When Springfield Elementary School is bankrupted and closed, Jim's company, Kid First Industries, buys the school and privatizes it. At the school, an all-new staff teaches students classes about toys and marketing, which makes Lisa suspicious when her class is asked to name a new toy that they will sell for Christmas. Bart visits Lisa writing lines on the blackboard. When Bart leaves and turns off the classroom lights, Lisa finds light shining through the blackboard. Lisa later discovers that they are a toy company that uses children for research to make a toy, through the use of hidden cameras, tape recording and clear, two-way blackboards. She brings in her parents and Chief Wiggum to investigate, but they do not believe her because the room used for spying on the children was taken out and replaced. Later on, the new toy is named Funzo with traits that the students had suggested during a brainstorming session. They visit Jim Hope's office and he gives them a free Funzo. Bart and Lisa like it at home, until they discover that Funzo is programmed to destroy other toys. When the two try to boycott Funzo at the Try-N-Save department store, the customers don't listen and break into the store, which earns Jim $370 million.
However, on Christmas Eve, with Homer's help, they steal all the Funzos in Springfield and then later destroying them in the tire fire.
It's unknown what happens to Jim after this. It is possible that Kid First Industries increased its profits, presumably through the parents re-purchasing the Funzos that the Simpsons had stolen. It is also possible that he and KFI went bankrupt if the Funzos were revealed as toy-destroyers.
Behind the Laughter
Jim Hope is voiced by Tim Robbins in the episode "Grift of the Magi".
He is named after a friend of writer Tim Long, and Planet Sheen writer, Jim Hope.