Margaret Evans Price
|Headquarters||East Aurora, New York, U.S.|
|Revenue||US$2.16 billion (2011)|
Founded in 1930 by Herman Fisher, Irving Price, Price's illustrator-artist wife Margaret Evans Price, and Helen Schelle, the name Fisher-Price was established by combining two of the three names. Fisher worked previously in manufacturing, selling and advertising games for a company in Churchville, New York. Price had retired from a major variety chain store, and Helen Schelle previously operated Penny Walker Toy Shop in Binghamton, New York. Fisher-Price’s fundamental toy-making principles centered on intrinsic play value, ingenuity, strong construction, good value for the money, and action. Early toys were made of heavy steel parts and ponderosa pine, which resisted splintering and held up well to heavy use. The details and charm were added with colorful lithographic labels. Mrs. Price was the first Art Director and designed push-pull toys for the opening line, based on characters from her children's books.
In 1931, the three founders took 16 of their wooden toys to the American International Toy Fair in New York City and they quickly became a success. The first Fisher-Price toy ever sold was "Dr. Doodle" in 1931. (The same toy, in excellent condition, would be worth a considerable amount in today's collectibles market.) In the early 1950s, Fisher-Price identified plastic as a material that could help the company incorporate longer-lasting decorations and brighter colors into its toys. "Buzzy Bee" was the first Fisher-Price toy to make use of plastic. By the end of the 1950s, Fisher-Price manufactured 39 toys incorporating plastics.
During the 1960s, the Play Family (later known as Little People) product line was introduced and soon overtook the popularity of earlier toys. Herman Fisher retired at the age of 71 in 1969 and the Quaker Oats Company bought Fisher-Price the same year.
In 1991, Fisher-Price regained its independence from The Quaker Oats Company and became a publicly traded company. Two years later, in November 1993, Fisher-Price became a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel. A new management group set the company’s focus on basic, infant and preschool products and began expansion into international markets. By 1997 Mattel decided to market all of its preschool products under the Fisher-Price name.
Fisher-Price has created approximately 5,000 different toys since the early 1930s. One of Fisher-Price’s best-known lines is Little People toys, which includes people and animal figures along with various play sets such as a house, farm, school, garage and vehicles. The figures, which originally were wooden peg-style characters, are now molded of plastic and have detailed features.
In addition to Little People, some of the toys and toy brands that have remained popular for many years include Power Wheels, View-Master, Rescue Heroes, the Chatter Telephone, and the Rock-a-Stack. Other brands marketed under the Fisher-Price name include Disney, Sesame Street, Barney, Dora the Explorer and See 'n Say.
Fisher-Price also designs and sells infant care products and has begun developing electronic toys for preschoolers.
On August 2, 2007, Fisher-Price recalled close to a million toys, including the Dora the Explorer and Sesame Street toys because of possible hazards due to the toys being coated in lead-based paint. Purchasers of Fisher-Price toys can get information on country specific recall details and share the facts about affected toys in their area by visiting Mattel Voluntary Safety Recall Facts.
Cuddle and Coo doll controversy
In 2008, a doll called Little Mommy Real Loving Baby Cuddle and Coo was sold. In October of that year, some customers who had bought the doll complained that they could hear the doll saying "Islam is the light." Mattel stated that the only real word in the toy's vocabulary was "mama", and that resemblance to other phrases was imagined.
Current brands and products
- Rainforest Jumperoo
- Alphabet magnet board
- Amazing Animals
- Baby Gymtastics
- Brilliant Basics
- Dance Baby Dance!
- ESPN GameStation
- ESPN Shot Block Basketball
- ESPN Fast Action Football
- Fun 2 Learn
- Fusion Crew
- GeoTrax Rail and Road Systems
- Kid Tough Electronics (Digital Camera & MP3 Player & VHS Player)
- Laugh & Learn
- Little Mommy (Baby dolls and their various accessories)
- Little People (safer update of the Play Family line)
- Loving Family Dollhouses and accessories
- Miracles and Milestones
- Ocean Wonders
- Power Wheels
- Quizard the Learning Wizard
- Rescue Heroes
- Shake ’n Go!
- Matchbox Junior
- Snap ’n Style Friends & Fashions
- Smart Cycle
- Smart Shopper
- SparkArt Creativity System
- Star Station Entertainment System featuring hit music from Kidz Bop
- Sweet Streets
- TRIO Building System
Baby Gear products
- Baby Monitors
- Booster Seats
- Baby Bouncers
- Car Seats
- Entertainers & Activity Centers
- High Chairs
- Infant Seats
- Play Yards
- Rainforest Collection
- Baby Swings
- Tubs & Potties
Historic brands & products
- Adventure People
- Barney related products
- Blue's Clues related products
- The Berenstain Bears related products
- Chatter Telephone
- Construx building toys
- Corn Popper
- Corduroy related products
- Marvin the Tap-Dancing Horse related products
- Doodle Pro (changed name from Magna Doodle)
- Elliot Moose related products
- Seven Little Monsters related products
- Fimbles related products
- George Shrinks related products
- Jolly Jumping Jack crib toy
- Movie Viewer
- My Friend Dolls (Mikey, Becky, etc.)
- Play Family
- Pocket Rockers
- PowerTouch Learning System
- PXL-2000 camcorder
- Roly Poly
- Talk-to-Me books with record "discs" built into the pages
- The Koala Brothers related products
- Timothy Goes to School related products
- Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! (2008–2010, 2013-present)
- The Muppets related products
- VeggieTales related products
Starting in the 80s, seven games which carried the Fisher-Price name have been published by GameTek for the PC and the Commodore 64. In 1990, three of these titles were ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System:
- Fun Flyer (1984)
- Firehouse Rescue (1988)
- Little People Bowling Alley (1989)
- School Bus Driver (1989)
- My Grand Piano (1989)
- Perfect Fit (1990)
- I Can Remember (1990)
Other Fisher-Price products
Other Fisher-Price products include Activegear for families on the go, books, software, car travel accessories, footwear, infant carriers, music, and videos.
- "Fisher-Price Toys - Classic Toys." About.com
- "Vintage Fisher-Price Toys" Antiques-antiques.com
- "Fisher-Price Pre-School Toys Buying Guide" Pages.ebay.com
- "Little People History" Thisoldtoy.com
- "Fisher-Price Recalls Licensed Character Toys Due To Lead Poisoning Hazard"
- "Mattel Voluntary Safety Recall Facts"
- Mikkelson, Barbara & David P. "Pro-Islam Doll" at Snopes.com: Urban Legends Reference Pages.
- "Fisher Price: Firehouse Rescue Release Date". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
- "Fisher Price: Perfect Fit Release Date". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
- "Fisher Price: I Can Remember Release Date". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
- Fisher-Price.com: The official site of Fisher-Price.