- History of American Plastic Equipment, Inc.
- American Plastic
Equipment, Inc. ("American Plastic") was established in February
of 1971 in New York City for the purpose of purchasing used machinery
and equipment in the plastic industry in the New York Metropolitan area
for export to Latin America. New York was an industrial giant at the
time, there were companies constantly renewing their machinery and equipment
for state-of-the-art pieces and there were opportunities with companies
changing ownership or status due to market or other circumstances. The
principal market was Latin America.
- In April of 1978,
American Plastic moved its headquarters to Hallandale, Florida, incorporating
in Talhahessee, Florida. Initially operating out of a 500 sq. ft. office,
within one year the company leased a warehouse in Hallandale’s industrial
section. Business was brisk and by 1980, American Plastic leased larger
quarters to house a showroom, administrative office and warehouse under
one roof in neighboring Hollywood, Florida. By that time, American Plastic
had accumulated over 500 molds and had entered into the full service
plastic machinery business.
- Demand for rebuilt
machinery allowed American Plastic to expand with a separate 5,000 square
foot warehouse to specialize in the purchase, dismantling, re-construction
of the mechanical, hydraulic and electrical (before electronics) systems
of injection and blow molding machinery and ancillary equipment for
plastic processing. American Plastic sold re-built equipment with a
guaranty. Initially most of the sales were in Latin America, however
the North American market began to appreciate a quality piece at a bargain.
European manufacturers also began to purchase from American Plastic.
The initial American Plastic basic strategy was to purchase the molds,
machinery and equipment for plastic manufacturing on a piece-by-piece
Toys Acquired by American Plastic Equipment
- On October 19,
1982, American Plastic purchased the assets. About 6 years later in
June of 1988, American Plastic was able to acquire the Marx intellectual
property rights from the Chemical Bank. HENCE, American Plastic acquired
the rights, title and assets of Marx Toys, the world’s
largest toy company!
Read more on the fascinating story of Marx Toys.
- Buying entire
company assets, including their product molds and intellectual property
rights, became the new model strategy for American Plastic. Under this
new approach, American Plastic then acquired the assets of Aurora Products,
Irwin Toy, Miner Industries, Multiple Product Corporation, Transogram,
and the venerable Ideal Toy Corporation!
Under this arrangement, American Plastic Equipment, Inc. acquired hundreds
of pieces of machinery and equipment and thousands of molds in one deal.
This beat the piece-by-piece acquisition process. American Plastic liquidated
the machinery and equipment to decrease the cost of the acquisition
of the molds. American Plastic hired Gene Rocco and other key Marx personnel
to be able to make the transition. Also, American Plastic rented (for
two years) the Marx plant in Girard, Pennsylvania. The prestige of the
acquisition of the Marx assets opened doors to USA, Europe and Asia
in addition to enhancing the primary market of Latin America for American
Plastic Equipment, Inc.
- The Hollywood
quarters were no longer sufficient for the company; therefore, American
Plastic purchased a 50,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility in
the Sunshine State Industrial Park in North Miami Florida. The inaugural
party was held in April of 1984.
As the company prospered,
no longer satisfied with the piece-by-piece purchase plan, asset acquisition
became the model for future business. American Plastic acquired assets
of other famous American Toy Companies such as Multiple Toymakers, (A/K/A
MPC, etc.); Transogram; Aurora; Miner Industries; Irwin Toy; Remco;
Suzy Homemaker of Topper Toy; Child Guidance; Gong Bell; Hubley; Gabriel
Brothers; Kohner Brothers; and Mego.
In 1985 CBS TV Inc.,
aware of the Marx transaction, called American Plastic Equipment, Inc.
to discuss the assets of CBS Toys, with its flagship being of course
the great Ideal Toy Corporation.
In 1990, the principal
of American Plastic established Marx Toys, Inc. to produce the famous
Marx Toys. The company concentrated on collectible Marx toys. After
operating for 10 years, Marx Toys, Inc. was sold to
a public corporation on December 12th of 2000. Upon default, American
repossessed the molds and intellectual property rights.
In 1995, American
Plastic invested in a toy factory in Sebring, Ohio, which led into moving
the molds from North Miami to Sebring. Due to the changing world business
circumstances, the molds have been shipped to different parts of the
world including China, Ecuador, and Mexico for convenience.
In the early 2000s,
the principal helped to re-establish the Ideal Toy Company
as an operating entity, which was later sold to Poof-Slinky,
Inc. Poof-Slinky continues to operate Ideal Classics
in cooperation with American Plastic Equipment, Inc.
The formula of bringing
back the well-recognized classic American toys, from the original molds,
under the original product rights, to the original specifications, updated
for safety and technology standards, has been American Plastic policy.
In the mid 2000s, the principal of American Plastic established American
Classic Toy, Inc. as an independent operating company. (see americanclassictoy.com)
TODAY, for the 21st
century, American Plastic is concentrating on licensing their classic
product to toy manufacturers, under which American Plastic provides
the original tooling and intellectual property rights. As in the words
of James Kiefer of Mattel, all you have to do is “Take it and make it!”
Relationship with the Classic American Toy companies
During the 1980s nostalgia became strong. The public enjoyed seeing
the old movies, hearing popular music, appreciating classic automobiles,
and of course…the toys they grew up with. Marilyn Monroe and Elvis
Presley were posthumously more popular than ever! Classic rock and the
1955 T-Bird were hits again!
Because American Plastic Equipment in 1990 owned the steel production
molds and intellectual property rights, it re-established Marx Toys
under the new corporation name of Marx Toys, Inc. in
Miami, Florida. The new Marx corporation re-issued original Marx toys
from the original molds to the original specifications under the original
intellectual property rights for toy collectors on a limited basis from
their Miami factory.
In 1994, Mark Clark, Senior Buyer for Wal-Mart visited the Marx Toys
exhibit at the New York Toy Fair. He expressed interest in purchasing
Marx Toys for his retail store. Without knowing initially that Clark
was representing Wal-Mart, American Plastic Manager Joel Wildman told
him that only a few thousand of each Marx toys were manufactured on
a limited basis. Clark replied that “if you can make a few thousand,
you can make a few hundred of thousand.” This began a new mass
distribution phase for American Plastic.
Based on demand from Wal-Mar, Toys ‘R Us, and Kay Bee Toys, in
1995, American Plastic entered into a joint-venture agreement with the
Mahoning Valley Plastics Corp. of Sebring, Ohio. The principals had
been doing business with each other because Mahoning Valley Plastics
was already a licensee of American Plastic. Their relationship dated
back to when American Plastic first purchased the Marx assets in 1982
and Steve Motosko of Columbiana, Ohio became a customer. By 1995, Motosko
was involved with the Mahoning Valley Plastics Corp. Until then, Mahoning
Valley Plastics had been primarily a custom molder manufacturing for
the automobile industry under contract. When they began seeking to expand
the use of their factory, Roland McKenzie and Jim Underwood, the principals
of Mahoning Plastics became interested in American Plastic. Several
factors were appealing to Mahoning Valley Plastics:
The resulting joint venture, combining the Mahoning Valley Plastics
factory with the American Plastic molds and intellectual property rights,
established the Marx Toy Corp. in Sebring, Ohio.
- American Plastic had a small Marx Toy limited edition factory
business in Miami
- American Plastic was receiving interest from Wal-Mart and other
mass-market retailers that could not be satisfied from the then-existing
- Mahoning Valley Plastics had a factory capable of manufacturing
large quantities of toys
- Mahoning Valley Plastics sought work to fill that capacity
Marx Toy Corp. exhibited at the New York Toy Fair on
the 9th Floor in February of 1995. Marx Toy Corp. was able to establish
relations with many of the U. S. retailers including Toys ‘R Us,
Kay Bee Toys, K-Mart, J C Penney, Sears, FAO Schwarz, and many others.
Five years later, on or about December of 2000, the Marx Toys,
Inc. collectible business was sold to a public corporation.
Around the same time on or about January of 2000, the Marx Toy
Corp. mass-market business was sold to Amloid Corp.
When the public company, Marx Toys & Entertainment Corp.
defaulted on their responsibilities with American Plastic, the intellectual
property rights of Marx reverted back to American Plastic and the molds
were foreclosed. American Plastic Equipment, Inc. re-gained possession
of the Marx toy molds and intellectual property rights.
When it was no longer actively involved with the Marx toy collectible
or mass-market classic edition business and still believed in the concept
of re-issuing the classics, American Plastic became involved with Michael
Seilor in 2002 to establish the Ideal Toy Company.
American Plastic licensed the use of the molds and original intellectual
property rights for the Ideal toys. After a few years, it was apparent
that the product line required greater financial support and professional
management. Seilor sold the business to Poof-Slinky.
American Plastic and Poof-Slinky initially entered into a license agreement
that evolved into a joint venture to establish the Ideal Classic
line of toys made from the original Ideal molds. This arrangement eventually
evolved back into a license arrangement.
with Evel Knievel
- Under the joint
venture agreement with Poof-Slinky, Ideal Classics
decided to re-issue one of the all-time great products – the Ideal
Toy Evel Knievel series. The main product was the #4070
Evel Knievel Deluxe Daredevil Stunt Set. Through this
business arrangement, Jay Horowitz, the owner and president of American
Plastic, and Evel Knievel became personal friends.
American Classic Toy, Inc.
- On or about
May of 2006, Evel Knievel invited Jay Horowitz to attend “Biker’s
Week” in Daytona, Florida. On the plane ride back to Ohio, a neighboring
passenger showed Horowitz the new Sudoku puzzle. Enamored with the Sudoku
concept, Horowitz sought to apply this addictive concept to a toy or
game. American Plastic had purchased, among others, the original molds
and rights to the Rubik’s Cube ®,
whose molds had been stored in the American Plastic warehouse over 20
years. Horowitz eventually invented the Sudoku Cube ®.
Although Poof-Slinky was initially interested in the
distribution of the new Sudoku Cube ®, it did not occur. As it had
happened in the creation of the Marx Toy Corp., the demand led to the
establishment of American
Classic Toy Inc. to market the Sudoku Cube ®.
American Classic Toy, Inc. was chosen as an umbrella trade name to release
any classic toy. In the past, American Plastic had concentrated on the
Marx or Ideal brands. Now, under the “American Classic
Toy” trademark name, American Plastic could re-issue
classics originally released by American toy companies including: Transogram,
Aurora, Ideal, Marx,
Multiple Toymakers, Irwin Toy, Remco,
and others. See the origin of American
Plastic molds for more details.
The Sudoku Cube ® created world-wide interest and was issued in
seven languages. Poetically, in 2010, while concentrating on the licensing
business, American Plastic entered into a license agreement with Poof-Slinky
to manufacture and distribute the Sudoku Cube ® and many of the
original Ideal Toy ® products under the Ideal Classic