Mega Bloks cuts and pastes Rose Art into its business
In a move that will both broaden its product catalogue beyond boys toys and deepen its U.S. presence, Canadian toyco Mega Bloks has acquired arts & crafts manufacturer Rose Art for US$350 million. After the transaction, the companies’ combined sales should total US$523 million. Trailing market leader Crayola, Rose Art is the second largest arts & crafts player in the US$1.8-billion category, but it also makes magnetic building sets, school supplies and games & puzzles. Mega Bloks will initially focus on using its global distribution network to expand the craft company’s international business, which currently accounts for only 10% of sales (compared to 43% for Mega Bloks).
Hoping to deepen its penetration into Germany’s US$250-million construction toy market, Mega Bloks has also signed up to distribute product with Zapf Creation, beginning this month to coincide with the German rollout of Micro Mega Bloks.
Zizzle taps Vivid to handle its global business
Start-up tech-toy specialist Zizzle has chosen Guildford, England’s Vivid Imaginations to handle its international operations. The deal will see Vivid distribute Zizzle’s products in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australia, starting in Q4. Based out of Bannockburn, Illinois, Zizzle is the brainchild of Tiger Electronics co-founder Roger Shiffman, who created electronic gizmos such as Furby, PooChi and Giga Pets. The company, which only launched this spring, is already hard at work on a line of electronic role-play SKUs for Disney and Walden Media’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and plans to unveil a full line of electronic toys in September.