Anton Rabie, co-founder and co-CEO of Spin Master, discusses the company’s latest acquisition and its three creative centers — toys, entertainment, and digital games — in the Toy Book‘s annual State of the Industry Q&A.
The Toy Book: Spin Master just completed its 22nd acquisition. Why are these moves vital to the global growth strategy of the company?
Anton Rabie: I’ve described the acquisition of Rubik’s as a “pinch me” moment. Spin Master has a reputation for not only developing our own independent IP, but also for being a trusted steward of legacy brands, and we are honored to continue the Rubik’s Cube legacy. Acquisitions are a key growth strategy for Spin Master, and Rubik’s has captivated a global audience with 98% brand awareness and more than 450 million units sold worldwide, making it an attractive addition. Rubik’s offers recurring revenue while expanding Spin Master’s leading position within the games category and gives us greater global leverage. We are also excited to further innovate and integrate this incredible puzzle into our product lineup.
TB: Spin Master recently named three main creative centers: toys, entertainment, and digital games. What are some of the key initiatives of each this year?
AR: As a global children’s entertainment company with expertise across toy, entertainment, and digital games, we have a deep understanding of play. Our unique perspective and insights can be leveraged across our creative centers, enabling our expert teams to produce innovative toys, share compelling stories, create engaging characters, and develop award-winning digital games.
At the heart and soul of Spin Master Toys is our passion for innovation and invention. This year, our lineup of toys, entertainment, and digital games is so amazing. Our teams continue to push the boundaries of fun from exploring new interactive technology to elevating our evergreen properties (PAW Patrol, Kinetic Sand, Air Hogs, GUND) and putting new “spins” on our incredible licensed product with Feld Entertainment (Monster Jam, Supercross), Warner Bros. Consumer Products (DC, Wizarding World) and Dreamworks Animation (Gabby’s Dollhouse).
Spin Master Entertainment continues to produce incredible content, including the recent debut of Mighty Express, our first-ever Netflix original preschool series. This year marks an exciting milestone as we bring the beloved PAW Patrol pups to the big screen with PAW Patrol: The Movie, Spin Master’s first major motion picture complete with a star-studded cast heading to theaters in August 2021. Both Mighty Express and PAW Patrol: The Movie will have corresponding toy lines, so that preschoolers can reenact their favorite adventures and create their own storylines through play.
Spin Master Digital Games is really on a roll. In the third quarter of 2020, we quadrupled our sales in digital games primarily driven by our Toca Life World platform. This year, Toca Boca and Sago Mini will build on popular characters and introduce new digital apps and extensions, including the first Toca Boca multiplayer game and physical subscription boxes that bring quality, creative play to kids who love surprises. Spin Master hasn’t been traditionally known for our digital games offering, but we have an incredible team, led by Fredrik Loving, and we are focused on accelerating the growth we experienced last year.
This State of the Industry Q&A response originally appeared in the February 2021 issue of the Toy Book. Click here to read more!