invention of a new toy.

Eaton majored in business management and minored in entrepreneurship at Hiram. He was invited to appear on the show after being discovered on Kickstarter.

Eaton’s Water Dodger toy now sports a Mattel label and has a new name: Hydroshield. It can be purchased at Toys R Us stores nationwide.

“I was nervous on the way to the show, but my confidence grew remembering the last four or five years I had worked on this. I believed I had a product that was fun, cool and exciting,” said Eaton in a news release.

Inspired by superheroes the Hulk and Captain America, Eaton put his imagination and business know-how to work to develop the toy. A shield, which includes a handle and net affixed to the back, can hold water balloons, foam and water balls, snowballs and socks.

The 25-year-old entrepreneur also won $100,000 from the show.

“Nate has come a long way in refining his first concept of Water Dodger to get it to where it is today,” said Kay Molkentin, Eaton’s former professor, mentor and director of Hiram’s Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship. “Along the way, he learned the skills of getting in touch with his customers, testing the market, revising and improving early ideas, and pivoting, when necessary, to find a clearer route forward.”

Looking ahead, Eaton said, “I plan to continue as a serial entrepreneur, investing in business and working with a professional team.”

Pictured: Nathaniel Eaton, inventor of the Water Dodger.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.