Marvel Toys (formerly Toy Biz and Charan Toys) was an American toy company, a division of Marvel Entertainment, and was best known for producing toys such as action figures and games.
Marvel Toys original forerunner was a Canadian company, Chantex, Inc., started in the late 1800s. Started by the Zuckerman family, the grandson, Sol Zuckerman, grew the business in 1961 from $.16 million in sales to sales of $4.5 million in 1980. Zuckerman became a merger and acquisition executive during the 1980s. In 1980, Chantex merged with Earl Takefman's Randim Marketing, Inc., a school supply manufacturer and wholesaler to become Charan Industries Inc. In 1984, Charan went public with annual revenues at $20 million. Its Charan Toy, Inc. subsidiary became a leading licensing toy company in 1985 with nine top ten toys Canadian rights including Cabbage Patch Kids.
In the late 1980s, Charan Industries sold the toy subsidiary as Zuckerman did not see the value of the strategies. Becoming an American-owned company, Charan Toys was renamed Toy Biz. In 1990, the company was purchased by Isaac Perlmutter, who became chairman with Joseph Ahern brought in as chief executive officers. Ahern was focused on cost control and the bottom-line by leasing a headquarters in New York City and a warehouse in Arizona and outsourced China manufacturing. In 1993, ToyBiz made an unusual move by getting an "exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free license" to Marvel Characters for 46 percent of ToyBiz equity.
ToyBiz started up its Classic Heroes candy division in 1996. Classic Heroes would sell candy/toy combinations using mainly Marvel characters. The company also entered the electronic learning aids (ELA) segment of the toy industry in 1996 with a licensing agreement with Apple Computer. Perelman started to make a bid for full control of the corporation in 1996 following Marvel's financial difficulties.
In 2007, Marvel Toys would drop using the ToyBiz branding on any of its products and simply refer to themselves simply as 'Marvel Toys'. In January 2007, Hasbro acquired the exclusive right to be the official toy manufacturer of registered Marvel Enterprise characters. This meant that Marvel Toys would no longer be able to produce any Marvel trademarked characters as it would violate the deal. Marvel Toys would go on to make toys of non-Marvel trademarked brands such as TNA Wrestling, Curious George and would subsequently start their own superhero series, 'Legendary Comic Book Heroes' which featured a wide range of non-Marvel comic superhero. In January 2008, Jesse Falcon announced that Marvel Toys and Legendary Comic Book Heroes line would not continue, due to Marvel Entertainment wishing to focus their efforts with Hasbro. The Marvel Toys website went down in mid-2008 after several months of inactivity.
Source and more history: Wikipedia.
What's it worth? Take a look at this Marvel price guide: sold listings for a value indication.