Maple Grove couple's game idea bounces into Target
Maple Grove civil engineer Mike St. Martin is holding in his hands a game box that's ready for retail sale. In early 2016, the game was merely an idea in St. Martin's head.

It's been a whirlwind of a year for the St.Martin family. The family has gotten a big bounce from their elimination game, now called PlingPong, which will be available in Target stores nationwide and for sale online at Target.com starting August 1.

"Until it's actually in the store, it still doesn't seem real," said Mike St. Martin. "It's pretty awesome just to see it all coming together and going from a concept to something that's actually sitting on the shelf is pretty awesome."

"Mike has had other ideas as well, but this one just seemed to work because he built it [a game prototype] in the garage one day, and then all of a sudden we're playing it and then everybody is playing it, and the kids are asking to play it," said Mike's wife, Amy St. Martin, who worked to market the game.

In December of 2016, a Kickstarter campaign helped get the word out about PlingPong. Even though the fundraising campaign came up short, it ultimately helped the St. Martin's team up with toy manufacturer Buffalo Games, and this spring, the game started rolling off the line.

"Basically you have the game set-up: six cups per person, you're trying to be last man standing with cups still on the board and bouncing shots off the table to make shots in the cup," said St. Martin, describing the game.

The game is already getting good reviews from the Toy Insider, a national publication that called it a "hilarious fast-paced game filled with skill, luck, and strategy."

The St. Martins are proud of this game, but it doesn't mean either one of them will leave their day jobs. They can, however, add to their title, game creator, as they reap the rewards of a fun idea that's come to fruition.

"Look for it on the shelves, and we're excited to see it all happen," said St. Martin.

PlingPong will be sold at Target for $29.99 starting August 1. In 2018, the game will also be sold at Walmart,
Toys "R" Us, and Amazon.

Alexandra Renslo reporting
Twitter: @alexrenslo

July 17, 2017


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