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History | Big Break | Expansion | Relationship with Toy Companies | Evel Knievel | American Classic Toy

History of American Plastic Equipment, Inc.

American Plastic Equipment, Inc. ("American Plastic") was established in February of 1971 in New York City for the purpose of purchasing used machinery and equipment in the plastic industry in the New York Metropolitan area for export to Latin America. New York was an industrial giant at the time, there were companies constantly renewing their machinery and equipment for state-of-the-art pieces and there were opportunities with companies changing ownership or status due to market or other circumstances. The principal market was Latin America.
In April of 1978, American Plastic moved its headquarters to Hallandale, Florida, incorporating in Talhahessee, Florida. Initially operating out of a 500 sq. ft. office, within one year the company leased a warehouse in Hallandale’s industrial section. Business was brisk and by 1980, American Plastic leased larger quarters to house a showroom, administrative office and warehouse under one roof in neighboring Hollywood, Florida. By that time, American Plastic had accumulated over 500 molds and had entered into the full service plastic machinery business.
Demand for rebuilt machinery allowed American Plastic to expand with a separate 5,000 square foot warehouse to specialize in the purchase, dismantling, re-construction of the mechanical, hydraulic and electrical (before electronics) systems of injection and blow molding machinery and ancillary equipment for plastic processing. American Plastic sold re-built equipment with a guaranty. Initially most of the sales were in Latin America, however the North American market began to appreciate a quality piece at a bargain. European manufacturers also began to purchase from American Plastic.

The initial American Plastic basic strategy was to purchase the molds, machinery and equipment for plastic manufacturing on a piece-by-piece basis.
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Evel Stunt Cycle

The Big Break

Marx Toys Acquired by American Plastic Equipment
On October 19, 1982, American Plastic purchased the assets. About 6 years later in June of 1988, American Plastic was able to acquire the Marx intellectual property rights from the Chemical Bank. HENCE, American Plastic acquired the rights, title and assets of Marx Toys, the world’s largest toy company!

Read more on the fascinating story of Marx Toys.
Buying entire company assets, including their product molds and intellectual property rights, became the new model strategy for American Plastic. Under this new approach, American Plastic then acquired the assets of Aurora Products, Irwin Toy, Miner Industries, Multiple Product Corporation, Transogram, and the venerable Ideal Toy Corporation!

Under this arrangement, American Plastic Equipment, Inc. acquired hundreds of pieces of machinery and equipment and thousands of molds in one deal. This beat the piece-by-piece acquisition process. American Plastic liquidated the machinery and equipment to decrease the cost of the acquisition of the molds. American Plastic hired Gene Rocco and other key Marx personnel to be able to make the transition. Also, American Plastic rented (for two years) the Marx plant in Girard, Pennsylvania. The prestige of the acquisition of the Marx assets opened doors to USA, Europe and Asia in addition to enhancing the primary market of Latin America for American Plastic Equipment, Inc.
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Wild Cat ATV

The Hollywood quarters were no longer sufficient for the company; therefore, American Plastic purchased a 50,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility in the Sunshine State Industrial Park in North Miami Florida. The inaugural party was held in April of 1984.

As the company prospered, no longer satisfied with the piece-by-piece purchase plan, asset acquisition became the model for future business. American Plastic acquired assets of other famous American Toy Companies such as Multiple Toymakers, (A/K/A MPC, etc.); Transogram; Aurora; Miner Industries; Irwin Toy; Remco; Suzy Homemaker of Topper Toy; Child Guidance; Gong Bell; Hubley; Gabriel Brothers; Kohner Brothers; and Mego.

In 1985 CBS TV Inc., aware of the Marx transaction, called American Plastic Equipment, Inc. to discuss the assets of CBS Toys, with its flagship being of course the great Ideal Toy Corporation.

In 1990, the principal of American Plastic established Marx Toys, Inc. to produce the famous Marx Toys. The company concentrated on collectible Marx toys. After operating for 10 years, Marx Toys, Inc. was sold to a public corporation on December 12th of 2000. Upon default, American repossessed the molds and intellectual property rights.

In 1995, American Plastic invested in a toy factory in Sebring, Ohio, which led into moving the molds from North Miami to Sebring. Due to the changing world business circumstances, the molds have been shipped to different parts of the world including China, Ecuador, and Mexico for convenience.

In the early 2000s, the principal helped to re-establish the Ideal Toy Company as an operating entity, which was later sold to Poof-Slinky, Inc. Poof-Slinky continues to operate Ideal Classics in cooperation with American Plastic Equipment, Inc.

The formula of bringing back the well-recognized classic American toys, from the original molds, under the original product rights, to the original specifications, updated for safety and technology standards, has been American Plastic policy. In the mid 2000s, the principal of American Plastic established American Classic Toy, Inc. as an independent operating company. (see

TODAY, for the 21st century, American Plastic is concentrating on licensing their classic product to toy manufacturers, under which American Plastic provides the original tooling and intellectual property rights. As in the words of James Kiefer of Mattel, all you have to do is “Take it and make it!”
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Jody Doll rooms



Big Cat Ride On

Relationship with the Classic American Toy companies

The “New Marx”
During the 1980s nostalgia became strong. The public enjoyed seeing the old movies, hearing popular music, appreciating classic automobiles, and of course…the toys they grew up with. Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley were posthumously more popular than ever! Classic rock and the 1955 T-Bird were hits again!

Because American Plastic Equipment in 1990 owned the steel production molds and intellectual property rights, it re-established Marx Toys under the new corporation name of Marx Toys, Inc. in Miami, Florida. The new Marx corporation re-issued original Marx toys from the original molds to the original specifications under the original intellectual property rights for toy collectors on a limited basis from their Miami factory.

