Canadian Manufacturing

Canadian toy maker Spin Master to buy brainy board game firm Marbles

The Toronto-based company also recently put the issues surrounding the holiday launch of its popular "Hatchimals" toys to rest


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TORONTO—Spin Master Corp.’s latest acquisition is somewhat cerebral.

Looking to the booming market for games and puzzles, the Canadian toy manufacturer and kids entertainment firm said May 1 it has acquired Marbles, a U.S. company that makes brain-building board games.

Spin Master did not disclose the financial details of the acquisition, but said the deal includes most of Marbles’ assets, with the exception of its approximately 40 retail locations.

“As soon as we heard of the Marbles opportunity, we knew we had to jump on it,” Anton Rabie, one of the company’s co-CEOs, said in a statement. “We saw immediate potential for global growth with strong, evergreen titles such as Marbles’ marquee games, Otrio and Rock Me Archimedes.”

Despite the success of several of its games, Marbles filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy early this year and Spin Master acquired the company’s intellectual property assets and warehouse inventory as part of a court-supervised sale. The deal closed April 28.

Marbles had cited a tough 2016 holiday sales season at both its online and brick and mortar locations for the decision to file for Chapter 11, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Spin Master has made a number of acquisitions since going public in a 2015 initial public offering, including U.S. pool toy maker Swimways Corp., the rights to the iconic Etch A Sketch toy and Cardinal Industries Inc.—another game and puzzle maker.

Spin Master also recently put the issues surrounding the somewhat-rocky holiday launch of its popular “Hatchimals” toys to rest.

Late last year, the company was flooded with calls from frustrated customers after some of the robotic egg toys failed to hatch. The higher-than-expected volume of customer inquiries and complaints created a backlog of unanswered calls that eventually led to a class action lawsuit against the company. But on April 19, Spin Master said the U.S. plaintiff had voluntarily withdrawn the case, citing the company’s “proactive response” since the incident.


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