Vintage Fisher Price Toys

On Sunday, I’m listing a vintage Fisher Price toy and thought I’d give you a little background about Fisher Price and it’s toys.

1959 Fisher Price Wood/Plastic Toy

1959 Fisher Price Wood/Plastic Toy

Company History:

According to Wikipedia, Fisher Price was founded in 1930 by Herman Fisher, Irving Price and his wife, illustrator and artist Margaret Evans Price and Helen Schelle.  The name Fisher-Price was established by combining two of the three founders’ names.  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. Mrs. Price was the first Art Director and designed push-pull toys for the opening line, based on characters from her children’s books. 

In 1931, the three 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.  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. By the end of the 1950s, Fisher-Price manufactured 39 toys incorporating plastics.

During the 1960s, the Play Family (later known as Little People) product line was introduced and soon overtook the popularity of earlier toys. In 1969 the Quaker Oats Company bought Fisher-Price. In 1991, Fisher-Price regained its independence from The Quaker Oats Company and became a publicly traded company. Two years later, in November 1993, Fisher Price became a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel.

Vintage Fisher Price Toys to Look For:

Fisher Price produced many toys that became known as classics, so in you search for their collectible look for toys by these names:

– Snoopy Sniffer, Granny Doodle and Dr. Doodle: These 3 toys were deemed signature toys and easily identifiable as Fisher-Price toys. These definitely rate the vintage classification. Especially if you can find one in reasonable condition.

Bubble Mower: You may have even seen this one. As you pushed it across the floor it produced streams of bubbles.

Corn Popper: A simple but fascinating toy. As it was pushed along colored balls flew around inside a small clear plastic dome. 

Little People: simple wood (later plastic) people with no arms or legs.  The most enduring toy by Fisher Price.

Price Guides:

Fisher Price: Historical, Rarity, and Value Guide, 1931-Present, Updated Third Edition

Fisher Price Toys: A Pictorial Price Guide to the More Popular Toys 

Hint: click on links and photos for more information!

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