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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hasbro Toys

One of the most recognizable toy company names is Hasbro. The Pawtucket, Rhode Island based company has created and sold some of the world's favorite toys. The company didn't start out as a toy company it was originally a textile remnant company based in Providence owned by three brothers Henry, Hilal and Herman Hassenfeld. The Hassenfeld brothers expanded their business to include making of pencil cases and then school supplies. When it was decided in 1926 to get out of the remnant business; Hilal left the company leaving his two brothers to expand their business making pencils and then crayons. In the 1940's the company started producing Nurse and Doctor kits for children and then modeling clay. During World War II Hasbro got into the plastic manufacturing business as an effort to support the war. 
In 1952 Hasbro purchased a toy from its creator George Lerner. This toy was their first super hit it was Mr. Potato Head. In 1964 Hasbro believing boys would play with dolls released G I Joe. He was another hit. 
Their motto for may years was "Oh wow its a Hasbro Toy!" In 1969 Hasbro bought the "Romper Room" franchise and put out a line of "Romper Room" toys. The also put out a line of "Galloping Gourmet" cookware but the line was discontinued after the salad bowls had a termite problem that ruined the brand. The toy line had a few disasters as well one was "Jarts" which were lawn darts that were considered very dangerous (albeit fun) and "The Hypo-squirt" a hypodermic shaped water gun described as a "junior junkie kit".

In the 1980's the company got even bigger with its purchase of the "My Little Pony" line as well as the entire Milton-Bradley company. The company now runs neck and neck with Mattel for the title of largest toy company. 

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