Diverse Marketing (then Anderson/Hardin and Associates) was founded in 1959 by Edward Everett Hardin III. Everett grew up in Memphis, TN as the only son of Edward Everett Hardin II and Agnes (Barton) Hardin. He joined the military during the Korean War, and when he left his service, he accepted the first role any Hardin would have in the toy industry!
Ed accepted a job as the toy buyer for Stratton Hardware in 1954. He saw the manufacturer rep model taking off in the northeast and southeast, so he moved his family to Dallas, TX, to start a group and a new life.
Ed was a charismatic man who would have fit seamlessly into a Mad Men episode. He loved entertaining and the art of selling! This time was before specialty toys, so he sold to department stores, hardware stores, and toy stores.
Times were different then; the New York Toy Fair was a month long. The 1950s saw a significant spike in toy sales through print and TV advertising. Items such as the frisbee and brands like Barbie were introduced as post-WW2 factories pivoted to toys.