Buffalo Innovation: Fisher-Price

A quaint suburb sitting 20 minutes outside Buffalo, East Aurora is a village comprised of historical sites, eateries and boutiques. But there ‘s a good chance you have a piece of East Aurora featured in a photo from your childhood or stored in an old toy box. That ‘s because the village is also home to Fisher-Price headquarters. Yes, the Fisher Price that made the stackable rings, pull-toy dog, xylophone and hundreds of other toys you may have played with growing up.

Over 80 years ago, four creative, business-minded visionaries created a company that would lead to the world’s largest name in preschool toys. East Aurora’s mayor, Irving Price, joined forces with Herman Fisher, a salesman and innovation aficionado. The company’s founding team was also comprised of Price’s wife, Margaret Evans, a former children’s book illustrator who became the company’s first art director, and Helen Shelle, a toy-store owner-turned-inaugural secretary and treasurer.

Shortly before the company’s launch in 1930, Price purchased the former home of President Millard Fillmore, located in East Aurora, where his wife Margaret would design the company’s notable “Wheelum Pull-Toy” line. From this four-person team came a line of a 16 wooden toys, which they confidently brought to the 1930 International Toy Fair in New York City, catching the attention of millions and putting Fisher-Price on the map.

Fisher-Price has kept its headquarters in East Aurora, NY since the company’s launch almost a century ago. This iconic toy story is a staple in Buffalo ‘s entrepreneurial history.