A classic beach toy, the inflatable beach ball is believed to have been invented by Jonathon DeLonge in 1938. The original beach balls are thought to have been about the size of a hand. Now the inflatable toys are sold in many different sizes, including unbelievably large. They usually feature a set of soft plastic panels, with two circular end panels, one with an inflation valve. A common design has six panels in six different colors with vertical solid-colored vinyl stripes.