Melissa & Doug

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Melissa & Doug
Founded1988 (1988)
FounderMelissa and Doug Bernstein
HeadquartersWilton, Connecticut, United States

Melissa & Doug (formerly known as Lights, Camera, Interaction!, Inc) is an American manufacturer of children's toys[1][2], including wooden puzzles, arts & crafts products, plush toys, and other educational toys.[3][4] It was founded in 1988 by Melissa and Doug Bernstein in their basement and in Doug's parents' garage.[5][6][7][8] All products are designed at the company's Wilton, Connecticut, headquarters by a team of designers led by Melissa.[3]

The company has factories in the U.S. and abroad[4] with about 1,000 employees worldwide, including some in China.[1][9] A 2013 New York Times profile reported that it has had double-digit growth every year.[3]

Good Morning America reported that the company has made more than 5,000 products, putting them "in the same league as toy titans Mattel and LEGO."[8]


The private company was founded in 1988 when the co-founders left corporate careers to start their own company.[3] Three of their four parents were educators, so they were drawn to doing something involving children.[5] The first product that brought them attention was the Fuzzy Farm Puzzle, a wooden puzzle with texture.[5] An extensive line of wooden puzzles followed.[5][3] In the late 1990s, the company expanded into wooden toys, arts & crafts, pretend play, plush toys, and more.[5][3][4]

Early in its history, the company released three short films by Melissa and Doug Bernstein under the "Lights, Camera, Interaction!" banner and under the name "Special Friends": "You On Kazoo!" (1989), starring 8-year-old Brett Ambler; "Let's Sing-Along" (1990), which promoted a microphone toy; and "Ring-Along, Sing-Along" (1991), promoting a bell-ringing toy.

"You On Kazoo!" was uploaded to YouTube in 2014, and it became a viral meme; the video was remixed by Mike Diva in February 2016 and Florian Rehn Olsson sampled the video in his SoundCloud song "dootdoot".

The company was fined $1,386 on November 15, 2012, by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for hiring unlawful employees.[10]

In 2016, Melissa Bernstein told Good Morning America that she thinks that imaginary play helps children explore, create, take risks, and discover who they really are.

The Melissa & Doug philosophy matches the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation that parents limit screen time for young children.[8]

The company sponsors an entrepreneurship program at Duke University, the Bernsteins' alma mater, providing funding and mentors throughout the year. Melissa and Doug Bernstein help students in the program.[11]

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