Alex Brands Buys French Toymaker Juratoys

AlexBrandsAlex Brands has acquired French toymaker Juratoys, marking the toy company’s first move into Europe. Juratoys, the parent company of European toy brands Janod and Kaloo, is based in Orgelet, France, and has offices in the U.K., the U.S., Hong Kong, and China. The news was reported by Propel Equity Partners, which backs Alex Brands.

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Propel Equity Partners Acquires Buzz Bee Toys

AlexBrandsPropel Equity Partners, a private equity firm, has acquired Buzz Bee Toys, which specializes in active play toys. The acquisition marks the eighth by Propel Equity since August of 2012 on behalf of Alex Brands. Buzz Bee Toys will join the Alex Brands family of brands, which includes Alex Toys, Poof, Slinky, Scientific Explorer, and more.

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Neil Friedman to Serve as Next President and CEO of Alex Brands

AlexBrands.Copy Alex Brands has named toy industry veteran Neil Friedman as its president and CEO. Friedman, who joined Alex Brands’ board of directors earlier this year, was most recently president of the U.S. division at Toys “R” Us. He was also previously president at Mattel Brands, Fisher-Price Brands, Tyco Preschool, and MCA/Universal Merchandising. Friedman is a member of the Toy Industry Hall of Fame and the International Licensing Industry Merchandiser’s Association’s Hall of Fame.

“This is a unique opportunity to work with some of the most iconic and highly recognizable brands in the industry,” says Friedman. “In the time that I have been associated with Alex Brands, I have been extremely impressed by the company’s accomplishments, vision, and growth plans. I am most looking forward to using my experience and expertise to help this company realize the incredible opportunities that lie before it.”

Neil Friedman Resigns as President of Toys “R” Us, Inc., U.S.

In a SEC filing on Friday, Toys “R” Us, Inc. announced that Neil Friedman has resigned as president of U.S. operations after 10 months at the company. His resignation will be effective on February 24. The filing says Friedman will “become an advisor to the broader toy industry,” and the company “intends to retain his advisory services, on a non-exclusive basis, for new ventures and business alliances.”

This post was originally written by Elizabeth A. Reid and published by For more news, visit, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Toys “R” Us Names Neil Friedman President of U.S. Business

Toys “R” Us, Inc. has announced the appointment of Neil Friedman as president, Toys “R” Us, U.S. Friedman most recently served as president, Mattel Brands. In his new position at Toys “R” Us, Friedman will oversee all merchandising, marketing, store operations, merchandise presentation, global sourcing, and product development, as well as merchandise planning and allocation for the company’s 866 stores and online business in the United States. Friedman will report to Gerald Storch, chairman and CEO, Toys “R” Us, Inc.

“We could not be more pleased that Neil is joining our leadership team,” says Storch. “Neil has extensive knowledge of, and has made significant contributions to, the toy and juvenile product businesses throughout his career. We look forward to working with Neil to further our growth strategy as we continue to advance our authority and specialist positions through our many initiatives ahead.”

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Neil Friedman Leaving Mattel

Mattel, Inc. has announced that Neil Friedman, president of Mattel brands, is leaving and its president of international will take the new role of COO. Friedman will leave in March. Bryan Stockton, president of international, will become COO, effective immediately. Stockton has been head of Mattel’s international division since 2003. He joined the company in 2000 as executive vice president of business planning and development.