In 1968, Fisher-Price introduced the first Little People playset, the famous Play Family Barn with barn doors that "moo’d". Also at this time, the figures were made with plastic bodies instead of wood. Eventually, the toys encompassed a wide range of playsets, furniture packs, and accessory packs.
In the middle 1970s, Fisher-Price produced the Sesame Street town, with various Sesame Street stores, a bridge with stop lights and Sesame Street characters such as Bert, Ernie, and the only Little People toys that have been modeled after celebrities -- Loretta Long (Susan), Roscoe Orman (Gordon) and Will Lee (Mr. Hooper). Soon after, the Little People Discovery Airport, a hospital and a school would also be released. Little People characters had by then been also produced with plastic products exclusively.
In 1991, the Original Little People figures were redesigned for younger children. They were made "chunkier", were more bright and colorful, and were designed so that they could activate motion within the play sets. Most people believe that these figures were developed as a replacement for the original Little People due to the increasing concerns and pressures from parents and consumer-advocacy groups for safer toy designs. A book published in 1986 by Edward Swartz titled Toys That Kill prominently featured a trio of original Little People figures on the cover. After Fisher-Price was bought by Mattel in the 1990s, Little People reappeared on the markets, their figure significantly larger in size from the original Little People characters due to revised toy safety guidelines. These figures are called "chunky" by collectors.
What's it worth? Take a look at this Little People price guide: sold listings for a value indication.