Playmates Toys is a prominent toy company best known for its licensed action figures.
Founded in Hong Kong
in 1966, Playmates carried on in profitable obscurity until 1987, when it decided to enter the marketplace for figures based on Merchandise-Driven
cartoons. The company signed on with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
, becoming the licensee for the first animated series
. It was a make-or-break gamble, but it paid off handsomely; TMNT
became not only a sensation, but a hugely popular franchise that has endured for decades. This massive success gave Playmates the clout to pursue other well-known properties like Star Trek
and The Simpsons
, but TMNT
is still its signature product.
For a while, the company had a video game division, Playmates Interactive Entertainment; it's best remembered for introducing the Earthworm Jim
Works for which Playmates has created toys: