When Robert Leo Hulseman, the inventor of the red Solo cup, passed away in late 2016, it was big news in Illinois newspapers, where his company is based. His memorials were full of comments on partying and country music lyrics. But, not one of them mentioned the red Solo cup as a child’s toy. As my husband can tell you, red Solo cups provide endless hours of pleasure for him and our grandkids.
Red Solo cups can be stacked in towers. They are sturdy enough not just for cold, frothy beer but to build the foundation for elaborate castles. They’re wide enough to make silly, impromptu hats. And, red Solo cups are infinitely attractive to toddlers.
None of our grandchildren can resist knocking down a cup tower. Even if they’ve built that tower themselves, with one swat, down it comes. Babies, so easily distracted, will glimpse a tower from across the room and make a beeline to gleefully and purposefully destroy it.
Someone told me it’s the randomness of the toppled cups that kids like. Maybe. I think it’s the color and the noise. Our kids come home when we’ve been babysitting and they find their floor looking like a wild kegger has taken place. Red Solo cups are scattered everywhere. I bet Mr. Hulseman, who had over two dozen grandchildren of his own, knew what great toys his cups make.