littleplasticmen Vol 1, No 2 - page 11

TOY GIANT Mattel is throwing its
hat into the construction toy ring with
an all-cash deal to acquire Canada’s
MEGA Brands – makers of MEGA
Bloks as wells as other arts and crafts-
styled toys. With about $400 million
in sales last year, MEGA Brands is a
distant second to Danish titan Lego,
which had 2013 sales equivalent to
$4.7 billion. While Lego has been the
king of licensed building brick toys for
several years now with popular proper-
ties such as Star Wars, Marvel and Lord
of the Rings, MEGA Bloks has also had
a spate of solid licenses including Halo,
World of Warcraft and Skylanders.
“A key pillar of our global growth
strategy is the strategic acquisition of
Mattel scoops MEGA Brands for around C$400 million
brands that will both benefit from our
scale and help extend our reach into
new and growing categories,” said
Bryan Stockton, Mattel chairman and
CEO. “The construction play pattern is
popular, universal and has had one of
the fastest growth rates over the past
three years. We look forward to helping
MEGA Brands accelerate its global
growth, providing more choices for
more children and their families.”
MEGA Brands and Mattel are not
strangers. The companies worked
together previously on some licensed
Barbie and Hot Wheels MEGA Bloks
toys. The venture made an impression
on Mattel who in 2013 swung the con-
versation towards a possible acquisition
and the Bertrand family, which founded
MEGA Brands predecessor Ritvik Toys
in 1967, ultimately decided to sell.
Brothers Marc and Vic Bertrand,
Mega Brands CEO and COO respec-
tively, will stay on as advisers for at
least a year, according to Mattel.
Mattel hopes the deal will drive
sales in what is a new category for the
industry giant. The California-based
maufacturer is coming off a dismal holi-
day season where it posted a 10% dip
in North American sales for the fourth
quarter. The company will likely explore
the expansion of its own brands – such
as Barbie, Hot Wheels and Masters of
the Universe – into the construction toy
world over the next few years.
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