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The Learning Company

Overview

The Learning Company was co-founded in 1980 as The Learning Co. by Ann McCormick, Leslie Grimm and Frona Kahn and based in California. The first releases focused on teaching young children math, reading and science skills. The most lucrative properties the company developed were Super Solvers, Reader Rabbit and ClueFinders. The company joined the New York Stock Exchange in 1992.

In December 1995 The Learning Co. was acquired by SoftKey International. In October 1996, SoftKey International changed its company name to The Learning Company, Inc. and relocated it to Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange with Ticker Symbol TLC, and the TLC initials were added to the company logo. The company also operated the subsidiary TLC Properties, Inc. from the same location.

Acquisitions by The Learning Company, Inc. included: The Learning Company, Inc. and all its subsidiaries and divisions was acquired by Mattel Inc., the toy company, on May 13, 1999 and renamed Mattel Interactive. Mattel Interactive had the following international offices in addition to the ones in the United States. Many of these were renamed Learning Company Inc. locations.
  • Mattel Interactive Asia Pacific (Richmond, Australia)
  • Mattel Interactive Japan (Tokyo, Japan)
  • Mattel Interactive France / TLC-Edusoft (Boulogne Billancourt, France)
  • Mattel Interactive Northern Europe B.V. (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Mattel Interactive Deutschland GmbH (Oberhaching, Germany)
  • Mattel Interactive, S.R.L. (Milano, Italy)
  • Mattel Interactive Spain (Barcelona, Spain)
  • Mattel Interactive Ltd (Crawley, West Sussex, UK)
  • Mattel Argentina, S.A. (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • Mattel de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.
  • Mattel do Brasil Ltda (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
  • Mattel de Venezuela, C.A. (Caracas, Venezuela)
  • Mattel Chile, S.A. (Santiago, Chile)
  • Mattel Colombia, S.A. (Bogota, Colombia)
Mattel then sold it to the Gores Technology Group in October 2000. After taking over The Learning Company, Gores divided it into three groups:
  • One specializing in games was branded GAME Studios by Gores in January 2001 and then was sold to French publisher Ubi Soft in March 2001. This included rights to all Strategic Simulations, Inc. games. The SSI brand has since been retired, and all other acquired properties have been absorbed into Ubisoft.
  • A second which focused on educational software, kept The Learning Company name, and was acquired by Riverdeep Interactive Learning Limited in September 2001.
  • The third group, named Brøderbund, was put in charge of home productivity software. Riverdeep then acquired all of Brøderbund in August 2002.
The Learning Company became a brand of Riverdeep Interactive Learning Limited, which owned all previous TLC and Brøderbund educational/edutainment franchises including Reader Rabbit, Carmen Sandiego, ClueFinders, and Oregon Trail.

The Learning Company became a brand of Houghton Mifflin Company (now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) in 2006 when Riverdeep merged with that company.

Also Known As

  • Mattel Interactive (from May 13, 1999 to Sep 05, 2001)
  • The Learning Company, Inc. (from Oct, 1996 to May 12, 1999)
  • The Learning Co. (from 1980 to Sep, 1996) -- original company name


Trivia

Most locations in the United States that originally belonged to The Learning Company, Inc. (1996-1999) were used by Mattel Interactive after their acquisition of TLC in May 1999 until October 2000. Telephone and Fax numbers remained the same. Any locations that were unique to either company are listed at the bottom.

The Learning Company, Inc. (Main headquarters) and TLC Properties, Inc. (subsidiary)
Mattel Interactive (Cambridge office)
One Athenaeum Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-227-5609
Telephone: 617-494-1200
Customer Service: 617-761-3000
Fax: 617-494-1219
The Learning Company, Inc. website: www.learningco.com
Mattel Interactive websites: www.mattelinteractive.com - www.mattel-interactive.com - www.thelearningcompany.com

Framingham office:
Internet Solutions Group
600 Worcester Road
Framingham, MA
Telephone: 508-416-1000
Fax: 508-626-8515

Fremont office:
6493 Kaiser Drive
Fremont, CA 94555
Telephone: 510-792-2101
Fax: 510-713-6072

Novato branch: (Mindscape)
88 Rowland Way
Novato, CA 94945
Telephone: 415-895-2000

Additional Novato location (Mattel Interactive only):
The Learning Company School
500 Redwood Blvd
Novato, CA 94947
Telephone: 415-382-4400
Website: www.learningcompanyschool.com
Note: This location was called Riverdeep in 2004
Riverdeep's Learning Company website: www.learningcompany.com

Minneapolis branch (The Learning Company, Inc. only):
6160 Summit Drive North
Minneapolis, MN 55430
Telephone: 612-569-1500
Fax: 612-569-1551

Hiawatha office (Mattel Interactive only):
1 Martha's Way
Hiawatha, Iowa 52233
Telephone: 319-395-9626
Fax: 319-395-0217

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