1901 - Founded
1940 - Playskool Manufacturing Company
1943 - Playskool bought the J.L. Wright Company, the manufacturer of Lincoln Logs. Lincoln logs are now part of K'NEX Brands, LLC.
1958 - Playskool merged with Holgate Toys, Inc., a wood product manufacturer based in Kane, Pennsylvania. Holgate Toys is now a division of Pepperell Braiding Company.
1962 - Playskool purchased Halsam.
1968 - Playskool became a subsidiary of Milton Bradley.
1984 - Hasbro buys Milton Bradley.
Playskool is an American company that produces educational toys and games for children. It is a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and is headquartered in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
The Playskool Institute was established by Lucille King in 1901 as a division of the John Schroeder Lumber Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. King, an employee at the company, developed wooden toys to use as teaching aids for children in the classroom. In 1935, the Playskool Institute became a division of Thorncraft, Inc., and established offices in Chicago, Illinois. In 1938, Playskool was purchased by the Joseph Lumber Company, where Manuel Fink was placed in charge of operations. In 1940, k, along with Robert Meythaler, bought Playskool and established the Playskool Manufacturing Company.
In 1943, Playskool bought the J.L. Wright Company, the manufacturer of Lincoln Logs. In 1958, Playskool merged with Holgate Toys, Inc., a wood product manufacturer based in Kane, Pennsylvania, and in 1962, they purchased the Halsam Company, a producer of wooden blocks, checkers, dominoes, and construction sets. In 1968, Playskool became a subsidiary of Milton Bradley; both companies were acquired by Hasbro, Inc. in 1984.
After the acquisition, Playskool began operating out of Pawtucket, Rhode Island as a division of Hasbro. In 1985, Playskool released a line of infant products under the Tommee Tippee brand name, including bibs and bottles. Many Hasbro products targeted at preschoolers were rebranded with the Playskool name, including Play-Doh and Tonka. Playskool also began licensing toys from other designers, creating licensing agreements to manufacture Teddy Ruxpin, Barney, Arthur, Teletubbies, and Nickelodeon branded products. Hasbro also began licensing the Playskool brand name to other vendors, manufacturing a number of products under the Playskool name, including books, baby care supplies, video games, and children's apparel.
Playskool produces many lines of educational toys and games for children. Some of Playskool's signature brands and toys include Mr. Potato Head, Play-Doh, Tonka, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, Alphie, Weebles and Gloworm.
Playskool creates products for newborn to preschool-aged children; products like the Kick Start Gym, Step Start Walk 'n Ride, and the Tummy Time line are aimed at developing the motor skills of babies. Several toys, like Playskool's Pipeworks, Go Go Gears, and Busy Basics lines, were created to allow children to express creativity. Playskool also produces several dolls and action figures, including Dolly Surprise and Kota the Triceratops.
Playskool brands include:
- Chuck and Friends
- Cool Crew
- Glo Friends
- Mister Frosty
- Mr. Potato Head
- Poppin' Park
- Sesame Street
- Star Wars Jedi Force
- Talk 'n Play
- Transformers: Rescue Bots
- VideoNow Jr.
- Wheel Pals