With a reach that spans the globe, The Little Tikes Company is anything but miniature. Founded in 1970 the firm makes infant and preschool products, including development toys, creative arts, ride-on toys, sandboxes, activity gyms, climbers, and juvenile furniture. Primarily it makes and markets molded plastic items. It's known for its Cozy Coupe, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2009, and its sturdy Sports Car beds. Little Tikes' products are sold through retailers such as Target, JCPenney, Toys "R" Us, and Wal-Mart, as well as specialty retailers. Little Tikes is owned by MGA Entertainment, maker of the Moxie Girlz line of dolls and the Electronic Hot Hoops.
Little Tikes has become a reliable, steady business for its parent MGA through the years while it was engaged in a years-long battle with Mattel over the fate of MGA's flagship Bratz doll line. As a result, MGA continues to invest in Little Tikes, as it's a popular name among parents with toddlers and because Little Tikes products are known for their durability.
While Little Tikes has been profitable, MGA has been looking for ways to cut costs until the economy turns itself around. To this end, MGA asked for government aid to keep Little Tikes housed at its headquarters in Hudson, Ohio, as it was speculated that the company was considering moving Little Tikes to another state or Mexico. In late 2009, Ohio economic development executives offered MGA a $3.2 million, 3% loan to keep Little Tikes in the state.
Little Tikes became part of MGA in 2006 as MGA chased after a similar target audience to expand its preschool products portfolio. The company had been owned by Newell Rubbermaid since 1984, but Little Tikes had become a lagging business for Newell Rubbermaid. – less
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