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Remco co-founder Isaac Heller dies

Published: March 17, 2015

Isaac Heller, who with a cousin, Saul Robbins, founded the toy company Remco Industries in 1949, died March 7. He was 88.

After World War II, Heller, a former U.S. Navy electronics specialist, acquired surplus military gear that gave him his start as a maker of toys that included walkie-talkies and other products that were known for their working features, such as the U.S. Navy Frogman Commando and the Whirlybird helicopter. The name Remco derived from remote control.

In the 1960s, Remco's reputation rode on licensed products such as action figures of the Beatles, Monkees, Munsters, Batman, and other pop-culture icons.

After selling Remco in 1966, Heller became an industrial-park developer and philanthropist.

Remco filed for bankruptcy in 1971, and the company closed in 1974. The Remco brand has been owned since 1997 by Jakks Pacific.