Spin Master is going retro with an agreement to acquire London-based Rubik’s Brand—owner of the Rubik’s Cube. The US$50-million deal is expected to close on January 4, 2021.
Some of Rubik’s small team will stay on as consultants during the transition, Spin Master confirmed. The IP will then be shifted to the toyco’s games portfolio.
Rubik’s Cube launched globally in 1980, and has gone on to sell hundreds of millions of units. Technically a STEM-focused toy designed to support brain development and cognitive skills, the puzzle became a pop-culture phenomenon and has inspired “speedcubing” competitions around the world.
Moving forward, Spin Master plans to expand distribution for the Rubik’s Cube, as well as focus on innovation for upcoming offerings. The acquisition comes as the Toronto-based company continues to grow its puzzles and games business. The category has seen significant growth as a result of global lockdowns in response to the pandemic; according to market research firm The NPD Group, the puzzles and games super-category increased by 37% in the first half of 2020.
Spin Master’s agreement with Rubik’s Brand also builds on the trend of reviving retro toy properties. Just Play recently acquired the Slinky and Shrinky Dinks brands, with plans to launch new items this year. Slinky first hit toy shelves in 1945, while Shrinky Dinks bowed in the 1970s. Toymaker Wham-O, meanwhile, partnered with nonfiction prodco Critical Content earlier this year to develop TV content inspired by its brands, including Slip ‘N Slide and Hula Hoop.