Hape Kids II

Following the success of the co-branded Baby Einstein and Hape wooden musical toy line, Kids II and Hape entered into a joint venture to develop and release additional co-branded products.

The genesis of the partnership began with the realization that parents often find themselves at a crossroads when it comes to choosing either traditional toys, wooden toys, or feature-driven plastics. A meeting between Kids II and Hape led to the development of toys that tap info the affinity for classic, nostalgic toys, by infusing the wooden toys that Hape is known for with Magic Touch features developed by Kids II. The result is a mix of modern and classic that embraces music and creativity.

“With the rising consumer demand for natural wood products and the high-value parents place on music as a universally enriching part of play, Kids II and Hape saw an opportunity to blend those elements together, giving parents everywhere a reassuring and balanced play experience for their children,” says Dave Calhoun, president of Kids II.

Last year, the companies launched their first collection of nine co-designed, co-developed, and co-branded toys. With the initial line on track to hit $20 million in sales this year, the companies entered into an official joint venture to develop even more products, with a second collection of co-branded Baby Einstein toys set to hit retail in October.

The new line will include the Magic Touch Mini Piano, Tiny Tambourine, Magic Touch Ukulele, Magic Touch Xylophone, and the Magic Touch Curiosity Tablet, which plays more than 150 melodies.

“With Kids II’s application of cap touch technology and a similar approach to design, we knew it was the right partnership to pursue our shared goal to create an elevated yet accessible segment of high-quality toys that encourage curiosity through genuine open-ended play,” adds Peter Handstein, founder and CEO of Hape Group.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.