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Fisher-Price, Inc.
FoundedJune 19, 1930; 93 years ago (1930-06-19)
FoundersHerman Fisher
Irving Price
Margaret Evans Price
Helen Schelle
Rebecca D. Fisher
ProductsBaby toys, dolls
RevenueDecreaseUS$1.07 billion (2020)
ParentQuaker Oats Company (1969–1991)
Mattel (1993–present)
Footnotes / references

Fisher-Price is an American company that produces educational toys for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, headquartered in East Aurora, New York. The company was founded in 1930 during the Great Depression by Herman Fisher, Irving Price, Helen Schelle, and Margaret Evans-Price.

Notable Fisher-Price toys include the Little People toy line, Power Wheels, View-Master, Rescue Heroes, the Chatter Telephone, and the Rock-a-Stack. The company also manufactures a number of products and toys designed for infants.

Fisher-Price has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel since 1993.


Founded in 1930 during the Great Depression by Herman Fisher, Irving Price, Price's illustrator-artist wife Margaret Evans Price, and Helen Schelle, the name Fisher-Price was established by combining two of the three names.[2][3] Fisher worked previously in manufacturing, selling and advertising games for a company in Churchville, New York.[4] Price had retired from a major variety chain store, and Helen Schelle previously operated Penny Walker Toy Shop[5] in Binghamton, New York. Fisher-Price's fundamental toy-making principles centered on intrinsic play value, ingenuity, strong construction, good value for the money, and action. Early toys were made of heavy steel parts and ponderosa pine, which resisted splintering and held up well to heavy use. The details and charm were added with colorful lithographic labels.[6] Mrs. Price was the first Art Director and designed push-pull toys for the opening line, based on characters from her children's books.

The mayor of Aurora, New York, supported Fisher by raising $100,000 in capital.[7] In 1931, three of the four founders took 16 of their wooden toys to the American International Toy Fair in New York City and they quickly became a success. The first Fisher-Price toy ever sold was "Dr. Doodle" in 1931.[8] In the early 1950s, Fisher-Price identified plastic as a material that could help the company incorporate longer-lasting decorations and brighter colors into its toys. "Buzzy Bee" was the first Fisher-Price toy to make use of plastic.[9] By the end of the 1950s, Fisher-Price manufactured 39 toys incorporating plastics.[10]

During the 1960s, the Play Family (later known as Little People) product line was introduced and soon overtook the popularity of earlier toys.[11] The 'Family House' was one of the more popular Little People playsets.[11] Herman Fisher retired at the age of 71 in 1969 and The Quaker Oats Company bought Fisher-Price the same year.[12]

In 1991, Fisher-Price regained its independence from The Quaker Oats Company and became a publicly traded company.[13] Two years later, in November 1993, Mattel bought Fisher-Price. A new management group set the company's focus on basic, infant and preschool products and began expansion into international markets. By 1997, Mattel decided to market all of its preschool products under the Fisher-Price name.

In 2004, Royal Caribbean Cruise lines launched Fisher-Price Cabanas, play laboratories for children on each of their cruise ships. [4]


Fisher-Price has created approximately 5,000 different toys since the early 1930s.[4] One of Fisher-Price's best-known lines is Little People toys, which includes people and animal figures along with various play sets such as a house, farm, school, garage and vehicles. The figures, which originally were wooden peg-style characters, are now molded of plastic and have detailed features.[14]

In addition to Little People, some of the toys and toy brands that have remained popular for many years include Power Wheels, View-Master, Rescue Heroes, the Chatter Telephone,[5] and the Rock-a-Stack. Other brands marketed under the Fisher-Price name over the years include Disney, Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, and See 'n Say.

Fisher-Price also designs and sells infant care products and has begun developing electronic toys[15] for preschoolers.

In 2009, Fisher-Price bought all toy rights to Thomas & Friends except for the Wooden Railway line. Through Mattel's 2012 acquisition of HIT Entertainment, which subsequently became a division of Fisher-Price, Mattel now owns the property outright. With this, toys based on Mike the Knight and Bob the Builder have been subsequently released.[16]


On August 2, 2007, Fisher-Price recalled close to a million toys, including the Dora the Explorer and Sesame Street toys because of possible hazards due to the toys being coated in lead-based paint.[17][18]

Rock 'n Play[edit]

Fisher-Price recalled all 4.7 million of their Rock 'n Play sleepers on 12 April 2019, days after the company recalled 250,000 infant soothers.[19] The product was introduced in 2009, and holds the sleeping baby in an inclined position. More than 30 infants have died while sleeping in a Rock 'n Play. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said these deaths occurred "after the infants rolled over while unrestrained, or under other circumstances."[20]

Years before the introduction of the Rock 'n Play sleeper, in the mid-1990s, the American Academy of Pediatrics' Back to Sleep campaign recommended that "babies should not sleep for long periods in inclined devices". In babies under one year old, dying during sleep is the leading cause of accidental death. The recommendation that babies sleep flat on their backs, in an empty crib, has cut this death rate in half.[21]

The Rock 'n Play was designed 15 years after these sleep recommendations were published, and according to an article from The Washington Post, violated them. Fisher-Price sold the Rock 'n Play without first getting medical advice from more than one pediatric specialist, and without doing any real-world safety tests. They continued to sell it for years after the first deaths were reported.[21]

In January 2023, Fisher-Price re-announced the recall after additional infant deaths were reported.[22][23]

Current brands and products[edit]

Baby products[edit]

  • Bassinets
  • Soothers & Mobiles
  • Entertainers & Activity Centers
  • Jumperoos
  • High chairs & Booster Seats
  • Domes
  • Floor Seats
  • Tubs & Potties
  • Carriers