In 1994, Mark Clark, Senior Buyer for Wal-Mart visited the Marx Toys exhibit at the New York Toy Fair. He expressed interest in purchasing Marx Toys for his retail store. Without knowing initially that Clark was representing Wal-Mart, American Plastic Manager Joel Wildman told him that only a few thousand of each Marx toys were manufactured on a limited basis. Clark replied that “if you can make a few thousand, you can make a few hundred of thousand.” This began a new mass distribution phase for American Plastic.

Based on demand from Wal-Mar, Toys ‘R Us, and Kay Bee Toys, in 1995, American Plastic entered into a joint-venture agreement with the Mahoning Valley Plastics Corp. of Sebring, Ohio. The principals had been doing business with each other because Mahoning Valley Plastics was already a licensee of American Plastic. Their relationship dated back to when American Plastic first purchased the Marx assets in 1982 and Steve Motosko of Columbiana, Ohio became a customer. By 1995, Motosko was involved with the Mahoning Valley Plastics Corp. Until then, Mahoning Valley Plastics had been primarily a custom molder manufacturing for the automobile industry under contract. When they began seeking to expand the use of their factory, Roland McKenzie and Jim Underwood, the principals of Mahoning Plastics became interested in American Plastic. Several factors were appealing to Mahoning Valley Plastics:
  • American Plastic had a small Marx Toy limited edition factory business in Miami
  • American Plastic was receiving interest from Wal-Mart and other mass-market retailers that could not be satisfied from the then-existing limited facilities
  • Mahoning Valley Plastics had a factory capable of manufacturing large quantities of toys
  • Mahoning Valley Plastics sought work to fill that capacity
The resulting joint venture, combining the Mahoning Valley Plastics factory with the American Plastic molds and intellectual property rights, established the Marx Toy Corp. in Sebring, Ohio.

Marx Toy Corp. exhibited at the New York Toy Fair on the 9th Floor in February of 1995. Marx Toy Corp. was able to establish relations with many of the U. S. retailers including Toys ‘R Us, Kay Bee Toys, K-Mart, J C Penney, Sears, FAO Schwarz, and many others.

Five years later, on or about December of 2000, the Marx Toys, Inc. collectible business was sold to a public corporation.

Around the same time on or about January of 2000, the Marx Toy Corp. mass-market business was sold to Amloid Corp.

When the public company, Marx Toys & Entertainment Corp. defaulted on their responsibilities with American Plastic, the intellectual property rights of Marx reverted back to American Plastic and the molds were foreclosed. American Plastic Equipment, Inc. re-gained possession of the Marx toy molds and intellectual property rights.

Ideal Classics
When it was no longer actively involved with the Marx toy collectible or mass-market classic edition business and still believed in the concept of re-issuing the classics, American Plastic became involved with Michael Seilor in 2002 to establish the Ideal Toy Company. American Plastic licensed the use of the molds and original intellectual property rights for the Ideal toys. After a few years, it was apparent that the product line required greater financial support and professional management. Seilor sold the business to Poof-Slinky.

American Plastic and Poof-Slinky initially entered into a license agreement that evolved into a joint venture to establish the Ideal Classic line of toys made from the original Ideal molds. This arrangement eventually evolved back into a license arrangement.

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Robert the Robot






Seaplane by Ideal
Seaplane by Ideal

Relationship with Evel Knievel

Under the joint venture agreement with Poof-Slinky, Ideal Classics decided to re-issue one of the all-time great products – the Ideal Toy Evel Knievel series. The main product was the #4070 Evel Knievel Deluxe Daredevil Stunt Set. Through this business arrangement, Jay Horowitz, the owner and president of American Plastic, and Evel Knievel became personal friends.

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Evel Knievel action figure on motorcycle
American Classic Toy, Inc.

On or about May of 2006, Evel Knievel invited Jay Horowitz to attend “Biker’s Week” in Daytona, Florida. On the plane ride back to Ohio, a neighboring passenger showed Horowitz the new Sudoku puzzle. Enamored with the Sudoku concept, Horowitz sought to apply this addictive concept to a toy or game. American Plastic had purchased, among others, the original molds and rights to the Rubik’s Cube ®, whose molds had been stored in the American Plastic warehouse over 20 years. Horowitz eventually invented the Sudoku Cube ®.

Although Poof-Slinky was initially interested in the distribution of the new Sudoku Cube ®, it did not occur. As it had happened in the creation of the Marx Toy Corp., the demand led to the establishment of American Classic Toy Inc. to market the Sudoku Cube ®.

American Classic Toy, Inc. was chosen as an umbrella trade name to release any classic toy. In the past, American Plastic had concentrated on the Marx or Ideal brands. Now, under the “American Classic Toy” trademark name, American Plastic could re-issue classics originally released by American toy companies including: Transogram, Aurora, Ideal, Marx, Multiple Toymakers, Irwin Toy, Remco, and others. See the origin of American Plastic molds for more details.

The Sudoku Cube ® created world-wide interest and was issued in seven languages. Poetically, in 2010, while concentrating on the licensing business, American Plastic entered into a license agreement with Poof-Slinky to manufacture and distribute the Sudoku Cube ® and many of the original Ideal Toy ® products under the Ideal Classic brand.
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Snoopy Attack! box

American Plastic Equipment, Inc., P.O. Box 69, Sebring, Ohio 44672

Tel: 330-938-2000 * Fax: 330-938-2001

American Plastic Equipment, Inc. Copyright 2009
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Page updated 12 March 2010