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The Learning Company


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.

Contributed by Sciere (533929) on Jun 28, 2007. [revised by : Jeanne (76503)].