Maple Grove man dreams up fun, invents PlingPong
At the Maple Grove home of Mike and Amy St. Martin, there's a lively game underway among family and friends. On the table, there's colorful cups and ping pong balls, and never a dull moment.

Welcome to PlingPong, a fast–paced, elimination game that crowns the last player with remaining cups a winner.

"There's a lot of wow moments for people playing the game, so it's pretty fun," said Mike St. Martin, the creator of PlingPong.

St. Martin, a civil engineer, dreamed this game up last February.

"I get something stuck in my head, and I can't really get rid of it, so I started brainstorming and sketching, and that's kind of my happy place," said St. Martin.

Taking it from a brainstorm to an actual 3D printed prototype is a process that involves game testing with family and friends.

"We've had so much fun playing it," said family friend Laura Flandrick. "It's always fun, and it's different. No two games are the same."

Amy St. Martin is concentrating her efforts on social media, helping to spread the word about the game her husband created. They want to know if a wider audience will appreciate the game.

"We know we love it, and our family and friends, we all have fun with it with everyone that has played, but is everybody else going to like it? You're just not really sure," said Amy St. Martin.

Now the St. Martin family will get a chance to find out with a recently launched Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. The campaign is aimed at raising $95,000 by January 12. If it can raise all the money, the game will be sent in for manufacturing,  and it could eventually end up on store shelves.

"We'll ship it out to all the people that actually pledged on Kickstarter, and that will give them the game in hand, and then we have a proven product," said Mike St. Martin. "And hopefully, it can go to Amazon and get out to retailers like Target, and Walmart."

The St. Martin's know it's a big goal, but along the way their blended group of family and friends is having fun one toss and a few bounces at a time.

"There's nobody on their phones, we're all communicating and having fun. Just good, genuine fun with each other," said Amy St. Martin.

Alexandra Renslo reporting
Twitter: @alexrenslo

December 19, 2016


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