Playmates Holdings Limited
FormerlyPlaymates Industrial
Company typePublic
IndustryToy industry
Founded1966; 58 years ago (1966)
FounderSam Chan Tai-ho
Key people
To Shu Sing (chairman)

Playmates Toys Limited is a Hong Kong toy company. The company was founded in Hong Kong in 1966 by Sam Chan Tai-ho as Playmates Industrial, manufacturing dolls for other companies.[1] In 1975, Playmates began marketing their own line of pre-school toys, and in 1977 opened an American subsidiary in Boston. Another subsidiary was founded in California in 1983; in 1984 the company went public.[2]

The company's first big success was in 1986, with the marketing of a tape-playing, electronic robot doll named Cricket.[2] In 1989, the company marketed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures which sold extremely well.[2] Success of the two led to a golden era from 1990 to early 1993.[3] In 1990, Sales reached US$4.13 billion and net profit HK$1.21 billion.[3] In 1995 the company suffered a loss of HK$97.59 million.[3]

Proprietary brands

Tie-in media toys

Playmates Toys has often been under contract as a chosen third-party to produce toys, fashion dolls, games, and other merchandise coinciding with popular film and television media. Examples of media that Playmates has done toys for include Atomic Betty, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek, Ben 10, Godzilla vs. Kong, the computer-animated musical Disney movie franchise Frozen, Miraculous Ladybug, Pikwik Pack, and others. They were made in cooperation with various international media production companies, including Canadian company Nelvana and United States companies Disney, DreamWorks Animation, and Nickelodeon.[5]

Playmates Interactive Entertainment

Playmates Interactive Entertainment Inc. was founded as a subsidiary of Playmates Toys Holdings which is the parent company of Playmates Toys in 1994. It is co-located with the United States branch of Playmates Toys in La Mirada, California.[6] In September 1996, Playmates Toys' US branch and Playmates Interactive Entertainment relocated their headquarters, including 50 employees to Costa Mesa, California.[6] At the same time, Gary Rosenfeld and Chris Archer joined the company as vice-president of business affairs and producer, respectively.[6] In August 1997, Playmates Interactive Entertainment's president, Richard Sallis, resigned and was succeeded by Ron Welch.[7][8] Playmates Interactive Entertainment was defunct by May 2000.[9]


  1. ^ "History". Playmates Toys.
  2. ^ a b c Ward, Arthur (2020). Action Figures: From Action Man to Zelda. Crowood. ISBN 9781785006883.
  3. ^ a b c Tsang, Denise (7 September 1996). "Battle ends in court for not-so-friendly Playmates". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 25 March 2023.
  4. ^ "Nano Babies Go Up Against Tamagotchi and Gigi Pets". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 97. Ziff Davis. August 1997. p. 26.
  5. ^ "Playmates Toys: History". Playmates Toys. Retrieved 30 October 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Johnson, Greg (17 September 1996). "Playmates Toys to Move Offices to O.C." Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ Johnston, Chris (26 April 2000). "Konami, Playmates Appoint New Presidents". GameSpot.
  8. ^ Johnson, Greg (8 August 1997). "President of Playmates Toys and Sister Company Resigns". Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ Nutt, Christian (2 May 2000). "Toshinden Subaru (Import) Review". GameSpot.