Tru Kids Inc, the US-based parent company of Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us, and Hobby Warehouse Pty Ltd in Australia today announced an exclusive licensing agreement which will see the Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us brands return to Australia and make their debut in New Zealand.
The new license agreement, effective today, includes rights for Hobby Warehouse to sell through the www.toysrus.com.au and www.babiesrus.com.au websites for Australia and New Zealand including:
• Top toy and baby products from LEGO®, Disney (Marvel, Star Wars, Disney Pixar, Disney Princess & more), Funko, Mattel (Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, FisherPrice®, Uno® & more), L.O.L. Surprise!, Hasbro (MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, MONOPOLY & more), Bandai, Spin Master (Meccano®, Air Hogs®, PAW Patrol®, Hatchimals® & more), PLAY-DOH, Thomas & Friends®, Monster Jam®, Lamaze, John Deere, Bruder, Carrera, Wilson, Britax, InfaSecure, and so much more.
• Consumer brands owned by Tru Kids including toy products such as Journey Girls®, Fastlane®, True Heroes®, You & Me®, Imaginarium® and Just Like Home® as well as baby products like Koala Baby®, Koala Kids® and Koala Baby Boutique®.
Hobby Warehouse will initially launch Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us online in Australia and New Zealand in June this year, featuring a wide range of toys and baby products at competitive prices.
Same day delivery will be available in metropolitan Melbourne in the short term, which will be expanded to other metropolitan areas in Australia and New Zealand in the medium term.
Hobby Warehouse aims to launch physical ‘experience centres’ for Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us beginning in 2020.
Hobby Warehouse chief executive, Louis Mittoni said: “We are delighted to bring the much-loved brands of Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us back to Australia and to introduce them to New Zealand.
“We believe play is extremely important in the development and wellbeing of children and in their interaction with family and friends.
“Play enables children to develop their imagination, collaborate, problem solve, explore, create or simply express themselves spontaneously.
“Our mission is to encourage children to engage with as many forms of play as we possibly can.”
Mittoni added: “Hobby Warehouse is a digital native with a keen understanding of how to accelerate and match the requirements of the modern shopper.”
Hobby Warehouse’s management team together with commercial advisor, Kevin Moore, negotiated with Tru Kids’ executives and advisors for the Australian and New Zealand licensing rights.
Moore said: “Previously, the Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us business model in Australia was focused primarily on large, physical retail stores which had high fixed costs and extended periods of relatively low sales due to seasonal factors.
“Going forward, the business model for Australia and New Zealand will be online focused, with smaller and fewer physical ‘experience centres’ that allow children and their families and friends to see and touch our products.”
Tru Kids EVP of global licensing & general counsel, James Young said: “We are thrilled to partner with Hobby Warehouse to bring Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us back to Australia and to launch in New Zealand.
“Louis Mittoni and his team have a strong digital vision and understand both the heritage of our iconic brands and how to evolve the shopping experience for the modern consumer.
“This is an exciting milestone for our company as we continue to grow Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us around the world.”
Tru Kids’ license partners currently operate over 700 Toys“R”Us and Babies”R”Us branded stores and e-commerce sites in more than 25 countries across Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, with over US$3 billion of retail sales attributable to the brands in these regions in 2018.