A Doll's House
The Thompson-Dale conflict of 1951
Background story, A Doll’s House
This is the main background for the murders in the town. The conflict that put Arthur Dale out of business in 1951 will likely lead the investigators to him as a suspect early in the campaign. He has nothing to do with the murders, but their suspicion will lead the investigators into contact with Sara Dale early on.
In 1951, there were two competing toy companies in Daleburough; Dale Dolls, which produced high quality traditional dolls, and Dream Dolls, which mass produced modern plastic dolls cheaply. These had been competing for several years, and in this year it seemed that Dale Dolls would emerge victorious from the struggle. They had an agreement to meet with several big investors who had expressed great interest in their products, and were ready to take Dale Dolls onto the national market.
However, Dream Dolls set up a plot to sabotage the breakthrough, and indeed bring Dale Dolls down for good. The head of Dale Dolls, Arthur Dale, had for some time been involved with Harland Thompson, the nephew of the owner of Dream Dolls. The evening before the meeting with the investors, the Thompson family made a huge scene where Harland explained how Arthur Dale had taken advantage of him, and threatened to destroy his uncle’s company if he did not indulge in a homosexual relationship with him. This was set up all along, and lost Arthur Dale his reputation and credibility both to the townspeople and the investors. In addition, agents of Dream Dolls torched the storage facilities of Dale Dolls, and forged them for insurance fraud. After this incident, Dale Dolls’ stocks plummeted, and Arthur Dale was bankrupt within two months. In addition he was now despised by the entire town.
Dream Dolls became more prosperous after their competition was eliminated, and rolled out nationwide a few years after. The only thing that remained of Dale Dolls was the pieces in Arthur Dale’s personal ownership, from his days of performing as the spokesperson for Dale Dolls as “The Puppeteer”.