For Ronnen Harary, Anton Rabie and Ben Varadi, 1994 would forever be known as a transformational year. Armed with only $10,000 and an entrepreneurial spirit the trio set out for what can only be described as a rollercoaster adventure. In the early days you could find the team elbow deep in sawdust in their garage watching their first hit literally sprout before their eyes. The Earth Buddy, a small, panty-hose-covered head filled with grass seeds that sprouted hair when watered. Becoming an unexpected hit provided the partners with a firm foundation to build their next ideas.
A collection of novelty products including Devils Sticks, Grow Things and Chatter Rings provide a keen interested in the toy aisle. But it wasn't until 1996 that the partners found the breakthrough item that would put Spin Master on the global map. Two British inventors introduced them to the ingenious concept of an air-pressured airplane that operated using a chamber of compressed air pumped into a plane that would power a miniature one piston engine. In 1998, after much time, effort and faith, the partners launched the "Sky Shark", and the Air Hogs brand was born. The toy was both a popular and critical success, and Spin Master took off.
Another pinnacle moment for Spin Master came from the scribbles of a cocktail napkin. A combination of an action figure, board game and trading card game would become the next major milestone for Spin Master, now a top internationally recognized company. Bakugan was formed through a partnership between Spin Master, Sega Toys Ltd., Nelvana Enterprises Inc., TMS Entertainment, Japan Vistec Inc. and Sega Corporation. Bakugan became an instant success and after its launch in the U.S. in 2008 was declared the breakout hit of the toy industry receiving numerous awards including three 2009 TOTY awards for Boy Toy of the Year, Property of the Year, and Toy of the Year, the industry's most prestigious award. Building upon its success in content development with the Bakugan TV Show, Spin Master launched an Entertainment division in 2008 that is focused on the design, development and production of cross-media entertainment properties.
This set a precedent to consistently push the boundaries of innovation, to lead and to never follow. Teaming up with all-star innovators from inventors, to in-house creativity to licensors from around the globe has helped propel Spin Master to be the leaders in the toy aisle. All with one focus in mind; how can we make life more fun?
The successes of Bakugan then lead to the introduction of the Los Angeles office for Spin Master. A global creative hub, Los Angeles solidified a permanent mark on the toy industry map. Consistently pushing the boundaries of innovation to create new hits and the continuous success of its evergreen brands such as Air Hogs, Tech Deck, and Aquadoodle, Spin Master has now grown into one of the largest consumer toy and entertainment companies in the world employing more than 900 people globally with offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Mexico, Munich, and central Europe.
Spin Master has broken and conquered barriers in Food Activity (McDonald's Flurry Maker, Hershey S'mores Maker, 7-11 Slurpee Maker, Dairy Queen Blizzard Maker), Activity (PixOs, Moon Sand, Aquadoodle, Paperoni, Glodoodle), R/C (Air Hogs), Boy's Action (Bakugan), Dolls (Liv), Extreme Sports (Tech Deck), and Furniture (Marshmallow). Additionally, Spin Master has fueled an increased interest into the acquisition market, beginning in 2010 by dominating the game aisle with newly acquired game titles that have since strengthened the portfolio.
Since the beginning of this whirl wind adventure, Spin Master has been critically acclaimed, landing 15 of the coveted TOTY awards to date including; outdoor, activity, vehicle, girls, boys, property of the year, innovative and infant/preschool. Spin Master has also received numerous praise as one of the leading corporations receiving awards such as; reaching platinum status of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies, Fast Company 50 Most Innovative Consumer Products Company, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Top 40 Under 40 award.
From the earliest beginning's Spin Master's roots have been planted in the same core values that have been a critical part of its success entrepreneurialism, innovation and fun. Transforming itself from a small toy enterprise into an all-encompassing children's entertainment company our success comes from adapting to constantly changing times seeing how spinning one idea can open up a whole new world of opportunities.