Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Kiddicraft

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of Kenley, Surrey. Telephone: Uplands 2255. London Office: 66 Barkston Gardens, Earls Court, SW5. Telephone: Frobisher 4778. (1947)

1932 Founded by Harry Fisher Page who created the self-locking bricks. Kiddicraft was a predecessor of the concept of Lego bricks. The early LEGO “Automatic Binding Bricks” (including inserts representing doors, windows etc.) were a direct copy of Page’s “Self-Locking Building Bricks”. LEGO acquired his intellectual property in the 1980s in connection with a lawsuit.

Hilary Harry Fisher Page was a well-known designer of children's educational toys and founded the Kiddicraft Company at Kenley, Surrey. In making wooden toys, he described his greatest problem as finding "a suitable paint or enamel which could not be sucked or gnawed off". For this, and because of their "hygienic qualities, attractive colours and absence of dangers from sharp edges and corners" he changed to plastics and made the first Kiddicraft Sensible toys in 1937. He was a pioneer in using plastics as materials in their own right rather than simply translating existing designs to the modern material.

1939 Page applied for a patent for 'Toy Building Blocks'. In this and subsequent patents he described hollow bricks with 4 and 8 studs on top. The Kiddicraft 'Self Locking Bricks' were a Hilary Page 'Sensible' Toy made in England after the 1939-45 war. Lego introduced their "Automatic Binding Bricks" in 1949 after acquiring rights to the Kiddicraft design. These were first marked as Bri-Plax and later as Kiddicraft.

1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Kiddicraft Sensible Toys for Babies and Young Children. Designed by Hilary Page. Moulded from strong durable colourful plastics. (Olympia, 3rd Floor, Stand No. K.2430) [1]

1977 Hestair acquired Kiddicraft in 1977, which resulted in a total restructure of the company.

1984 The company moved to larger premises in Bristol

1989 Fisher-Price took over Kiddicraft

1993 Merged with Mattel


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