Dividends: Grandson of Hula Hoop

"We believe that the nation and the world are ready for a new Hula Hoop era." Venturing that brave prediction is Barry Shapiro, 39, executive vice president and general manager of the Wham-O Mfg. Co., the San Gabriel, Calif., toy and sporting-goods maker that introduced the hoop in 1958. During a slightly mad six-month period 25 years ago, as many as 120 million hoops were sold around the world. A 1967 version called the Shoop-Shoop Hula Hoop was filled with ballbearings to make a swishing sound. It briefly sparked renewed interest, but failed to reignite the fad.

Now the company is trying...

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