This rather nondescript factory building at Jamaica Avenue and 184th Place in Hollis produced the stuff that kids’ dreams were made of for Ideal Toys for several decades from the 1950s through 1982, when the company moved to Harmon Meadows, NJ. Ideal was founded in 1903 as the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company in Brooklyn by Morris and Rose Michtom. The company’s first big hit was the teddy bear: the stuffed ursine was inspired by President Teddy Roosevelt. Ideal quickly expanded into the country’s premier toy manufacturer, enjoying success with dolls such as the Betsy Wetsy and Tammy. 


photo: Andy Hoffer

By the time I arrived on the scene in the 1960s, Ideal was producing popular board and party games such as Mousetrap, based on the Rube Goldberg comic strips, and Hands Down. Before it was sold to CBS in 1982, its last big hit was the Rubik Cube, which is impossible to solve. I know, because I have tried twice.

In 2014, Ideal was sold again to Alex Brands, which still produces toys, dolls and games under the Ideal name.

An interesting aspect of the company was that it wanted to build a factory adjacent to the Iron Triangle in the early 1960s, but could not manage to lock down a deal. Shea Stadium was constructed on the site instead.

Vintage Ideal Toys 

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”


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6 Responses to IDEAL TOYS, Hollis

  1. Peter says:

    Is the building still in use for anything?

  2. floplop says:

    And as Magilla Gorilla would say the toys were ‘Ideal’

  3. Rich T says:

    I remember the building well, It was on my Sanitation route when I worked for NYDS in the 80’s and NYC also had offices in the building at the time. NYC would put out some bags for pick-up and Ideal would mix some bags into the pile. There was some good pickings of old toys as they were cleaning out the building for the move!!! My Mother and her friends worked there in the 60’s, more free toys!!! Those were the days…….Rich T

  4. Liz says:

    Ideal made my favorite dolls when I was a little girl in the 70s. I still have one that I received for Christmas in 1972.

  5. SteveR says:

    Since the 80s I guess, as commuters whiz by the backside of the building on the LIRR, there has been a sign admonishing that “If you rented here, you’d be at work by now…”. Always thought that curious. Building kind of decrepit even then. I think my dad worked here in the 50s as a stock guy, and he would mention as we drove by headed back to Bellerose from his relatives in Brooklyn. We were impressed as kids.

  6. Jesele Shaniece says:

    My mom always told about how my grandma worked there back in the 60’s and 70’s when my mom was a kid

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