Q&A with Ben Gadbois, Global President and COO, Spin Master Ltd.

SpinMaster.BenGadboisThe Toy Book (TTB): Which toy categories do you expect to expand in 2015? Which do you expect to contract?

Ben Gadbois (BG): While it isn’t a category itself, robotic technology is advancing the toy industry in revolutionary new ways. Toy robots are nothing new to the market, but over the past few years we are seeing more innovative integration of robotics, allowing kids to do incredible things. From our trainable, voice-recognizing dog, Zoomer, to the autonomous, fiercely independent Zoomer Dino, toys are coming to life and great new play patterns are emerging. This year, we are fusing the latest technology and robotics with the iconic Meccano brand (known as Erector in the U.S.) with our latest robot, Meccanoid G15 KS. Meccanoid embodies the core values of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and empowers children by acting as a fun and engaging way to learn about coding, robotics, and engineering. As society advances, so do our toys, and there is a new thirst in the market as consumer behavior shifts toward products that can be both fun and educational. [Read more...]

Spin Master Launches Interactive Meccanoid G15 KS

spin masterThis year, Spin Master Ltd. is working with Meccano—known as Erector in the U.S.—on Meccanoid G15 KS, a personal robot built with the latest Meccano parts. It is an advanced, yet easy-to-use open source Robotic Building platform, accessible to builders covering a broad range of ages and skill sets. Four feet tall and programmable, the robot is comprised of 550 parts and comes with a companion app, whereby owners can save animations and share them with friends. [Read more...]

Spin Master to Participate in First Integrated Summer Camp Program

logo_spinmasterSpin Master has partnered with Youth Venture Marketing LLC and the American Camp Association (ACA) for the first integrated summer camp program. Spin Master products will be integrated into more than 135 camp programs across the U.S. at ACA-accredited camps through August. Campers will have the opportunity to interact with Spin Master brands such as DigiBirds, IONIX, Kinetic Sand, Meccano, Sew Cool, and Wackytivities.

Spin Master Acquires Meccano

logo_spinmasterSpin Master Ltd. is transforming its organization through recent acquisitions. After having acquired Spy Gear and Perplexus, Spin Master has also acquired Meccano (known as Erector Set in the U.S.), the toy construction brand with a 112-year history. In the acquisition process, the decision was made to retain Meccano’s manufacturing base and industrial facilities, located in Calais, France, to optimize serviceability to European markets.

Spin Master is strategically focused on extensions to many of its toy lines through the creation of entertainment properties, companion applications, games, and digital experiences that are suited for changing consumer play patterns.

Meccano Taps Freeman PR To Lead U.S. Campaigns

Freeman Public Relations (FPR) has been selected by French toy maker Meccano as PR agency for the Erector brand in the U.S. market.

Freeman will be a strategic partner in the campaign to increase consumer awareness of the licensed product lines for Gears of War and Sonic the Hedgehog construction sets that are available exclusively at Toys “R” Us. The publicity programs will aim to reinforce the Erector brand among American consumers through a multi-tiered approach for each product line, incorporating elements and components of traditional and social media to build brand recognition. The Gears of War campaign will also feature a heavy social media campaign aimed at the older, dedicated fans.

The Erector Set to Debut as Feature Film

Meccano Toy Company’s popular Erector Set will soon hit the big screen in an original 3-D feature film based on the children’s construction toys. Helix Films, an independent production company, will develop the film, which will be the first time Meccano has licensed film rights to its toys.
[Read more...]