U.S. Toy Company is a family-owned company specializing in novelty toys, balloons, stuffed animals, educational toys, teacher supplies and teaching aids, magic tricks and costumes. Seeking to “inspire learning, creativity, and fun” through the play value of their products, they market through retail stores, catalogs and online websites.1
Elvin and Frances Klein and their young family founded U.S. Toy Company in 1953 by marketing small novelty toys to drugstores and merchants. Over the next few years, Frances, a former nursery school teacher, developed educational resources for teachers and formed a Constructive Playthings division of the company. Around this same time, the U.S. government launched Head Start, and Frances’ new division grew with the resulting emerging preschool educational market.2 In 1996, Frances was honored by the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Lifetime Achievement.3
Constructive Playthings focuses on providing teaching aids, supplies, and equipment for preschools, churches, daycare facilities, and other early childhood educational entities. Constructive Playthings seeks to “bridge the gap between learning and fun” by engaging children in “a fun activity, creative interest, or educational pursuit.”
Constructive Playthings division also features a line of playground equipment and site furnishings, surfacing options, design and installation services for preschool and school-age children. Items include outdoor classroom items, fitness and movement equipment, sand and water items as well as playground equipment .4
Headquartered in Grandview, Missouri, U.S. Toy Company also maintains retail stores in Texas and Kansas.5 They have 2 online websites and in 2010 were listed on the Internet Retailer Top 500 List.
- 1. “About Us.” U.S. Toy Company. < https://ustoy.com/about-us > 29 May 2018.
- 2. “About Us.” Constructive Playthings. < https://constructiveplaythings.com/about-us > 29 May 2018.
- 3. Op. cit., "About Us." U.S. Toy Company
- 4. “Playground.” Constructive Playthings. < https://constructiveplaythings.com/category/playground > 29 May 2018.
- 5. “Headquarters.” U.S. Toy Company. < https://ustoy.com/find-store > 29 May 2018.