|In 1987 Steven Lebensfeld co-founded Toy Biz with associates from HG Toys. Within a year of its start, Toy Biz held the exclusive license for action figures based on characters from Marvel comics and DC Comics, including Batman, Spiderman and Superman.
``We were instantly the largest action figure company in the market. It was unbelievable,'' said Lebensfeld, who came up with the idea for the comic book figures after seeing a void in the market. ``Here we were, a little company doing about $4 million in sales a year when we get this incredible license. Today, those licenses bring in $300 million to $400 million in sales a year. In 1990, the thriving Toy Biz was bought by an mogul Ron Perelman - who had acquired the Marvel Entertainment Group in January of 1989. April 1993: Perelman cut an unusual deal with Ike Perlmutter and Avi Arad, two Israeli immigrants who run Toy Biz. They got a perpetual license to make toys based on Marvel characters (4700 characters!) without paying any royalties; and Marvel got 46% of highly profitable Toy Biz. Toy Biz, now a division of Marvel Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: MVL), one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies.