Remco built a lasting legacy in the toy industry through its innovative use of recovered electrical parts, television advertising, and established pop-culture properties.
Founded in 1949 as Remco Industries, Inc. in New York by cousins Isaac Heller and Saul Robbins.
The company name was a portmanteau of “remote control.”
Remco used salvaged military surplus to produce its early two-way communication electrical toys―an approach Heller first used to make toys as a hobby while he worked as an electronics technician in the Navy.
In the 1950s, Remco produced toys such as the Tiny Tim Pocket Toy Radio, Movieland Drive-In Theatre, Coney Island Penny Machine, Dick Tracy Electronic Wrist Radios, and Yankee Doodle Secret Rocket Test Center.
The slogan, “every boy wants a Remco toy”, was used in the company’s television commercials.
In the 1960s, Remco began to expand its market base and adapted its slogan to the more inclusive, “every boy wants a Remco toy … and so do girls”.
The company produced many dolls during the 1960s, including the Littlechap family, Baby Walk Alone, Snugglebun, Heidi, Baby Glad ‘N Sad, Bottle Baby, Tippy Tumbles, and others.
In 1964, its short-lived Hamilton’s Invaders line of monstrous insects came onto store shelves.
Remco also began producing more licensed toys, capitalizing on pop-culture properties such as Star Trek, Batman, The Munsters, Lost in Space, Dave Clark Five, and The Beatles.
In 1966, Heller and Robbins sold Remco to pursue other business interests.
in 1971, the company filed for bankruptcy and was later purchased in 1974 by the Azrak-Hamway International (AHI) toy company.
AHI already owned the rights to produce the Universal Monsters line of horror figures and later marketed them under the Remco brand in the 1980s.
In 1997, Jakks Pacific acquired the Remco brand from AHI.
Objects of Play
Remco toys continue to capture the attention of collectors and nostalgia enthusiasts. The most sought-after collector items include:
Caravelle Radio Transmitter and Receiver
Batman Utility Belt
Lost in Space Helmet
McDonaldland playsets and figures
Universal Monsters figures