OverviewParker Brothers is most well known as the creator of numerous successful board games such as Monopoly, Clue, and Risk. The company has been manufacturing games for well over a century.
Parker Brothers was first established in 1888 and remained family owned until 1968, when the company was purchased by General Mills. The company's first forays into electronic gaming came in the late 1970's and early 1980's, when they began to produce electronic versions of their popular board games.
Parker Brothers entered the video game market in 1982. They originally produced games for the Atari 2600, Odyssey 2, Intellivision, Atari 5200, and ColecoVision consoles as well as for various computer systems. They primarily licensed successful arcade and computer titles from other companies and produced few original titles. After the video game crash of 1983-84, the company briefly left the video game business.
In 1985, Parker Brothers joined Kenner Products to form a new company called Kenner Parker Toys, Inc. In 1987, Kenner Parker Toys was acquired by the Tonka Corporation. That same year, Sega of America inked a deal with Tonka to market their Master System console, which was experiencing sluggish sales. Tonka marketed and distributed Sega's 8-bit system from 1987 to 1989, and during that time Parker Brothers developed several games exclusively for that system. Sales of the Master System did not improve under Tonka, however, and in late 1989, Sega ended their relationship with Tonka. With this, Parker Brothers once again left the video game business.
Tonka Corporation was acquired by Hasbro, Inc. in 1991 and Parker Brothers remains a division of Hasbro to this day.
TriviaThe company is named after two actual brothers, George S. Parker and Frederick Huntington Parker.
Related Web Sites
- Hasbro (Official Page at Hasbro.com)
- Parker Brothers Page at AtariAge.com (Gives a list of all Parker Brothers releases for Atari systems)