MGA expands with Little Tikes

first_imgVAN NUYS – MGA Entertainment expanded its family of products Monday with Little Tikes, a line of plastic toys and furniture for children. Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid sold the children’s line for an undisclosed price. Buying Little Tikes sets Van Nuys-based MGA, best known for its line of Bratz dolls, up for another battle with “powerhouses like Fisher-Price,” toy analyst Jonathan Samet said. Both Little Tikes and Fisher-Price offer toys for children from birth to roughly preschool age. Many are pricey. An Inside/Outside Cook `n Grill Kitchen lists at $149.99 on the Little Tikes Web site. Fisher-Price sells a mini burgundy Cadillac Escalade online for $300. As part of the purchase, MGA will bring the product development and design departments to Van Nuys from Newell Rubbermaid’s offices in Ohio, Larian said. He did not know how many local jobs the relocation would create. But the move will help MGA max out the potential of Little Tikes, a name that has wide recognition. “For the past few years the brand has not been exploited to its biggest potential,” Larian said. Newell Rubbermaid CEO Mark Ketchum said the move was in line with their business plan, too. “We have been narrowing our portfolio to focus on businesses that are best aligned with our strategies of differentiated products, best cost and consumer branding,” Ketchum said. The sale sent Newell Rubbermaid’s stock up $1.64, to $28.64, a little more than a 6 percent increase. MGA Entertainment is a privately held company. [email protected] (818) 713-3735160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possibleAcquiring Little Tikes is part of MGA’s strategy to target the full spectrum of the juvenile market, from tots to teens. “We like to literally own the pocketbook of kids of all ages,” said MGA executive Isaac Larian. Larian declined to say how much the acquisition cost MGA, but said it was in the “hundreds of millions.” Samet praised the acquisition, saying Little Tikes was a strong brand that had been mismanaged through a continual rotation of top management. The purchase also takes pressure off the Bratz brand. “I think they’re being exceptionally smart in the fact that they are diversifying and taking away some of their dependence on Bratz,” Samet said. Not that Bratz’s star seems to be fading, he added. last_img

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