The past year has been a big one for toy industry consolidation as mergers and acquisitions continue to reshape the business.
Today, Jazwares, a subsidiary of Alleghany Capital Corp., acquired Kelly Toy Holdings LLC and Kelly Amusement Holdings LLC, formerly known as Kellytoy Worldwide and Kellytoy USA (collectively, Kellytoy). The news comes on the heels of a strategic agreement inked ahead of Toy Fair New York in which Kellytoy granted Jazwares the global rights to Squishville, an extension of the company’s blockbuster Squishmallows line.
“Kellytoy has established a strong position and a proven expertise in the plush toy market through a range of proprietary brands, including its best-selling Squishmallows line,” says Judd Zebersky, CEO and president of Jazwares. “In February 2019, we entered into a strategic partnership with Kellytoy to reinvigorate and expand distribution of Jazwares’ Russ Berrie brand, which we acquired in 2018. After working successfully together for over one year, we believe it is time to integrate and expand our partnership with Kellytoy, which will allow both companies to more fully leverage their strengths, positioning the combined entity as a leading supplier in the global plush market.”
In just three years, Kellytoy has sold more than 50 million Squishmallows across 475 styles in 40 countries.
“We are thrilled to be joining Jazwares and the Alleghany Capital family of companies,” says Jonathan Kelly, co-president of Kellytoy. “I have known and respected the management team at Jazwares for a long time and believe that after years of building the company, Kellytoy’s logical next stage of growth is through a partnership with a larger, yet very nimble, global platform such as Jazwares. We are confident that our combined talents and the synergies that will result from this transaction will benefit both companies.”
Following the acquisition, Kelly will serve as co-president of Kellytoy working alongside Laura Zebersky, co-president of Kellytoy and CCO of Jazwares.
The acquisition of Kellytoy is the second major acquisition for Jazwares in the past year following its purchase of Wicked Cool Toys in October.