10 Weird Inventions That Made Millions


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Billy-Bob Teeth
Patrick Brittain of Billy-Bob Teeth shows off the fake teeth during the American International Toy Fair 2001. (AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY/Getty Images)

It must be a little disheartening for parents to see their progeny pop in a pair of Billy-Bob Teeth. There's nothing like spending thousands of dollars to correct a crossbite or undo an underbite, only to see it undone for $9.99. Call it innocent fun, classism or revenge for months of stabbing wires, tight rubber bands and ludicrous headgear; whatever the motive, parents probably die a little inside.

It's hard to believe that the profits from a set of novelty teeth could pay a dental bill, let alone settle a pair of student loans; but these counterfeit choppers not only dug their developers out of debt, they made them millionaires.

Born of a partnership between a dental student and a struggling ex-college football player, these demented dentures -- and related novelties such as Zombie Feet Sandals and hats with hair -- have sold more than 15 million units since 1994, and as of 1998 had grossed $1.8 million [source: AP]. Chew on that.

By the way, even sporting a pair of Billy-Bob Teeth, you doubtless have a handsomer mug than the creature on the next page.