From Playing Mantis to Forever Fun

The holidays are getting closer, which means I’m receiving the Time and Space Toys newsletter more frequently. T&ST has become the go-to place on the Web for holiday toys based on TV specials like It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and even The Little Drummer Boy.

Anyway, you may recall that the first Rudolph figures came from a company called Playing Mantis. These days, the company producing them is called Forever Fun, and there were a few other lines in-between. T&ST’s most recent newsletter breaks it all down, and I thought it made for some mildly interesting reading.

It’s our favorite toy manufacturer! They are makers of the Rudolph and Charlie Brown Action Figures lines. But what do we call them? We get many questions about the confusing name changes. So to clear it all up, we offer this brief history.

  1. Playing Mantis creates the Rudolph PVC and Action Figures Line under their company name, Playing Mantis in 2001.

  2. Playing Mantis continues the lines for a few years, and creates the Brand Name “Memory Lane” for these classic nostalgic lines. The Memory Lane brand is used on and off during these years.

  3. Playing Mantis is bought by RC2 Corp, where the line is almost killed by RC2. A few pieces were released by RC2 in 2005 under the “Memory Lane” brand.

  4. The original Playing Mantis team creates a new company in 2006 and name it “Round 2”, buying back the Rudolph and Peanuts licenses from RC2. However the brand name “Memory Lane” was lost at RC2.

  5. Round 2 introduces a new brand name, “Forever Fun” to categorize their holiday character lines.

  6. Now all is back the way it started, with the same toy team at the helm, just with a new name. This year Forever Fun adds “The Little Drummer Boy” to their brand umbrella.

  7. Here at Time and Space, you can get past releases (under various incarnations of the brand names) and all the current Forever Fun items, in fact we are the only store on the web that offers all of these all in one place! It really is forever fun!

5 Comments »

Comments now closed (5)

  • I had always wondered this myself! These are great sets. If only I didn't have a TON of Christmas decorations in my house and my parent's house already. My set of Star Wars Hallmark ornaments doesn't even fit on a single tree anymore!

  • The past decade has been very confusing for all the name changes for who makes these lines. All I know is, I love all their product….great stuff, and some of my favorite toys of all time.

    Thanks for the article Poe.

  • I'd love a Rudolph, Santa Claus, Hermey, and Sam the Snowman…

    I wonder if the people from Playing Mantis have seen the 'Ol Coal Eyes video that Ed and his friend made? Pretty good commercial for their product! 😉

  • I thought Playing Mantis did toy cars. Who knew.

    I'd love to see them produce some toys from Rankin & Bass's 'Mad Monster Party'. Haven't seen much merch from that one except some vinyl toys.