Greg Hyman papers
The Greg Hyman papers are arranged into four series, three of which are further divided into subseries. The physical collection is housed in 3 archival document boxes.
- 1957 - 2010
- Majority of material found within 1976 - 2010
- Hyman, Greg (Designer, Person)
Conditions Governing Use
0.75 Linear Feet (3 boxes)
Fresh out of college, Hyman built customized electronic devices for advertising and public relations firms and for television game-show presentations. By 1974 Hyman had partnered with Larry Greenberg, a man he had met in television work. They started their own firm, Hyman/Greenberg Associates, and developed toy ideas to pitch to manufacturers. Because no manufacturers licensed any of their electronic toys for several years, the two inventors needed to keep “real jobs,” as Hyman described them.
In 1977, Creative Playthings manufactured the pair’s first toy, Little Maestro Piano Organ, and Milton Bradley signed Hyman and Greenberg to contracts that paid advances against future toy ideas. Playskool introduced their first big success, Alphie the Robot, whose lights, sounds, music, action, and games helped youngsters learn letters, numbers, songs, and more.
Hyman and Greenberg licensed 40 toys together before Greenberg passed away in 1992. Their inventions include Major Morgan the Electronic Organ, an electronic musical phone, a Win, Lose, or Draw game, and the Big Blaster Electronic Bike Horn. In the 1990s and after, Hyman continued inventing toys on his own or with other inventors. In 1993 Playskool released Hyman’s Talking Barney, the popular dinosaur from the PBS series. Around the same time, Hyman began collaborating with Ron Dubren, another toy inventor, on an electronic toy that laughed and squirmed when its tummy was tickled. Tyco saw Elmo, the fluffy, red, three-year-old, as a perfect match for the Tickles toy. Tickle Me Elmo became the must-have toy of the 1996 holiday season, and numerous variations of the toy have been in production ever since. Tickle Me Elmo leads the list of Greg Hyman’s best-known toys, but the plush toy coexists in his portfolio with more than 120 other licensed toys.
System of Arrangement
Series I: Greg Hyman inventions, 1957-2010
Subseries A: Greg Hyman inventions documentation, 1957-2010
Subseries B: Greg Hyman Associates prototype demonstrations and Learn to Invent—audio-visual DVD, 1976-2010
Subseries C: Greg Hyman Notebooks, 1977-1995
Series II: Greg Hyman Associates early product descriptions and schematics, 1976-1997
Series III: Catalog pages and sell sheets, 1983-2010
Series IV: Miscellaneous publicity, 1987-2007
- Finding Aid to the Greg Hyman Papers
- Michelle L. Parnett
- 22 October 2013
- Description rules
Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA