The Little People--the abstract figures that populate a toddler's world--first appeared in a 1959 Fisher-Price Safety School Bus. Throughout the last decades of the 20th century, the Little People appeared in all manner of play sets like schools, homes, hospitals, trains, amusement parks, circuses, and farms. The figures became so popular, in fact, they were sold separately as the Play Family. By 1975, Fisher-Price secured a licensing agreement to produce little figures of Sesame Street characters. Other licensed properties increased the popularity of the figures. Fisher-Price, maker of Little People, began in 1930 specializing in toys for infants and preschool youngsters. The company marketed toys "created to fascinate and stimulate a child's imagination," and prided itself on producing safe and durable playthings. Mattel, Inc. purchased the company in 1993 and increased marketing and distribution of Fisher-Price toys throughout the world.