By Anastasia Millicker
MIDDLETOWN – Township resident Kevin Brown is trying to change the image of the game beer pong with his portable, family-friendly Point Pong game.
When his daughter and son-in-law bought Brown an inflatable beer pong table for the pool, it came with a repair kit. Brown knew then that the floating table would be a flop.
So Brown, owner of KB Innovations Inc., decided to design his own pool Point Pong table.
Using a PVC pipe as a stand and a triangular cutout, Brown, 59, went to work building five or six prototypes before finalizing his design.
The complete kit comes in an 11-pound bag with the parts to construct two triangular tables with holders for 10 cups on the main board and four additional cups holders off the board.
The bag also includes an 8-foot string that connects the two boards. The product was designed for indoor, outdoor and pool usage.
Brown said the design for Point Pong was not difficult but getting it manufactured was as difficult as getting the last shot in a pong game.
Brown said he went to local hardware stores and manufacturing companies looking for materials and companies to reproduce his design. When his efforts proved futile, he decided to go overseas.
“I went to China,” Brown said. “I had a connection over there and in the first to second week, we looked at local manufacturers and factories and in the third week, we leveled it down to the last two factories. I picked the one I did because of the factory’s timeliness and quality.”
Point Pong, which retails for about $149, is now found not only in local stores, including Add-On Pools on Route 35, but also nationally on sears.com, the Point Pong website at pointpong.com, and MembersDepot.com, Brown said.
Point Pong has been around since November and has sold 275 units from its website. Brown is unsure how many units retailers have sold.
Brown’s target audience is not just college students but also families that can play using a point system.
Two to four players, using any type of beverage, create two teams. One player stands behind their table and aims a ping-pong ball at the other team’s red cups. To determine who goes first, players have a shoot-out, tossing the ping-pong balls toward the cups until one player makes it in. That team goes first.
Players take turns until they land a ball into a cup. When a ball lands in a cup, the cup is then removed and placed in a side cup-holder. Based on the color of the ring around the cup, the player looks to score 15 points to win the game.
Players can also play the traditional way, without the point system, removing cups as balls land in them. The team that lands a ball in all their opponents’ cups wins.
Brown said Point Pong’s unique design sets it apart from similar products.
“It’s portable and the table can be left outside all the time – unlike other tables,” Brown said. “Plus it floats.”
In addition to being sold around the country, Brown said his tables have also been used for different charity events. Recently, the Point Pong table was used at Taste in Red Bank to benefit the Wounded Warriors XXX and will be used in Virginia in a charity event for a facility for the physically challenged.
“It’s been a successful business year and I hope for it to continue,” Brown said.
As for future product plans, Brown said his product’s design is finalized and he does not intend to make further changes, except maybe adding options to make it more visible at night.