• 1985

Company Description

Worlds of Wonder or WoW was an American toy company founded in 1985 by former Atari sales president Don Kingsborough, and former Atari employee Mark Robert Goldberg. Its founding was inspired by a prototype that became its launch product, Teddy Ruxpin. In 1986, it launched Lazer Tag and filed an IPO which Fortune magazine called "one of the year's most sought after stock sales". WoW partnered with the young Nintendo of America as retail sales distributor, crucial to the landmark launch and rise of the Nintendo Entertainment System from 1986 to 1987. Still in the wake of the disastrous video game crash of 1983, WoW leveraged its own hit toys to issue ultimatums to coerce the retail industry to buy the NES, and Nintendo used the breakthrough success of the NES to resurrect the failed American video game market. Nintendo capped WoW's windfall sales commissions for the NES at $1 million per year per sales staff. In 1987, WoW's success had diminished due to several factors including its miscalculation of its products' obsolescence in the toy industry's boom-bust cycle. In October, Nintendo canceled the partnership and hired away WoW's sales staff. Worlds of Wonder was closed in 1991, and Teddy Ruxpin and Lazer Tag have received technology refreshes and continued across the decades through other companies.
  • Manufacturer:

  • Formed:

  • Founders:

    Don Kingsborough
  • Company Address:

    Fremont, CA
    United States
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