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Who Were Fisher and Price?

Last week’s post on the Fisher-Price Little People garage got us wondering: Who the heck were these guys, Fisher and Price?

So we dug around and discovered that the original founders of the toy company back in 1930 consisted of, yes, businessmen Herman Fisher and Irving Price, but also a children's book author and illustrator named Margaret Evans Price (yes, married to Irving, so there were actually two Prices), and a toy store owner named Helen Schelle. While the businessmen were instrumental in launching the company, it was actually the two women who collaborated on most of the company’s early, successful products, like Dr. Doodle, the duck push-pull toy pictured above that was based on a character from her children's books. Also, a lot of the early success of the company can be attributed to the fact that Helen Schelle had a lot of great connections in the incipient toy industry.

FP Queen Buzzy Bee, 1959

Still, the company is named after Herman Fisher and Irving Price, so let’s find out a little more about them.

Herman Fisher

Fisher hailed from Pennsylvania and went to Penn State. In fact, if you’ve ever spent any time on the Penn State campus, you may have seen The Fisher Plaza, which was named after him after he donated a nice chunk of change. Before founding Fisher-Price, he worked as Vice President and General Manager of All Fair, Inc., a toy and game manufacturer. When Fisher and a group of investors (including Price) unsuccessfully tried to buy All Fair Inc., they decided to start their own company instead. Here's something else interesting about Fisher: he's credited with coining the term “preschool toys” in 1934.

FP Humpty Dumpty, 1957

Irving Price

The most interesting thing I could dig up about Irving Price is that his middle name was Lanouette. Seriously, had he not married into the wealthy Evans family of New York, we may have never heard of the man. His wife Margaret was not only rich and a sort-of well-known children’s author, but her cousin Charles Evans Hughes was the 11th Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. A couple other facts about Irving: He had a fairly long career as an executive with Woolworth before retiring young and getting himself elected Mayor of East Aurora, New York! But it was really his cash that helped start Fisher-Price, and for that, the world will be forever grateful.

FP Sports Car, 1959

FP Perky Pot, 1958

FP Play Family Farm, 1968

FP Play Family Sesame Street, 1975

FP Little People McDonald's Restaurant, 1990

Have a favorite Fisher-Price toy? Let us know in the comments below!

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Pop Culture
Mister Rogers Is Now a Funko Pop! and It’s Such a Good Feeling, a Very Good Feeling
Amazon
Amazon

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood for fans of Mister Rogers, as Funko has announced that, just in time for the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the kindest soul to ever grace a television screen will be honored with a series of Funko toys, some of them limited-edition versions.

The news broke at the New York Toy Fair, where the pop culture-loving toy company revealed a new Pop Funko! in Fred Rogers’s likeness—he’ll be holding onto the Neighborhood Trolley—plus a Mister Rogers Pop! keychain and a SuperCute Plush.

In addition to the standard Pop! figurine, there will also be a Funko Shop exclusive version, in which everyone’s favorite neighbor will be wearing a special blue sweater. Barnes & Noble will also carry its own special edition, which will see Fred wearing a red cardigan and holding a King Friday puppet instead of the Neighborhood Trolley.

 

Barnes & Noble's special edition Mister Rogers Funko Pop!
Funko

Mister Rogers’s seemingly endless supply of colored cardigans was an integral part of the show, and a sweet tribute to his mom (who knitted all of them). But don’t go running out to snatch up the whole collection just yet; Funko won’t release these sure-to-sell-out items until June 1, but you can pre-order your Pop! on Amazon right now.

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"Weird Al" Yankovic Is Getting the Funko Treatment
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Though the New York Toy Fair—the largest trade show for playthings in the western hemisphere—won't officially kick off until Saturday, February 17, kids and kids-at-heart are already finding much to get excited about as the world's biggest toy companies ready to unleash their newest wares on the world. One item that has gotten us—and fans of fine parody songs everywhere—excited is "Weird Al" Yankovic's induction into the Funko Pop! family. The accordion-loving songwriter behind hits like "Eat It," "White & Nerdy," "Amish Paradise," and "Smells Like Nirvana" shared the news via Twitter, and included what we can only hope is a final rendering of his miniaturized, blockheaded vinyl likeness:

In late December, Funko announced that a Weird Al toy would be coming in 2018 as part of the beloved brand's Pop Rocks series. Though we know he'll be joined by Alice Cooper, Kurt Cobain, Elton John, and the members of Mötley Crüe, there's no word yet on exactly when you’ll be able to get your hands on Pop! Al. But knowing that he's coming is enough … for now.

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