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During the 70's and early 80's while working as a consulting engineer and teaching part time at Stanford University, Alan Adler invented toys in his spare time and licensed his ideas to toy companies. Alan was also an avid sailor who taught himself aerodynamics in order to be able to design sailboats. His love of inventing toys and his new found knowledge of aerodynamics led him into the pursuit of better flying toys.

Alan designed and built the first prototype of the Aerobie ring with its spoiler rim that balances lift over a wide range of throwing speeds in early 1984. The first throw of the Aerobie ring on Roble Field at Stanford showed Alan he had something special. The ring flew straight and true for an incredible distance, "as if sliding on an invisible sheet of ice."