Historic brands and products[edit]

Video games[edit]

Starting in the 1980s, seven games which carried the Fisher-Price name were developed by GameTek for the PC and the Commodore 64. In 1990, three of these titles were ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System:

  • Fun Flyer (1984) (never shipped initially, but eventually released in 1990)[27]
  • Firehouse Rescue[28] (1988)
  • Little People Bowling Alley (1989)
  • School Bus Driver (1989)
  • My Grand Piano (1989)
  • Perfect Fit[29] (1988)
  • I Can Remember[30] (1989)

Titles developed by Davidson & Associates include:

  • Fisher Price ABC's
  • Fisher Price 123's
  • Fisher Price Sing Alongs: Barnyard Rhythm and Moos
  • Fisher Price Dream Dollhouse
  • Great Adventures Castle
  • Great Adventures Pirate Ship
  • Great Adventures Wild Western Town
  • Puddle Books Series
  • Learning in Toyland
  • Ready for School Toddler
  • Ready for School Preschool
  • Ready for School Kindergarten
  • Ready for School Reading
  • Ready for School 1st Grade

Other titles published by Fisher-Price include:

  • Great Adventures Pirate Ship[31] (1998)
  • Time to Play Pet Shop[32] (1999)
  • Big Action Construction (2001)
  • Big Action Garage (2001)[33]

Other Fisher-Price products[edit]

Other Fisher-Price products include Activegear for families on the go, books, software, car travel accessories, footwear, music, eyeglasses and videos.


  1. ^ "Gross Sales of Mattels Fisher Price Brands Worldwide". Statista. Statista. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  2. ^ Snider, Mike. "Fisher-Price opens a virtual museum on Instagram to celebrate 90 years of its toys". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  3. ^ "The Fisher-Price Toy Museum Will Make You Feel Like A Kid Again". Romper. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  4. ^ a b c Scott, Sharon M. (2009-12-09). Toys and American Culture: An Encyclopedia: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-34799-3.
  5. ^ a b Helmore, Edward (2020-06-13). "Ninety and still into toys: how Fisher-Price pulled a town out of depression". The Guardian. Retrieved 2022-04-21.
  6. ^ "7 Fisher-Price Classic Toys". Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  7. ^ "11 Playful Facts About Fisher-Price". 2016-05-15. Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  8. ^ "Vintage Fisher-Price Toys". Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  9. ^ "Fisher-Price Pre-School Toys Buying Guide".
  10. ^ "Fisher Price Music Box Ferris Wheel #969. | Collectors Weekly". Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  11. ^ a b "Love Blanche, Sophia, Rose, and Dorothy? Get Ready For a Golden Girls Convention in Illinois". Q985. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  12. ^ Hains, Rebecca C.; Jennings, Nancy A. (2021-03-30). The Marketing of Children's Toys: Critical Perspectives on Children's Consumer Culture. Springer Nature. ISBN 978-3-030-62881-9.
  13. ^ Grant, Tina; Derdak, Thomas (1995). International Directory of Company Histories. St. James Press. ISBN 978-1-55862-327-9.
  14. ^ "This Old Toy's Original "Little People" History".
  15. ^ Madore T., James (1994-02-15). "FISHER-PRICE ADDS 70 NEW ITEMS INCLUDING ELECTRONIC LEARNING TOYS". Buffalo News. Retrieved 2022-04-21.
  16. ^ Szalai, Georg (2011-10-24). "Mattel to Acquire 'Thomas & Friends' Maker HIT Entertainment for $680 Million". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  17. ^ "Fisher-Price Recalls Licensed Character Toys Due To Lead Poisoning Hazard".
  18. ^ "Mattel Voluntary Safety Recall Facts".
  19. ^ "Fisher-Price Allegedly Ignored Rock 'n' Play Safety Issues After Infant Deaths". Fatherly. 2021-06-09. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  20. ^ Fritz, Angela; Frankel, Todd (12 April 2019). "After reports of infant deaths, nearly 5 million Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleepers are recalled". The Washington Post. No. 12 April 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  21. ^ a b Frankel, Todd (30 May 2019). "Fisher-Price invented a popular baby sleeper without medical safety tests and kept selling it, even as babies died". The Washington Post. No. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  22. ^ Hernandez, Joe (2023-01-23). "Fisher-Price reminds customers of sleeper recall after more reported infant deaths". NPR.
  23. ^ "Fisher-Price Reannounces Recall of 4.7 Million Rock 'n Play Sleepers; At Least Eight Deaths Occurred After Recall". U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Retrieved 2023-01-23.
  24. ^ "Let's Get Serious About Toys". December 1981.
  25. ^ Coopee, Todd (11 April 2016). "Chatter Phone from Fisher-Price 1962".
  26. ^ "The 50 best gifts and toys for 1-year-olds in 2023". 21 November 2022.
  27. ^ "Fisher-Price Fun Flyer (1990)". Retrieved 2022-11-22.
  28. ^ "Fisher Price: Firehouse Rescue Release Date". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
  29. ^ "Fisher-Price Perfect Fit (1988)". MobyGames. Retrieved 2022-11-22.
  30. ^ "Fisher-Price I Can Remember for DOS (1989)". MobyGames. Retrieved 2022-11-22.
  31. ^ "Great Adventures by Fisher-Price: Pirate Ship (PC)". IGN. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  32. ^ "Fisher-Price: Time to Play Pet Shop". Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  33. ^ " Fisher-Price Big Action Garage - PC/MAC:Video Games". Retrieved July 20, 2017.

External links[edit]