Milton Bradley was an American board game manufacturer founded in 1860 by Milton Bradley. The company had great success and became one of the nation's largest toy manufacturers, until it was bought in 1984 by Hasbro. Hasbro retained the Milton Bradley brand for several years before finally dropping it in 2009.
As a child, I was a big fan of board games and I played a lot of them. Because of this, I frequently saw the Milton Bradley "MB" logo, and it always made me happy. The logo was so pervasive, I was a bit surprised to learn decades later that the company had been bought out and was just a brand name for the entire time I remember playing games with their logo on them. I only played a couple of Milton Bradley's video game line. Despite publishing dozens of video games, few were worth playing.
The company saw success for several decades, even absorbing the nation's previous largest board game producer, McLoughlin Brothers in 1920. Unfortunately, the Great Depression hit the company hard, and it took them decades to recover. In the late 1970s, Milton Bradley started getting into electronic games, and, in 1979, they released the Microvision, the first cartridge-based handheld video game console. In 1983, they bought General Consumer Electronics, the maker of the Vectrex, but the product flopped. In 1984, Milton Bradley, then the fifth largest toy company in the USA, was bought out by the sixth largest, Hasbro. For a year, the company was known as Hasbro Bradley, but disagreements with upper management caused the MB executives to quit, and, in 1985, the company was known simply as Hasbro, however the Milton Bradley brand continued to be used, and the company continued to publish video games all the way up to 1990. Hasbro continued to grow and, in 1991, it acquired Parker Brothers. In 1998, Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers were merged together as Hasbro Games, but their brands continued to be used until 2009, when Hasbro finally dropped them in favor of their own name.
These are the products created or published by Milton Bradley that are important to me.
- Candy Land
- Connect Four
- Fireball Island
- The Game of Life
- Go to the Head of the Class
- Guess Who?
- Mouse Trap
- Pass the Pigs
- Omega Virus
- Scotland Yard
In addition to board games, I also played with a lot of Milton Bradley jigsaw puzzles.