Tyco Toys began in 1926 in Mantua, New Jersey, when two friends, James P. Thomas and John N. Tyler, formed the Mantua Toy Co. to manufacture wood and metal model sailboats. Their first product, a 3 foot cabin cruiser featuring a small electric motor, was offered in 1927. Since finding a quality small motor was difficult, John, an electrician, designed their own 6 volt motor.
As of March 27, 1997, Tyco Toys, Inc. was acquired by Mattel, Inc. Tyco Toys, Inc. is engaged in the design, development, and marketing of toys in the United States and United Kingdom. Its product categories include radio control vehicles, electric racing, drawing toys, 3-D viewers, die-cast vehicles, plush toys, activity toys, and action games and dolls. The company is based in Mount Laurel, New Jeresey.
When Tyco Toys released the original—and now legendary—Tickle Me Elmo back in the fall of 1996, few anticipated how intensely children would come to fawn over it or its now seemingly endless lineage of relatives. Tyco certainly didn’t—the company by mammoth toymaker Mattel before the holiday season even began that year.
Tickle Me Elmo wasn’t the first Elmo doll by any means. It wasn’t even the first interactive one. But it laughed when you squeezed its tummy, and something about that made children go crazy. “As just about anyone who spent last week on planet Earth knows, Tyco Toys Inc. has shipped over a million Tickle Me Elmo dolls, and stores simply cannot keep them in stock,” that December. Caught unprepared, Tyco and toy retailers alike grossly undersupplied the market.
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