Toys "R" Us Australia and New Zealand

Source: Toys “R” Us Australia/The Toy Book

Nearly a year and a half after Tru Kids Brands partnered with Hobby Warehouse Group to relaunch Toys “R” Us Australia, Funtastic is taking the reins.

Funtastic — which distributes toys from Educational Insights, Learning Resources, Razor, and others in Australia — acquired Hobby Warehouse Group last week in a deal that includes control of the Toys “R” Us Australia, Babies “R” Us Australia, Hobby Warehouse e-commerce brands, and Mittoni Technology.  The sale finds Hobby Warehouse founder Louis Mittoni stepping into a new role as managing director and CEO for the combined operation and taking a 34.4% stake in Funtastic.

Earlier this month, Mittoni told the Australian Financial Review (AFR) that he and Hobby Warehouse Chairman Kevin Moore approached Funtastic about a potential deal during the pandemic. It is expected that Funtastic will be able to realize Mittoni’s plans for the return of physical Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores to the Australian market within the next 12-18 months. While the plans for said “experience centers” were mentioned last year, AFR notes that the family-owned Hobby Warehouse lacked the capital to pull it off on its own.