Our story, like many great stories, involved a girl, a boy, and a dream. Melissa and Doug (yep, they’re real people!) longed to make toys for kids that would open up a world of discovery. Melissa brought her passion, creativity, and drive. Doug brought his optimism, vision, and playfulness. They both brought a certain sensibility to their work from having each been raised by educators. In 1988, barely out of childhood themselves, they began working out of Doug’s parents’ garage. Before long, they introduced their first hit toy: the wooden Fuzzy Farm Puzzle. It was a simple idea, really. Take a sleepy toy category and add a twist – in this case, texture.
Eventually, they would expand beyond puzzles, bringing their unique perspective to dozens of toy categories and play experiences. As the Melissa & Doug company grew over the years, so too did Melissa and Doug’s family. With their six children serving as both inspiration and as a pint-size product testing team, the couple has been able to constantly interact and observe how kids play, what motivates them, and how they best pick up critical problem-solving, creative, and social-emotional skills through their play.
The approach of adding a little something extra to classic play patterns (“some pizzazz,” as Melissa calls it) and creating toys based on their family’s needs, has led to the creation of more than 2,000 toys, games, crafts, and pretend play products. Today, Melissa & Doug is available in 100+ countries, consistently delivering products with an uncompromising commitment to quality, safety, service, and value – all while remaining true to the original goal of inspiring kids’ imagination.