Friday, April 12, 2013

The Early Fisher-Price Toys

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Early Fisher-Price Toys


   Fisher-Price was established in 1930 by Mr. Henry Fisher, Mr. Irving Price, Margaret Evans Price (Mr. Price's wife), and Helen Schelle. It was an interesting start to the company, since Mr. Fisher had worked for a toy company selling and advertising toys, Mr. Price had retired from a large variety chain store, Helen Schelle had operated a toy shop, and  Margaret Evans Price was an illustrator and artist. Many of the early toys were modelled from her drawings and characters from her skills as a writer of children's books.

   Their business plan, at a very tough time in American history (The Great Depression) was to produce  a product that was based on play value,   ingenuity, strength to last, value for the cost, and action. As a result, you'll see that these toys have lasted this long in great condition,are colourful,and although simple would offer a child "play". They were made from lithographed paper on top of a very durable wood (ponderosa pine) that resisted splintering, and strong steel parts.1

     The company started in East Aurora, New York (USA). Although the company did initially sell their products, the Great Depression had an effect on the company, and it suffered losses in the first 4 years of business. However, their products became widely-known, and as the old expression goes - "the rest is history".2

     Although these toys are not on my favourite list, they have proved themselves in begin strong as collectible items. As such, if you check out the prices at auction, you'll be very surprised. What was also interesting for the start of this company was the use of  non-harmful paint dyes for the lithographed paper. I'm also assuming that the paints were also non-toxic, but I'll have to research that. 

Reference Sources


I've divided the toys into 3 groups:

1. Pull toys: A toy that is pulled by a string (cord) attached to the toy
2. Push toy: A toy that is pushed from a long wood rod attached to eh back of the toy
3. Hand operated pull string toy: A toy that moves when a string is pulled

The Pull Toys

Hand-Operated Pull String Toys

Push Toys

     So after 80 years, these fine toys still survive, along with even their original boxes. What's also interesting of course, is that the company still survives today, although it's now owned by Mattel. So  Henry Fisher, Irving Price, Margaret Evans Price, and  Helen Schelle succeeded at a time when  starting a company would have been very hard (The Great Depression). Not only that, but their toys still are around. The next time, I'm searching out toys, I'll be sure to check out toys that are not on my favourite list. You have to keep an open mind when searching out these "treasures"!

Thanks for dropping by for a visit.

As always, have a great weekend, 
or whatever part of the day, 
that you've happened to drop by and read.


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