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.

Playskool value

What's it worth? Take a look at this Playskool price guide: sold listings for a value indication.

Playskool forum (9 comments)

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Eric Smith - January 1, 2015

Hello, I have noticed that there are several vintage toys that Playskool made and Fisher-Price also made a similar toy. There is good documentation of when F-P toys were made, but I am having a difficult time identifying when the: lace up shoe (without wheels as well as with wheels), milk carrier, rock-a-stack (with clown) were made. My father worked for F-P during this time and often talked about "toy spies"...I know that this spying went both ways, I am very curious who copied from whom at which juncture. Any help you have in identifying Playskool production years for toys would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Eric Smith
►reply: That would indeed be very interesting, I am afraid I can't help you with this...

Ellen - September 5, 2014

I have a Playskool clock in the shape of a yellow duck with an orange beak and feet. The base is green, the numbers on the clock are green and the hands of the clock are green. It looks very, very early. I can't find anything on this! Where can I find information about early Playskool toys and their value? Thanks

Kent - July 27, 2014

How can I figure out the exact age and value of a Playskool United States Map Puzzle, Model 770? It is an inlaid wooden jigsaw puzzle which includes pieces for the lower 48 states and painted outlines of Alaska and Hawaii. The board is blue and the box for it is yellow. I think it was given to me in the late 1960s.
►reply: I cannot tell you the exact age, since they were made from the beginning of the 1960s until the late 1970s, maybe even the beginning of the 1980s. Maybe look through these images on Google and try to find the exact same as you have.

Kent - July 27, 2014

Thank you for your answer. The second image with the yellow box on the Google page, for which you posted the link, looks like mine. However, I am positive that mine is not any newer than 1970 and I am fairly certain that it is older than that. My best guess is that I received it in 1968 or 1969, probably the later. However, it would be nice to have some definitive information about it if such information exists. Thank you again for your help.

Darcel - January 11, 2014

im looking for a spelling toy. i think it might be from playskool.you put a card in it and you push these buttons that spell out a word.im looking for the name of it
►reply: Probably from the Playskool Match Ups series: Playskool Match-Ups.

Leah P - April 29, 2013

I have a vintage playskool spell and send mailbox mint in box and can't find it anywhere online to price it....any ideas?
►reply: No idea, but according to this manual: spell 'n send mailbox manual it's from 1995, so I don't think it has much value. You can try selling it on eBay though.

Nancy Muggenburg - December 7, 2011

Were Playskool Toys ever made with lead paint? I have a wagon with alphabet blocks from the 1970's and my daughter is worried about the paint. My granddaughter loves these blocks.
►reply: Hello, Hasbro is now the owner of Playskool. Best is to contact them directly with your question through this link.

Lauren Bergemann - June 24, 2011

Hello,I have come across a Playskool toy labeled no 42 chicago Illinois. I can find nothing out about it! It is plastic red/orange and white in color with three musical wheels yellow, blue and same red/orange color. I can send you a picture. Thank you for any help.
►reply: I think it's called the 'Toy Toddler Wheel Bells' with the sound of bells as the color wheels are turned. On eBay there was one for sale for 12 USD but didn't sell.

Mike Parrish - December 17, 2010

I have a Playskool Giraffe game. It is probably one of the hardest items to locate anywhere on the net. I have pictures if you can send me an e-mail. I am just looking for so information on this item. Last one that popped up anywhere from what I can tell is June of 2009.
►reply: Did you try searching for: 'Playskool Giraffe'?