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Kenner’s place in the toy industry is rich with history, producing such classic toys as the Easy-Bake Oven, Spirograph, Star Wars Figures, GiJoe Figures, Play-Doh, and Nerf Guns just to name a few. Over the years from its conception in 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio, by brothers Albert, Phillip, and Joseph L. Steiner It would gained traction in 1958 developing toy commercials using puppet Mascots to sell toys. One such character the Kenner Goonie Bird Mascot was used in their company logo and TV ads. Legendary JIm Henson would even lend his talents producing a commercial creating a character called the Little Bird that would be the precursor to his creation of Sesame Street. The Little Bird would eventually be phased out in 1974.
The company was purchased by General Mills in 1967. In 1970, General Mills merged its Rainbow Crafts division into Kenner Products, bringing Play-Doh into the Kenner product line. In 1985, General Mills would spin-off both its Kenner and Parker Brothers toy divisions to form Kenner Parker Toys, Inc. The following year Kenner Parker sold off its Lionel Trains division.
Kenner Parker was acquired by Tonka in 1987. Under Tonka management, Kenner Products was reconstituted as a division. Tonka (including Kenner) was purchased by the toy company Hasbro in mid-1991. Hasbro closed the Cincinnati offices of Kenner in 2000, and Kenner's product lines were merged into Hasbro's.
Kenner will always hold a special place in my heart for introducing me and the world to the Star Wars figures based on the Movie in 1977’. But for all intents and purposes when referencing Kenner for this website we are talking mainly about the years 1995-99’ for the production of Star Wars, The Batman Animated, and Superman The Animated line of action figures.