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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Sears, Roebuck and Co was originally based in Chicago, Illinois and operated a chain of department stores across America. The company was founded by Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck in 1886. They began operations as a mail order catalogue busines and began opening retail locations in 1925. They were previously based in the Sears Tower in Chicago. And were most recently headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

They marketed a line of diecast vehicles under their in-house brand name of "Road Mates". Playart, Yat Ming and Zee all provided castings to Sears during that time frame. The Yat Ming castings were also marketed in Canada at the Sears store in Toronto, Ontario.

Playwell's "Flash 'n' Sound" vehicles were also found at the Sears' Toronto department store locations. The logo on their bases is thought to be that of Hong Kong Toy Centre, Ltd and is also found on their blister cards. One example each, of the BMW and Mercedes-Benz were found and documented in Europe without the light and sound features by Remco Nathrop.

Sears was purchased by Kmart, an American discount store chain who renamed themselves Sears Holdings after the merger was completed.

Sears was the largest retailer in the United States until October 1989, when it was surpassed by Walmart. It was the fifth-largest American department store company by sales, as of October 2013, behind Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Home Depot. And the twelfth-largest retailer in America overall. They also operated divisions in Canada and Mexico, among several subsidiaries within its group of brand holdings.

By 2017; and facing bankruptcy, Sears and Kmart began closing stoe locations all across the USA with only a few locations remaining open for either retailer in 2019.

Sears also originaly produced 1:1 cars from 1908 to 1912. And again in 1952 to 1953. Cooper Tire formerly manufactured all tires sold under the Sears Guardsman brand at their Sears, Roebuck & Co. stores.


Playwell "Flash 'n' Sound Casting List

BMW
Ferrari F 40
Ford Aerostar
Jeep Cherokee
Mercedes-Benz
Porsche 928



Sourced references -

Sears, Roebuck, & Co. | hobbyDB
Road Mates | hobbyDB
Encyclopedia of Small-Scale Diecast Motor Vehicle Manufacturers - Sahakangas, Foster & Weber (2006)
 
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