John Spinello, who created what would become Operation, the classic board game, needs a reported $25,000 for oral surgery.
Spinello isn’t rich because he sold his game for $500 in the 1960s to a toy company that would then license it to game giant Milton Bradley. The widely popular game made famous on endless TV commercials in the 1960s and 1970s allows players to test their fine motor skills using a tweezer.
Spinello may not have the millions he could have earned, but he’s rich with friends. Toy designers Tim Walsh and Peggy Brown are among his friends. They started a fund on CrowdRise.com to raise the money. The $25,000 goal was easily surpassed and is now headed toward $30,000.
Moreover, Hasbro announced Wednesday they it will purchase the original Operation game prototype that Spinello had planned to put up for auction. Hasbro took ownership of Operation in the 1980s when it purchased Milton Bradley.
“Today we informed Mr. Spinello that Hasbro plans to purchase the prototype with the hope that the funds will help to defray his medical costs,” the company said in a statement to ABC News. “We plan to proudly display it at Hasbro’s global headquarters in Pawtucket, RI to honor his contribution to Hasbro’s gaming history.”
Spinello and his wife, Madeline, said in a statement to ABC News that they feel “really good” that Hasbro has purchased the prototype.
“It will have a happy home in their museum. That’s where it belongs,” the pair said. “As for medical costs – everything that is contributing to the success of the campaign is going to make life easier for John [Spinello] and what he needs medically. We feel positive about Hasbro purchasing the prototype – we’re very happy about it.”
See NBC News’ report on Spinello: