In 1943, brothers Alvin and Earl Herdklotz established the A & E Tool and Gage Co. in Rockford, Illinois as a defense-based precision tool-and-die business. After World War II, focus shifted primarily to toy making. Operating under the name Midgetoy, the company began to produce basic, smaller-scale die-cast vehicles and airplanes at low price points.
Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, Kenner routinely advertised and placed premiums inside of some of General Mills most popular cereals, like Cheerios. Usually in booklet form, these promotions offered cash refunds on all of the company’s popular toys, including the Easy-Bake Oven.
The 1964 Johnny Seven toy line of playsets and facsimiles of military equipment from Topper Toys was marketed exclusively to boys.
Released in 1963 by Topper Toys, Penny Brite was presented as a more wholesome alternative to Mattel’s Barbie Doll.
For a large part of the 20th century, Transogram Toys and Games produced an array of toys, games, outdoor sports sets, and kid-sized furniture. This dealer catalog from 1961 illustrates the company’s diverse product offerings.
The Toy Manufacturers of the U.S.A. was founded in 1916, resulting from a meeting of more than 45 American toy makers in New York City.