Marvin Glass and Associates

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Marvin Glass and Associates (MGA) was a toy design and engineering firm based in Chicago. Marvin Glass (1914–1974) and his employees created some of the most successful toys and games of the twentieth century such as Mr. Machine, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, Lite Brite, Ants in the Pants, Mouse Trap, Operation, Simon, Body Language, and the Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle.[1][2][3]

History[edit]

Marvin Glass and Associates was founded in 1941. Its founder, Marvin Glass, was an entrepreneur and the creative force behind Marvin Glass and Associates. His salesmanship and uncanny ability to spark creativity in the designers he employed was unparalleled. In 1949 he licensed a "novelty item" to H. Fishlove & Company called Yakitty-Yak Talking Teeth. This item was invented by Eddy Goldfarb, who worked for Marvin Glass for a very short time after World War II.

The first big hit for Marvin Glass was Mr. Machine, a toy invented by a former watchmaker named Leo Kripak. A child could take Mr. Machine apart and put him back together. It was licensed to Ideal Toys and became such a hit that Lionel Weintraub, its president, made it his company mascot and featured it in many of Ideal's early TV ads. The company became so successful that Marvin Glass got his company logo printed on every package for the items it invented and licensed.

The organization's general counsel, James F. Coffee, and accountant Ernest Sonderling, were the architects of the successful business model whereby the designs and inventions were patented and licensed to various toy companies and manufacturers who would pay running royalties based on sales. Outside counsel, chairman and founder of the Intellectual Property Department at McDermott Will & Emery, Robert J. Schneider, was responsible for procuring the patents and protecting them from infringement. Mr. Schneider is currently Co-Chair of the Intellectual Property Department of Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP. [4]

Marvin Glass died in 1974. Two years later, company CEO Anson Isaacson and two other company employees were shot and killed (and several others were wounded) at the company's offices in Chicago by another designer who then killed himself.[5]

MGA was contracted by Bally-Midway to design coin-operated video games during the 1980s. Some of the games produced by MGA during this era include Tapper, Domino Man and Timber.

The company continued in operation until 1988. Several partners from Marvin Glass and Associates subsequently started Big Monster Toys, which remains to this day and is still based in Chicago.

Designs by manufacturer[edit]

Unknown[edit]

  • 1966 Mosquito Game
  • 1967 That Kid (Hasbro)
  • 1969 Sketch a Toon
  • 1970 The Wall Walkers
  • 1973 Super Sunday Football

Aurora[edit]

  • 1972 Skittle Horseshoes
  • 1973 Flip It

Cardinal[edit]

  • 1969 Finders Keepers

Gilbert[edit]

  • 1965 James Bond 007 Action Toys
  • 1965 American Flyer All Aboard Sets

Hasbro[edit]

  • 1963 Ambush!
  • 1967 That Kid Doll
  • 1967 Lite Brite
  • 1969 AstroLite, Astro Sound
  • 1971 Inchworm, Alley Up
  • 1974 Ricochet Racers

Hubley[edit]

  • 1962 Golferino (See also Milton Bradley)

Ideal[edit]

  • 1960 Mr Machine
  • 1961 Robot Commando
  • 1962 Gaylord, Bop the Beetle, King Zor
  • 1963 Mousetrap
  • 1964 Crazy Clock
  • 1965 Fish Bait
  • 1964 Clancy the Great
  • 1965 Tigeroo Bike Siren
  • 1966 Babysitter Game
  • 1967 Careful
  • 1968 Little Lost Baby
  • 1969 Ants in the Pants
  • 1970 Mr. Mad
  • 1973 Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle
  • 1977 Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Puppets & Trolley

Irwin[edit]

  • 1963 Dandy the Lion
  • 1964 Interior Decorator Set

Kenner[edit]

  • 1970 SSP
  • 1971 Smash Up Derby
  • 1972 Blythe Doll
  • 1975 Hugo Man of Thousand Faces

Lakeside[edit]

  • 1970 Brink Ball, Mad Marbles

Marx[edit]

Matchbox[edit]

  • 1972 Big M-X

Mattel[edit]

  • 1961 PopZaBall

Milton Bradley[edit]

  • 1963 Jungle Hunt
  • 1964 Time Bomb
  • 1965 Mystery Date
  • 1967 Fang Bang
  • 1968 Sand Lot Slugger, Bucket of Fun
  • 1969 Dynamite Shack
  • 1970 Snoopy and the Red Baron; Which Witch?
  • 1971 Stay Alive
  • 1974 Body Language
  • 1974 Trip Hammer
  • 1979 SIMON

Parker Brothers[edit]

  • 1968 Situation 4
  • 1970 Mind Maze, Rattle Battle, The Tiny Tim of Beautiful Things, Twiddler
  • 1971 Gnip Gnop, Masterpiece
  • 1974 Tug Boat

Schaper Toys[edit]

  • 1963 King of the Hill
  • 1967 Clean Sweep
  • 1968 Big Mouth
  • 1972 Don't Blow Your Top
  • 1974 Jack Be Nimble

Whitman[edit]

  • 1969 Humor Rumor

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sharon M. Scott, Toys and American Culture: An Encyclopedia (ABC-CLIO, 2010), ISBN 978-0313351112, pp. 131-132. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  2. ^ Stephen Van Dulken, American Inventions: A History of Curious, Extraordinary, and Just Plain Useful Patents (NYU Press, 2004), ISBN 978-0814788134, p. 38.Excerpts available at Google Books.
  3. ^ "Glass still makes toys at age 57", UPI in Hendersonville Times-News, April 22, 1971.
  4. ^ http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140102/NEWS04/131239973/taft-starts-adding-lawyers-following-shefsky-merger#
  5. ^ "Chicago Man Kills 3, Shoots Himself", UPI in Milwaukee Journal, July 28, 1976.


External links[edit]