Toy Business Going Eco-friendly as Kids Make Greener Choices

Toy Business Going Eco-friendly as Kids Make Greener Choices

by Vikas Vij
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Toy manufacturers get an environmental and educational upgrade via @Justmeans

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 4:00pm



While globally toy sales are on the rise due to burgeoning demand from middle class consumers in China, India and other economies, American sales are expected to grow only marginally from $22.6 billion in 2014 to $23.9 billion in 2018, according to Forrester Research. In this scenario, U.S. toy manufacturers are looking to expand the market with a focus on the environmentally-conscious consumer segment.

Global toy companies such as Mattel, Hasbro and Lego control about 40 percent of the U.S. toy market, but there is a newly emerging niche of smaller companies that sell educational or environmentally friendly toys. These companies are attracting investments from private equity firms looking at their bright future prospects.

One such company is Propel Equity Partners of Greenwich, Connecticut, which has been building a toy empire off retro and “green” brands, buying at least 10 companies since 2012 and bringing them together under the name Alex Brands. Winona Capital, the Friend Group and Topspin Partners are other PE firms making active investments in this niche segment.

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Image Credit: Flickr via kaleid

Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer for an international social project for developing nations "Decisions for Life" run in collaboration between the ILO, the University of Amsterdam and the Indian Institute of Management.