Just before 1950, he designed and produced a first generation set of plastic face pieces. The push pin shaped noses, ears, eyes, and mouth parts could be pushed into fruits or vegetables to transform the food into playmates. Lerner finally sold the toy for $5000, to a cereal company. The toys were planned to be a premium giveaway in cereal boxes. But when Lerner found a better deal offered by toy manufacturer Hassenfeld Brothers (now Hasbro), Lerner and the manufacturer bought the rights back for $7000.
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