In 1931, three individuals formed a company
in the town of East Aurora, in New York near Lake Erie. Herman Fisher and Irving Price left Helen Schelle out of the company's name, but together they pooled $5,000 to renovate a building into a toy
manufacturing plant. The first Fisher-Price line, in 1932, featured the popular Granny Doodle
and Dr. Doodle
, but the Depression
kept the company from making a profit
until 1938 when the Snoopy Sniffer
became a hit.
Toy production stopped during World War II, and the plant was used to make products for the war effort. After the end of the war, the demand for toys rose sharply but Fisher-Price could barely keep up. Finally in the 1950s a new warehouse was built, and the company began its own on-site supply manufacturing for the first time.
The 1960s saw Fisher-Price business increase dramatically. Most toys were now made of plastic, including the famous Little People, who debuted in 1968. They became so successful that one year later the company was sold to Quaker Oats and in 1970 a third manufacturing plant was opened. The company's plant count rose to five by 1972, and during the 1970s facilities were opened in Belgium and the United Kingdom.
Today, Fisher-Price is owned by Mattel. Toys are still mostly plastic, and are designed for children from birth to age five and up. The company manufactures Sesame Street and Veggie Tales toys in addition to the still-popular Little People.
Official site: http://www.fisher-price.com/
Sources: http://www.mwfp.com/fisher_price/history.html and http://www.thisoldtoy.com/