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All About Wacky WallWalker Inventor, Ken Hakuta



All About Wacky WallWalker Inventor, Ken Hakuta

Ken Hakuta, better known as Dr. Fad, is a Japanese-American television personality and inventor. He rose to fame mainly through his appearance on his TV show “The Dr. Fad Show”. The show aired for six years, from 1988 to 1994.

In addition, Hakuta is the organizer of four fashion fairs, wacky ideas and inventor conventions in New York. Likewise, he was also honored with the “Inventor of the Year” award at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

Talking about his relationship status, Hakuta is a married man. He is married to a dashing woman named Marilou Cantiller. The couple have been married for more than four decades. In addition, they have three children.

How old is Ken Hakuta?

Ken Hakuta was born in 1951 in Seoul, Korea. However, he grew up in Japan. His birth name was Paik Kun. He is 71 years old today. His father’s name is Paik Nag-Seung and his mother’s name is Paik Nam-il.

Her father was the CEO of a textile company. Due to certain circumstances, the Paik family moved to Japan where Ken grew up. Ken had just been born when they moved to the Land of the Rising Sun.

He is the nephew of video art founder Nam June Paik. However, not much is known about his personal life, including his siblings and upbringing.

Ken Hakuta changed his name after moving to Japan

The Hakuta family originated from Korea. His Korean name was Paik Kun. Her family emigrated from Korea to Japan in 1951 and her Korean surname was changed to a Japanese surname.

Ken Hakuta started the Dr. Fad Show in the 80s

Ken invented the ‘wacky wall wacker’, a popular 1980s toy that sold over 240 million units. And it became even more popular when the Kellogg Company used the toys as prizes in their cereal.

As mentioned earlier, he signed a contract to play the role of Dr. Fad on the invention television show, “The Dr. Fad Show,” in 1988, which aired for the next six years. He has also made guest appearances on TV shows like The New York Times, The Tonight Show, 48 Hours and many more. The famous inventor started an e-commerce business with the aim of selling herbal products. He also worked as an executor for his uncle’s real estate business.

His toy, ‘Wacky Wall Walker’ has sold over 240 million units

Hakuta invented the very popular toy of the 1980s, the “Wacky Wall Walker”. Basically, it’s a sticky elastomer toy that would start walking on its own once thrown against a wall. It was like a spider in shape.

Hakuta got the idea from the octopus-shaped toys his mother used to send from Japan for her son. Ken found himself fascinated by this toy. He started thinking about his viability in the US market. Without further ado, he bought the rights to the product for $5,000 and began marketing it in Washington, DC, naming it “Wacky Wall Walker.”

The toy was a big hit, making Hakuta worth over $80 million.

Who is Ken Hakuta married to?

Hakuta married his colleague and longtime love, Marilou Cantiller. They first met when Ken was working at the World Bank. Soon they started dating. Then, after a year, the couple decided to go further and start a marital relationship in 1977.

As mentioned earlier, Marilou was Ken’s colleague, she also worked at the World Bank. But, she only came into the limelight after marrying the inventor.

The romantic couple have already spent more than four decades of their marriage happily ever after, and there’s still a lot more to come. Together they have three children: Justin Hakuta, Kenzo Hakuta and Aki Hakuta.

Source: Dreamshare

His son, Justin Hakuta is also an entrepreneur

Justin Hakuta, 40, has the same enthusiasm as his father. He started his career in 2004 while still at university. His first job was as a sales and marketing associate at Honest Tea. Then he started his non-profit organization, All Day Buffer, which helped organize meals for the poor and needy. Justin also worked as a research analyst for a private company in New York. In 2014, he became product manager and co-founder of Avacara.

Justin rose to prominence through his current workplace, GoodRx. He joined Goodrx in 2016 as Senior Product Manager. It was the start of a leap in his career. Year after year, he did so well and continued to get promotions that he eventually became vice president in 2019. For your information, Justin has an MBA from Harvard.

Also Read: Who is Matthew Jay Povich? Untold Facts About Maury Povich’s Son

Her stepdaughter is a famous actress

Ken’s daughter-in-law, Ali Wong is a renowned actress. She started stand-up comedy right after graduating from college at the age of 23. Soon, she moved to New York to pursue her acting career. Wong has also appeared on numerous comedy shows, such as The Tonight Show, John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show, and Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground Show.

Wong is also an actress, but is best known for her comedic skills. She even made jokes about her miscarriage before having her first daughter, saying her action helped her cope with the situation.

Ali Wong never rested from her job, not even during her pregnancy. She was seven months pregnant with her first child, when her first Netflix stand-up special, “Baby Cobra”, was released. In 2017, she was seven months pregnant again when her second Netflix stand-up special, “Hard Knock Wife” was released.

When asked if she wanted her kids to be comedians like her on a talk show with Ellen Degeneres, Wong denied, saying acting is hard work. “Don Wong” is his third stand-up special, released in 2022.

Ken Hakuta's daughter-in-law Ali Wong with actor Keanu Reeves
Source: [email protected]

Her son and daughter-in-law have just separated

Justin Hakuta met his life partner, Ali Wong, in 2010 at a mutual friend’s wedding reception. Ali Wong is an American actress, comedian and author by profession. Two of them felt an instant connection and started to like each other. After four years of dating, the couple finally decided to get married in November 2014 in San Francisco. Together they have two beautiful daughters; the first is Mari, born in 2015, and the second is Nikki, born in 2017. The two were an example of a power couple.

Everything was going perfectly in their married life. But suddenly, in April 2022, we learned of their decision to separate. The news came just months after Wong’s comedy special, Don Wong, in which she joked about wanting to cheat on her husband now that she’s rich and famous.

Wong’s manager confirmed the divorce news while speaking with PEOPLE saying, “It’s amicable and they will continue to co-parent with love.” We have to wait to find out the reason for their separation as they have not made any statement regarding their divorce. For now, they mutually co-parent their two adorable children.

Ken Hakuta's son Justin Hakuta with his wife Ali Wong eating
Source: Instagram @jhakuta

Net worth of Ken Hakuta

Ken Hakuta was one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the 80s. His toy, Wacky WallWalker, sold over 240 million units, earning him $80 million. Moreover, he made a decent income from his television career. As of 2022, the inventor has an estimated net worth of $50 million.

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