The Little People Toy Story
The Little People line of play sets from Fisher-Price is a classic. Since their debut in 1953, the brand has sold more than 2 billion toys. In 1999, the company celebrated its 40th anniversary. Today, the Little People line is among the top 10 toy brands in the world. Originally designed to stimulate a child’s imagination, the company expanded to include miscellaneous figures, vehicles, and other whimsies.
The first Fisher-Price Little People product to grace the shelves was the Safety School Bus. Six figures wrapped in lithographs simulating clothes, including a school bus, were instant hits. The bus was one of the most notable products of the franchise’s heyday. Its gimmick was a pull toy that, in the best of all possible worlds, was both functional and entertaining.
In the late 1990s, the company made some significant changes to the product line. Among the improvements were electronic sounds, a larger body and a variety of new characters. Toys a la mode were introduced and a variety of accessories and playsets were introduced, including a circus train, a service station, and a family barn. A little more than a decade later, the company was acquired by Mattel. This move paved the way for a more extensive global presence. With the help of international distributors and retailers, the brand became a hit with children all over the world.
Another noteworthy product of the company is the A to Z learning zoo. This interactive toy allows young children to learn about 26 animals. The toy’s other highlights include a swanky fine motor and a number of cute little figurines to boot.
The original Little People were produced in wood and by 1961, they were replaced by plastic versions. One of the company’s earliest innovations, the tally marker, was a small metal coin that could be tossed into a slot at the bottom of the toy. On a more practical note, the company also produced a slew of “play sets” featuring iconic characters from the world of Sesame Street. They included a miniature firehouse, a service station, and an airport. These esoteric offerings were a little more expensive than their counterparts, but were worth the outlay.
There are several other products and lines within the Fisher-Price lineup that deserve a mention. Some of the more memorable include the aforementioned tally marker and the aforementioned A to Z learning zoo. Others include the Play Family dollhouse, a variety of construction vehicle and train play sets, and a wide array of playsets that have stood the test of time. The company also makes toys related to the movie Toy Story. For instance, the Disney animated film features a toy Woody and his friend Ducky, but you’ll have to wait to see them in action in this game.
If you’re looking for more from the brand, you may want to check out the A to Z learning zoo and its many companions.