The Fisher-Price company is famous all over the world for being a popular toy maker. The company was founded by Irving Price and Herman Fisher in 1930, and is still going strong today. Both parties lived and worked in New York, Fisher specifically in the manufacturing and advertising of games, and Price had worked for a large chain store. They combined forces, and with the help of Price’s illustrator wife, they created one of the biggest toy manufacturing companies the world has ever seen. Initially, Fisher-Price set out to create strong toys that gave the customer value for money, and that would instil the child with values for playing. The early models built were made out of pine wood and steel, making them heavy but enormously childproof. The colours were added with the use of labels that were stuck onto the toy, most of which were designed by Price’s wife.
One year later, the trio set out to the New York International Toy Fair. Word soon got around about the wonderful toys they had made, and the company went from strength to strength. By the 1950s, the company had begun to expand into using plastic, the advantage being that toys would last longer and could be much more colourful for children. By 1960, thirty-nine toys in the Fisher-Price range were made from plastic.
It was around this time that the ‘Little People’ range was introduced. These proved to be immensely popular, and still are to this day. The range included people and animal figures in a variety of settings, such as schools, houses, farms, garages, or places of work. Originally carved from wood, the modern little people are now all made out of plastic.
In 1993, the company was bought by global giants Mattel, and by 1997, all of Mattel’s toys and manufactured goods for children who had not yet started school were branded as Fisher-Price.
Although Fisher-Price are global giants of the toy market, there have been some products that have been recalled over the years. One of the most recent cases was in 2007, which resulted in Fisher-Price recalling almost a million products that were coated in lead-based paint, which included some of the Dora the Explorer and the Sesame Street lines. Another incredible case was in 2008 when, after a month of being on the market, some customers complained that the ‘Little Mommy Cuddle and Coo’ doll said the phrase ‘Islam is the light’. The doll was removed from many retailers until the problem was fixed.
There are a number of other famous brands which are associated with the Fisher-Price name, including Barney, Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, and Disney. As well as the Fisher-Price figurines, they also produce soft toys and play kits, as well as musical toys and activity centres. The aim for children is to learn whilst playing. Fisher-Price has also ventured into infant care goods, including potties. To date, the Fisher-Price brand had mass produced around five thousand toys since its humble beginnings.