During the 1930’s (The Beginning)
Fisher-Price was founded in the early 1930’s by Herm Irving and Helen Schelle. The three founders all shared a common belief that – toys must have “intrinsic play value, ingenuity, strong construction, good value for the money, and action.”
In 1931, the three founders of – successfully displayed sixteen wooden toys at the American International Toy Fair in New York City and later in 1931 began selling the “Dr. Doodle” toy duck. The Dr. Doodle was colorful painted pull toy made from metal and wood. The Dr. Doodle when pulled would raise and lower his neck and make quacking sounds when pulled by it’s attached rope.
In 1931 - introduced its first toy the Dr Doodle
The Dr. Doodle had all the characteristics of a – toy. It was creative, captured the child’s attention was affordable and durable. Many of the toys designs that – has produced over the years are still being sold today.
- started operation with 15 workers. The manufacturing facilities were located in East Aurora, New York, 20 miles southeast of Buffalo. The company survived the Great Depression most likely for its core belief in providing value and excitement in its products.
Even though economic times were uncertain, the introduction of the Snoopy Sniffer was so popular in 1938 that -’s had a hard time keeping up with orders.
The Snoopy Sniffer introduced in the 1940′s, (pictured above) had all the characteristics of a – toy. It was creative, captured the child’s attention was affordable and durable. Many of the toys that – has produced over the years are still being manufactured today
During the 1940′s
In the 1940’s – continued to produce pull toys. The toys came in a variety of shapes and figures. Some toys resembling pet mice, pet dogs, cows and bears. Disney characters were also introduced as pull toys along with other modernized themes based on cars, trucks, fire engines and trains.
Picture of a 1940′s Wooden Pull Toy of an Elephant driving a Train
In 1943, – supported the U.S. war effort and help supply the military with medical chests, ammunition crates, and fighter plane parts.
Many – collectors place a high value on toys made during the 1940’s due to the classic “wooden” charm that a – pull along toy.
During the 1950′s
The 1950’s marked a new era in manufacturing with the invention of plastics. The first – toy to plastic was the Buzzy Bee. The of plastics made toys appear more colorful and increased their durability. By the end of the 1950’s plastic was d in more than half of the 39 toys in the – product line.
Buzzy Bee introduced in 1950′s was the first toy that included plastic.
The Safety School Bus toy line was introduced in the late 1950’s. It had six removable wooden peg figures that added to the fulness of the toy. These small wooden peg figures would later inspired future play sets such as – “Play Family” and the world of “Little People”. The play sets simulated a small town which included farms, hos, schools and a garage. These play sets were produced for nearly forty years.
During the 1960′s
In 1960, – introduced a nursery toy called the Rock-A-Stack. The Rock-A-Stack encouraged toddlers to take colorful plastic rings and stack them on a small plastic cone. It was produced continuously for the next 29 years. It’s design has been reintroduced several times and is still as popular as ever.
Since the introduction of Rock-A-Stacks in 1960, over 40 million have been sold.
The Fisher-Price Rock-A-Stack was significant in that it demonstrated Fisher-Price’s commitment to creating educational and developmental toys.
In 1961, – created a research facility called the – Play Laboratory. It was the first of its kind in the toy industry. The Play Lab provides a place where designers and engineers could observe children playing with products. Data was now being recorded on children and toddlers reacted to toys. The – Play Lab is still very active in the role of research and development of children toys.
1969 marked the a new era for – as the Quaker Oats company was allowed to acquire the – company. The acquisition by Quaker Oats was supported by Herm and the majority of – stockholders.
During the 1970′s
The 1970’s marked a new growth period in -. It toy products became more diversified with the launch of the – “Crib and Playpen” which was developed for infants. – also added arts and craft toys, dolls and trucks. – launched its first national television commercials directed towards the parents.
During the 1980′s
In the mid-1980′s, Fisher-Price added its strong brand name to add high chairs, nursery lamps and diaper bags to their product line. The new products were a great success. Today, – sells many, of its cutting-edge, innovative baby and toddler product under the Babygear brand. These products including bouncers, monitors, swings and more.
- Little People Airport
During the 1990′s
In 1990, The Quaker Oats Company sold off the – Division. The – Toy company officially became – Inc. an independent, publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange in June of 1991
In November of 1993, Mattel bought Fisher-Price Toys, Inc. as subsidiary of Mattel still maintains its headquarters in East Aurora, New York.
With Mattel’s strong network of affiliates in Europe, Latin America and Asia, – international sales grew at a remarkable rate.
Pictured above is a McDonald’s “Little People” play set. – keeping with the times.
During the 2000′s
In 2007 the – company recalled over 1 million toys due to lead-based paint. In 2009 – bought both Thomas & Friends and Learning Curve.
- company has been around for over 80 years and is still one of the leading manufactures of children toys and accessories. Picture above is a – Apptivity case designed to allow baby’s access to – Applications.
Fisher-Price History (Success Story)
The formula for success of Fisher-Price Toys is based on their founding principles of being innovative and providing quality to the customer. When you look at Fisher-Price’s history you’ll see many truly amazing toys created by Fisher-Price that have provided joy to generations of children.
Many of the Fisher-price toys that were manufactured many years ago are now being sold on EBay as collectors’ items. In some respects these Fisher-Price toys and their history represent the Golden Age of American manufacturing.
The colours, the brilliance of design, the construction and most importantly the fun the toys provided to children. Clearly show why Fisher-Price continues to be a world leader in producing quality toys. We (Kids Toys – Malaysia) hope that they continue to follow their founding fathers formula for success.
- Fun Fisher-Price History Facts
- The first – toy ever sold was Dr. Doodle. In 1931, parents could buy this delightful little pull toy for under $3.00. The same toy, in excellent condition, could command up to $1,000 today.
- For nearly 75 years, – has designed and manufactured more than 5,000 different toys for children from birth to five years of age. Many of those toys have become classics, remaining popular playthings for generations of children.
- More than 10 million Little Snoopy pull toys have been sold since it was introduced in 1966, which is approximately 700 a day for the past 39 years and still going strong!
- Little Snoopy has “gone on a walk” with children all over the world and has been with many of them as they’ve taken their first steps.
- If stacked on top of one another, the 40 million+ Rock-A-Stacks sold since their introduction in 1960 would reach over 6,000 miles into the sky.
- The – Chatter Telephone has been the first telephone for more than 26 million people since 1962. As a matter of fact, the Chatter Telephone is the only “telephone” on the market that still has a rotary dial!
- 100% of parents in the United States are familiar with the – brand name “Fisher-Price”.