Belinda Gruebner, Chief Marketing Officer at Moose Toys, discusses the mainstream success of Magic Mixies, expansion into games, and how the company is gearing up for growth in this extended edition of The Toy Book’s 2023 State of the Industry Q&A roundtable. Want more insight from the all-stars of the toy industry? Click here to explore this year’s lineup!
The Toy Book: This year marks the third year for the Magic Mixies brand — one that solidified a place in pop culture history thanks to a mention on Saturday Night Live (SNL). How is Moose keeping the momentum going?
Belinda Gruebner: We have a real winner here. Magic Mixies delivers what every kid (big and small) wishes for: the power to make magical moments and the unexpected element of surprise. This innovative play pattern has led the brand to become a true cultural phenomenon — in 2021, we received a shout-out from The Tonight Show, and in 2022, from SNL! We’re also seeing the cultural impact, resulting from our strong marketing and retail strategies, translate to sales with Magic Mixies Magical Crystal Ball topping the list of all toys as the No. 1 best-selling toy the week of Christmas, as consumers were clamoring for Mixies.
Our momentum is always driven by innovation that leaves people speechless. The key is to always raise the bar, ensuring we don’t rest on what has been done. We want to leapfrog ourselves and continuously push play to the next level by creating new experiences, expanding into more categories, and empowering kids of all ages.
TB: How does the expansion of Moose Games play into the company’s long-term plans for growth?
BG: At Moose, our goal is to be the world’s most innovative toy company, and the innovation and expansion of our games category are pivotal components of our long-term strategic plan.
Our vision is to continue growing with purpose to ensure a strong portfolio of games that brings the Moose “WOW” to all age groups. This includes employing a parallel path of meaningful acquisitions and development of our own unique game IP using the expertise and creativity of our growing team.
We’re scaling our gaming division and having a blast combining experts from the gaming world with our award-winning global innovation team, as we build our presence and make a name for ourselves in yet another category.
The Moose Games division is an area we are all anticipating exceptional growth and results from, and we look forward to sharing more in the year ahead.
TB: What are some key innovations that retailers can look forward to from Moose this year?
BG: We are all so excited about our fall ‘23 line. Previews with our customers globally have solidified our belief that we have successfully pushed our intent to lead with innovation to a whole new level. We have continued to weave in elements of genuine surprise. Following the success of Mama Surprise from Little Live Pets, this year the brand is offering My Puppy’s Home — kids will build their puppy its dream home, close the door, and wait for it to magically appear.
Plus, we have a new plush innovation with the brand launch of Cookeez, a baking experience that turns your dough creation into a warm, scented, soft plush friend. There aren’t a lot of surprises in our industry anymore, and keeping our biggest bets behind closed doors has been an important part of our strategy that has worked really well for us.
And on top of all that, our beloved Heeler family and its star, Bluey, have a whole new way to play that will introduce the next generation of little kids to this endearing brand.
As always, our focus is to make sure that whether you’re into action, fashion, creation, you name it — we’ve got something innovative and fun for everyone. This will be our biggest and best year yet!
A version of this Q&A was originally published in the 2023 edition of The BIG Toy Book. Click here to read the full issue! Want to receive The Toy Book in print? Click here for subscription options!