In this 2018 photo Hutton, 3, plays with Little Tikes Circuit Center at the Walmart Toy Shop event in New York. The Ohio-based company is celebrating its 50th anniversary. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Ohio toy company — the largest in the U.S. — celebrates 50 years

An Ohio toy manufacturer is celebrating a half-century in business.

Little Tikes will host a 50th anniversary celebration at its Hudson, Ohio plant — what the company calls the “the oldest and largest toy manufacturing plant in the U.S.” — this week.

“It is one of the biggest toy manufacturing plants of its time and has successfully operated for the past five decades,” the company said.

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In an event scheduled Friday, Isaac Larian, chief executive of MGA Entertainment and owner of Little Tikes, will present Little Tikes’ founder, Thomas G. Murdough, Jr., with a plaque to honor Little Tikes’ heritage, the company said.

The business “has brought smiles and happiness to children all over the world,” Larian said in a statement. “Little Tikes’ ingenuity has created the biggest toy manufacturing facility in the U.S.A. and continues to produce products built to last. In fact, a childhood favorite, the Cozy Coupe, still offers drivers zero gas mileage and ranks as one of America’s best-selling cars of all time.”

Murdough also founded toy makers Step2 Co. and Simplay3, both based in Streetsboro, Ohio, not far from Hudson-based Little Tikes. All the businesses are in Northeastern Ohio.

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Company employees as well will be recognized Friday. The anniversary celebration will also include tours of a company museum.

An international company, Little Tikes was founded in 1969 in Hudson, where it manufactures molded plastic toys.

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