Little Tikes™ Over the Years
At Little Tikes we understand every day is an adventure with more to discover. We make products that encourage active and imaginative play. Products that get small bodies moving spark curiosity, create wonder and let kids dream big. With over 48 years of expertise in play, we're experts at doing it right! The Little Tikes™ Company was founded in 1969 and is still headquartered in Hudson, OH. Discover The Little Tikes™ Company's Story.
1969 - 1975
1969 Founder, Tom Murdough, introduces The Little Tikes™ Company to the toy industry.
1971 First Little Tikes™ Catalog launched to retailers all across the US in color.
1973 One of our first foot to floor ride-ons, Ollie encapsulates active play and is a true icon from the 1970s.
1975 New logo is introduced with a soft rounded design to reflect our commitment to safe and fun toys for growing children.
1976 - 1979
1976 The Big Dumper truck is introduced and allowed little boys everywhere to enjoy pinpoint dumping accuracy with the addition of a lever and construction sized bin.
1977 Introduced the ground breaking, multi-functional, Efficiency Kitchen complete with micro-wave oven, range, refrigerator, and sink allowing little tikes everywhere to understand their world better through imaginative play.
1979 Popular and iconic, the Turtle Sandbox reinvented outdoor sandboxes from the traditional wooden sandbox. Now parents can move the fun wherever they want.
1979 Cozy Coupe® Car is designed by former Chrysler designer, Jim Mariol. The very first Cozy Coupe® Car was born in Hudson, Ohio to the proud parents at The Little Tikes™ Company. Rolling off the assembly line weighing 19lbs., 12oz and measuring 32.23” tall, the Cozy Coupe® Car began its long journey of giving little ones the ride of their lives!
1980 - 1985
1980 Toll Free Number introduced for customer inquiries. Our phone number is now molded into every product as a statement of our quality and commitment to parents.
1981 First outdoor picnic table to go from wood to plastic. This iconic play table can be found entertaining children in backyards all across the globe.
1982 During a period of decline for the toy industry as a whole, Little Tikes™ sales increased by 28 percent to $23.1 million, which was followed by an astounding 73 percent rise to $42.9 million in 1983. It was clear that Little Tikes™ toys were more than just a passing fad.
1983 Poppy Penguin introduced as "A handy toy toter that’s also a friend."
1984 Rubbermaid™ purchases Little Tikes™ for continued growth that would be necessary for expanding into new markets. With new capital from Rubbermaid™ and a brand new manufacturing plant and headquarters in Hudson, Ohio, Little Tikes™ was set to begin an intensive expansion of its product line and distribution. First toy company to mold their Toll Free Number into all their toys (still used today).
1985 Little Tikes™ first consumer catalog is mailed out in the Fall/Winter of 1985. Little Tikes™ Canada is established allowing better reach to our neighbors up North. Little Tikes™ Company offers a revolutionary way to provide childcare to employees and the local community with 1st ever daycare in their corporate office in Hudson, OH. On campus day care facilities allow first hand research into the needs and wants of concerned parents and growing toddlers. Little Tikes™ Corporate Headquarters opens its doors in Hudson, Ohio. Making it the largest rotational molding plant in the world. A staple product throughout the years, The Jumbo Hide ‘N Slide, is launched in the Spring of 1985.
1985 Little Tikes™ launches their at home product line for baby and toddlers. The high chair was one of many products inspired by innovation to make day to day care taking much easier for parents.
1986 - 1989
1986 Mr. Rogers visits Little Tikes™. Working 5 days a week, ten hours a day, our 14 phone operators answered over 122,000 calls from interested customers. (At a time before the internet, this was quite an impressive number for a growing business)
1987 Activity Gym provides an all in one play environment for a new take on outdoor play. Making it the first outdoor play set to be constructed without any use of standard hardware.
1988 Sport Coupe debuted in the Spring Toy Catalog with a two page center fold to show its sleek, innovative front wheel drive with quick action, and rear steering.
