Melissa & Doug

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Melissa & Doug
Private
Industry Toys
Founded 1988 (1988)
Founder Melissa and Doug Bernstein
Headquarters Wilton, Connecticut, United States
Website melissaanddoug.com

Melissa & Doug is an American manufacturer and purveyor of children's toys.[1][2] The company was founded by Melissa and Doug Bernstein in their basement and in Doug's parents' garage in 1988.[3][4][5][6] It is headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut.[7] It is especially noted for wooden puzzles, arts & crafts products, plush toys and other types of educational toys.[7][8] All products are designed in-house in Wilton, Connecticut, by a team of designers led by Melissa.[7] The company has manufacturing sites in both the U.S. and abroad.[8]

It has been reported that the company has about 1,000 employees worldwide, including some in China.[1][9] A 2013 profile on the company reported that the company has had double digit growth every year.[7]

In a 2016 Good Morning America profile, Melissa Bernstein shared her belief that through imaginary play, kids explore, create, take risks, and discover who they really are. The same profile noted that the Melissa & Doug philosophy matches the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation that parents limit screen time for young children.[6]

History[edit]

The company was founded in 1988 when the co-founders left corporate careers to start their own company.[7] They have stated that because three of their four parents were educators, they were drawn to doing something involving children.[3] The first product that brought them attention was the Fuzzy Farm Puzzle, a wooden puzzle with texture.[3] A large line of wooden puzzles followed.[3][7] For more than 10 years, the company produced puzzles before expanding into wooden toys, arts & crafts, pretend play, plush toys, and more.[3][7][8] According to Good Morning America, the company has made more than 5,000 products, putting them "...in the same league as toy titans Mattel and LEGO."[6]

Controversy[edit]

Melissa and Doug was fined $1,386 on November 15, 2012 by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for not completing employment forms for all of its employees.[10]

JNK Originals of Hazard KY complained that Melissa and Doug rescinded a territory protection agreement.

In Popular Culture

Melissa & Doug is the company behind the kazoo video that exploded into the collective consciousness in 2014-15 when their "Special Friends: You on Kazoo" home video [1989, VHS packaged with kazoo] was uploaded to YouTube (and later edited into clip-size by user channel Dead VCR) and subsequently ubiquitously passed around until a trap remix of the video edit capped off the craze.  :)

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