Founded in 1883 by George S. Parker as George S. Parker Company, it saw not only the development and production of its own board games, but the selling of those created by others, even acquiring the rights to another line in 1887. Parker was joined by his brother, Charles, in 1888, with the name changing to Parker Brothers to match the change in management. A third brother, Edward, would also join 1898.
Parker Brothers would create a number of popular board and card games during this time, including games like Klondike and Chivalry. Major success would be attained in 1935, when they purchased and began producing Monopoly, a derivative of the 1904 board game The Landlord's Game. They would later go on to purchase the rights to other popular games such as Clue, Risk, Boggle, Ouija, and Sorry! in the 1940s.
They were purchased by General Mills in 1968. It was one year later, however, that Parker Brothers was approached by Reyn Guyer and Winsor Concepts, who had various game ideas all revolving around a soft, foam ball. The demo pitch only featured their most basic ball, however. Despite how simple it was, Parker Brothers agreed to sell the ball and only the ball. Thus, the Nerf Ball was born, marketed as an indoor ball that wouldn’t damage furniture or hurt people.
The Nerf Ball was an immediate success, similar to other products Parker Brothers had helped produce. It would give way to a "Super" Nerf Ball and foam flying disk in 1970, a football and basketball set in 1971, and more down the line. Initially producing sports-like products, they would branch out with general Nerf products, such as the 1973 Nerf-Mobile line of toys and the 1985 Nerfuls series of figures.
In 1985, Kenner and Parker Brothers merged together as Kenner Parker Toys, an off-shoot from the General Mills name. Kenner Parker would be purchased by Tonka in 1987. Parker Brothers would produce Nerf products up until 1991, when Hasbro purchased Tonka and shifted Nerf from Parker Brothers to Kenner Products. In 1998, Hasbro merged Parker Brothers under the Hasbro Games label, ceasing production altogether from the company.
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