The massive global success of L.O.L. Surprise! is fueling an unexpected side effect — expansion of toy distribution.
KidFocus, which operates as a start-up within MGA Entertainment (MGAE), works to supply mid-tier and specialty retailers as the exclusive, in-house B2B distributor of MGAE brands such as Little Tikes, Num Noms, and the ubiquitous L.O.L. Surprise! dolls.
The company, led by founder and CEO Cameron Larian, is expanding its business and its team, looking toward the future with bigger goals in mind.
“We’ve seen exponential growth over the past year,” Larian tells the Toy Book. “We’re building an innovative culture that supports its people, and helps other businesses grow.”
Those other businesses include independent toy stores and other emerging (or reemerging) markets such as grocery, amusement, and reward and redemption — outlets that have sometimes been unable to access hot product due to outdated roadblocks.
“[KidFocus] has been a great partner and ramped up to service the independent market strongly in less than two years,” says Richard Derr, owner of Learning Express Toys in Lake Zurich, Illinois. “My business has grown significantly with its help — especially L.O.L. and Little Tikes.”
Christine Osborne, owner of Wonder Works Toys in South Carolina, agrees, calling out KidFocus in our State of the Toy Industry Q&A, praising the company for its willingness to work with smaller retailers and adapt to an evolving industry.
“The development of product sharing of MGA Entertainment brands with specialty stores was difficult at best in the past, but the generation of KidFocus created a pathway,” she said. “Additional brands, products, and offerings were provided, assisting specialty stores’ relevancy image.”
For independents, relevancy is key, and competing with the buying power of large chains is an issue. KidFocus counters that by keeping its minimum order to just $750. The accessibility to hot product helps attract new customers, and the demand is sparking expansion at KidFocus’ Van Nuys, California office.
“We’re assembling an amazing team,” says Chris Cofoni, senior vice president of sales and marketing, who comes to KidFocus following a two-year stint at Jazwares, where he launched the Fortnite line last fall. “By providing best-in-class service, we can be a one-stop shop for our clients. Soon we’ll be bringing in new brands and expanding our product selection.”
Larian notes that KidFocus is hiring for all positions, and prepping a move to a new corporate campus. Those interested in getting involved are invited to get in touch, whether it be retailers looking for product or toy makers seeking a new distribution opportunity.
“I think KidFocus is a great place to work and grow,” he says.