1989 Introduced the 1st handheld plastic truck line with plastic molding, soft rubber tires, easy operation, and free moving parts, all built with Little Tikes™ superior quality. Country Cottage reinvents how we play outdoors once again with its realistic design of modern homes in America. Fall of 1989 Little Tikes™ introduces 1st Plastic Doll House with miniatures of our most popular toys including a Cozy Coupe® Car, Turtle Sandbox, and Party Kitchen.
1990 - 1995
1991 The Cozy Coupe® Car is named the Best-selling car in America.
1992 Created the first “soft” ride on called the Soft Pony
1993 The Little Tikes™ Playground is an epitome of outdoor play with 4 levels of groundbreaking fun and widely desired colors.
1995 Little Tikes™ celebrates its 25th Anniversary
1996 - 1999
1996 A huge first for Little Tikes™, the Easy Score Basketball Set adjusted to growing toddlers.
1998 Little Tikes™ teams up with IBM™ to produce the Young Explorer™ for use with their KidSmart program. Equipped with award-winning educational software to help children learn and explore concepts in math, science and language. The computer centers can also help children learn important socialization skills such as working together and sharing.
1999 Cozy Coupe® Car is redesigned for a more sturdy and enjoyable ride. Significantly altering the look from the original slimmer roof poles.
2000 - 2005
2000 The DiscoverSounds™ product line is introduced combining electronic sounds with fundamental cognitive play.
2002 Little Tikes™ Outdoor Swing Sets revolutionize how swing sets are built and designed.
2003 The Cozy Coupe® Car is still king of the road. Over 10 million Cozy Coupe® Cars have been sold all over the world!
2006 - 2010
2006 Isaac Larian adds Little Tikes™ to the MGAE family.
2009 Happy 30th! The Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Cozy Coupe® Car for 30 years of stellar service. Cozy Coupe® Car gets a face lift: Cartoon eyes and smile added. Cup holders for parents and children added. Several new versions were produced: Princess Edition, Tikes Patrol™, Ride and Rescue™ Fire Truck, Classic Pickup Truck, Cozy Coupe® Cab. Cozy Coupe® Car is inducted into The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum and takes its place next to other historically significant automobiles. Cozy Coupe® Car is the #1 selling car in America for both toddlers and adults.
2010 Isaac Larian celebrates with original founder Tom Murdough at the Hudson, OH plant to commemorate 40 years of Little Tikes™ play.
2011 - Present
2011 The Cozy Truck™ is introduced and wins Top 10 best toys. Little Tikes™ is a proud sponsor of the Tour De Turtles in partnership with the Sea Turtles Conservancy to help raise awareness about worldwide threats to sea turtles and encourage positive stewardship of ocean and costal habitats.
2012 The Cook n Grow™ Kitchen is introduced, first kitchen to expand and actually “grow” with child as they develop.
2013 If you stacked the more than 10 million Cozy Coupe® Cars that have been manufactured since 1979, they would reach 5,682 miles high! This would be approximately 24,000 times the height of the Empire State Building in New York City.
2015 Little Tikes Fish 'n Splash Water Table and Sizzle 'n Serve Grill™ win Toy Insider's award for Outdoor Play this Summer '15!
History of Little Tikes™
The Little Tikes™ Company was founded in 1969 in Hudson, OH. The company is a multi-national manufacturer and marketer of high- quality, innovative children's products. Little Tikes™ pioneered rotational molding in the manufacturing of children's products. Little Tikes™ emulates brand loyalty through durable, safe, and imaginative active play. We are known for our playhouses, ride-ons, sports, sandboxes, climbers, slides, role-play, creative arts, infant, preschool and juvenile furniture. Little Tikes™ was the first toy company to offer an 800# to consumers for customer service. In fact our 800# and website are molded into every product. Little tikes™ was the first toy company to offer an on-site childcare center for employees' children and serve as a test center during product development.
Little Tikes'™ goal is to create and supply thoughtful and imaginative products to customers and consumers around the world. To reach that goal, Little Tikes'™ associates' actions are guided by the principle of Customer satisfaction, Teamwork, Innovation, Marketing, Continuous Improvement, and Sustainability.