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Finger of Fate from Colorforms (1971)



The Finger of Fate answer board was separated into various quadrants.

Released by Colorforms in 1971, the Finger of Fate was a fortune-telling “crystal ball,” a mashup of Magic 8-Ball and a Ouija board. The transparent, plastic orb was roughly the size of a duckpin bowling ball and contained a single moving part, a magnetic pointer that was mounted above a circular answer board. The board was separated into various quadrants labeled with Yes, No, Maybe, and ?. A ring of letters and numbers ran along the outside.

Inside the patent

United States Patent #3,707,290, filed June 10, 1971, on behalf of Melvyn Birnkrant, illustrates the design of the Finger of Fate. The various patent diagrams showcase the magnetic pointer setup, the spherical container, and the mystical answer board.

Users consulted the Finger of Fate by tilting the ball from side to side. The Finger of Fate contained a permanent magnet that interacted with another disc-shaped magnet installed below the answer board. The magnetic poles of the two magnets naturally repelled each other, forcing the Finger of Fate to move to the periphery of the answer board randomly in an erratic, jumping motion.

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