Worlds of Wonder (toy company)

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Worlds of Wonder
Industry Consumer electronics, video game
Fate Closed, properties liquidated
Founded 1980
Defunct 1990
Headquarters Fremont, California, United States
Key people Don Kingsborough, Ken Forsse
Products Video games, consumer electronics
Promotional photo of Don Kingsborough playing Lazer Tag.

Worlds of Wonder or WoW was a 1980s American toy company founded by former Atari employees, including Don Kingsborough and Mark Robert Goldberg.[1]

Products[edit]

Class Act[edit]

Class Act is a product line of school supplies created by Worlds of Wonder in 1987. The line is "high-tech" in style though the only one piece of the ensemble that is "high-tech" in nature is "Express It": The Locker Answering Machine. The line consisted of:

There were also decorated Trapper Keeper-styled folders and pencils as part of the line. When Worlds of Wonder declared bankruptcy in 1988 the line was severely hurt by the crisis and ultimately cancelled.

Demise[edit]

With the strength of its line of toys Worlds of Wonder’s fortunes rose well beyond its assets. This culminated in a rather spectacular tumble as stock trades by company officers spooked investors. Attempting to stem the tide, WoW issued Non-Investment Grade Bonds, commonly known as junk bonds, in an effort to buoy itself. Although there is some contention as to whether this strategy would have helped, the attempt was made moot by the 1987 stock market crash. Worlds of Wonder filed for bankruptcy protection and was liquidated in 1988[19] and went through a series of layoffs. The creditors continued to operate the company in receivership until finally closing its doors in late 1990.[20] This period of operation only involved selling off existing inventory and no new toys were developed or manufactured.[citation needed]

Later versions of "Teddy Ruxpin" were brought out by Playskool and Yes! Entertainment (Yes! was also formed by Don Kingsborough) and, most currently, Backpack Toys.

The "Lazer Tag" brand name was continued by Shoot The Moon Products, a toy invention company formed by two other Worlds of Wonder founders[21] and new Lazer Tag equipment has been produced under license by Tiger Electronics and Hasbro. The new Lazer Tag toys are not compatible with the original Worlds Of Wonder Lazer tag gear except via a hidden interface in some of the Hasbro gear.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pollack, Andrew (1987-12-23). "Fast-Growing Toy Maker's Hard Fall". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-07. 
  2. ^ "You Call These Toys?". Time Magazine. 1987-12-07. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  3. ^ "Alchemy II Makes Technology Cuddly Company Tries to Conjure Up Cash With New Talking Bear". The Los Angeles Times. 1985-11-24. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  4. ^ Cuff, Daniel F. (1988-04-04). "BUSINESS PEOPLE; Worlds of Wonder Loses Its Chairman". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-07. 
  5. ^ Toys of the Eighties, Pamela Doll, Inthe80s.com (retrieved 9 February 2012)
  6. ^ Aliens Enjoy Pamela, The Living Doll, X-Entertainment (retrieved 9 February 2012)
  7. ^ Pamela the Living Doll: E.T. Approved, Matt Suzaka, Strange Kids Club, 14 April 2011 (retrieved 9 February 2012)
  8. ^ Worlds of Wonder: ‘The TALKING Snoopy‘ (1986), GoGreenMachine.org (retrieved 9 February 2012)
  9. ^ a b c d Search results, Oakland Tribune, 1989, archived at Oakland Museum of California (retrieved 9 February 2012)
  10. ^ a b Basics Back At Top Of The Hoop Summer's Here And The Time Is Right For Racing To The Toy Store, Barbara Deck, Philadelphia Daily News, 14 June 1988 (retrieved 10 February 2012)
  11. ^ Consumer group attacks unsafe toys, The Gainesville Sun Extra, 21 June 1989, p.2 (retrieved 10 February 2012 at Google News)
  12. ^ It's back to basics in toys - no mega-hits expected this year - discount store toy sales, Richard Halverson, Discount Store News, FindArticles (retrieved 9 February 2012)
  13. ^ THE WIZARDS OF WET : Even the Staid Take Delight in High-Tech Magic of Burbank Fountain Company, Susan Heeger, Los Angeles Times, 29 September 1988 (retrieved 11 February 2012)
  14. ^ a b Splatter Up Baseball from Buddy L, Shoot the Moon (retrieved 10 February 2012)
  15. ^ Grinding Gear, Steve Rushin, Sports Illustrated, 4 February 2002 (retrieved 11 February 2012)
  16. ^ GT Super Screamers featuring Nissan GTPZX, Nissan 300ZX forum, TwinTurbo.net, 27 February 2011 (retrieved 10 February 2012)
  17. ^ The Jaminator, Marie A. D'Amico and Steve Capps, MADcapps (retrieved 9 February 2012)
  18. ^ [1], Steven L. Kent, The Ultimate History of Video Games
  19. ^ NY Times article about the bankruptcy petition
  20. ^ Zonana, Victor F. (1987-12-22). "Cash-Strapped Toy Maker Worlds of Wonder Petitions for Chapter 11 Protection". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  21. ^ Lazer Tag fan page with a history of Shoot The Moon
  22. ^ Hidden WOW compatibility mode documented on creator's website