Beloit toy company PlayMonster announced it has acquired a new company and has been named a finalist for three Toy of the Year 2020 Awards.
PlayMonster has acquired the assets of Kahootz in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Kahootz is behind 17 award-winning brands including Spirograph, Colorforms, Fashion Plates, LatchKits and more. Kahootz was founded in 2012 and relaunched the Spirograph under license with Hasbro.
“This is PlayMonster’s largest acquisition to date, and we’re thrilled to continue our multicategory growth strategy building and adding classic brands while expanding our footprint in the activity and stationery aisles,” said Bob Wann, whose title at the company is chief PlayMonster.
This will be the second acquisition this year for PlayMonster. In April, it acquired Set Enterprises, the company behind games such as SET, Quiddler, Five Crowns, Karma, WordSpiel and Zangle. Its card games are in specialty stores and sold in more than 40 countries.
The acquisition of Kahoots will mark PlayMonster’s eighth acquisition since 2016.
Thanks to its latest acquisition, PlayMonster gained a third finalist for the Toy of the Year Awards, Y’ART in the creative category.
It features a yarn dispenser and “picture” kids can make with yarn.
“It’s like a color by number, except you are using yarn,” marketing director Lisa Wuennemann said. “These crafty items are really coming back with girls today.”
Orangutwang is up for an award in the game category.
Players take turns rolling dice to see which fruit to hang on an orangutan. The orangutan, suspended from a vine, goes “twang” and jumps up after enough weight is added.
This the fifth year in a row PlayMonster has had a finalist in the games category.
My Singing Monsters is up for an award in the collectible category. Colorful figures play music, each with their own piece of a song.
“As you collect more, you get a bigger piece of the song,” Wuennemann said.
PlayMonster has 84 employees at its Beloit facility, 1400 E. Inman Parkway. The Beloit site is devoted primarily to development, design, sales and marketing. November will be a busy month at its warehouse on Bartells Drive as it gears up for holiday shipments.
The winners of the Toy of the Year 2020 Awards will be announced Feb. 21.