SARASOTA -We’ve all played the board game Operation. Using tiny pliers to retrieve items stuck inside of a person without touching the metal sides.

"I wanted to do a game based on the pin and light socket, I said that’s neat if I can do that in a game and shock some kids, I think that may be a hit,” said John Spinello inventor of the board game Operation.

Like many of us filmmaker Tim Walsh grew up playing this board game but as he grew so did his curiosity on who created it.

"I wrote a book called Timeless Toys," said Walsh. "I wanted to find out who invented some of the most classic toys and Operation was one I loved as a kid that I wanted to make sure was in the book.”

Walsh first met Spinello the inventor of Operation in 2004. As a lifelong fan of the game, Walsh and Spinello began to build a close friendship as Walsh wanted to help get Spinello’s story to public.

"In the toy world, like for instance Operation, that is a game that has sold not one or two or ten or twenty but 45 million copies and no one knows who invented it,” Walsh said.

Walsh’s film, Operation: The Power of Play, gives audiences an insight look at Spinello’s life after having sold the rights to the game for only $500 and the promise of a job upon graduating college that never came.

"All these fans from all over the world wrote to us and said ‘thank you for inventing a game that we loved," said Walsh. "But we got letters from people from the medical field nurses, and doctors, and even surgeons.”

Walsh said he soon realized he had a documentary film in his hands and  as a fan he wanted to share Spinello’s story and help his other fans meet the man who they say changed their life’s with his game.

"People make good deals and bad deals and here’s a guy who didn’t get a good deal and he’s awesome, so it feels good,” said Walsh.

The Central West Coast Chapter of Florida Public Relation Association is presenting Walsh’s film Operation: The Power of Play Friday night at the Bazaar on Apricot and Lime at 6 p.m. For tickets and more information visit