Hopefully you Read our Information and History on Old Mattel Toys. If not, you should before reading this.
EVERYTHING we said about Mattel applies to Fisher Price, except Mattel is actually a much older company. As a matter of fact you will learn from the company history below that Mattel ended up buying Fisher-Price.
To summarize. What this means to you in terms of collecting antique toys by Mattel or Fisher Price is this:
Again, the term antique does apply that well to the toys made by these companies, because anyone who thinks of "antique" thinks of old -- really old. That is just not the case here. Vintage is a much more appropriate term if the toy has value and old is the perfect term when the toy is not highly valued.
Vintage Fisher Price toys will be valued exactly the same way as old Mattel toys: their value should be based on the condition and availability of any particular toy in question. It's simply a matter of supply and demand. By the way.... knowing that it is just a simple matter of supply and demand, don't fall in nostalgically in "love" with a toy to the point you pay a ridiculous price... please. That's not a good collecting practice and we promise if you show your "have to have" emotions in front of the toy's seller you will pay a price for that display.
Consider the popularity of some Fisher Price toys... toys we are may be somewhat familiar with: LEGOs, Barbie and GI Joe just to mention a few. Fisher Price was probably more to the educational end of toy making than any company before it and they believed in making toys that were meant to be played with. They also stressed "toy safety" much more so than had any prior toy company. The one real drawback with these characteristics is this: Most of their toys were handled a great deal over the years, so mint condition ones are a real rarity.
A Quick History of Fisher Price Toys
The Fisher Price Toy Company was originally started by Herman Fisher and Irving Price around 1931. Following World War II, newly affluent Americans demanded toys for a totally new generation of kid (what are now referred to as "baby boomers").
Mattel acquired Fisher Price in the early 1990s, but prior to that it had been acquired by others several times in its history.
Vintage Fisher Price Toys to Look For
Fisher Price produced many toys that became know as classics, so in you search for their collectible look for toys by these names:
- Snoopy Sniffer, Granny Doodle and Dr. Doodle: These 3 toys were deemed signature toys and easily identifiable as Fisher-Price toys. These definitely rate the vintage classification. Especially if you can find one in reasonable condition.
- Bubble Mower: You may have even seen this one. As you pushed it across the floor it produced streams of bubbles.
- Corn Popper: A simple but fascinating toy. As it was pushed along colored balls flew around inside a small clear plastic dome.
- Fisher-Price's most enduring toy? Why "the Little People" of course. Simple wood people with no arms or legs. Go figure...
A Recommended Resource
About the best we have seen (in our opinion anyway) for guides to vintage Fisher Price toys is a book available from Collectorbookstore.com
. It is entitled Fisher Price: Historical, Rarity, and Value Guide, 1931-Present, Updated Third Edition by Bruce R. Fox and John J. Murray.
A more complete book would be difficult to find.