The notion of "learning through play" was the inspiration of two women who worked for the Schroeder Lumber Company in Milwaukee. Former teachers, they based the very first Playskool designs on educational tools they had used in their classrooms in 1928. Starting it all off was a folding wooden desk filled with fun learning supplies like crayons, blocks and clay.
The earliest Playskool catalogues featured that desk as well as other sturdy toys like a collapsible wooden dollhouse (with four rooms and a "sun parlor") and a shoemaker's bench.
By the late 1960s, Fink and Meythaler were ready to retire. They sold the brand to the MB (Milton Bradley) Company, then best known for board games, and Playskool entered the modern era with a bang--or rather a "zap:" Playskool became the first brand to make electronic toys for preschoolers, beginning in the late 1970s with Playskool Alphie, a chunky and chatty robot. His cutting-edge talents included playing music and simple guessing games. Alphie was just the start of a long line of Playskool high-tech toys that have entertained and inspired young minds.
In 1984 both Playskool and Milton Bradley were bought by Hasbro. As a result, Playskool became the new home of those famous spuds, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, as well as the GLOWORM and other early childhood classics.
What's it worth? Take a look at this Playskool price guide: sold listings for a value indication.