Innovation Drives Growth of Home Grown Success Story


Thanks for speaking to us Joost! Can you explain how Moose navigated the pandemic?

Joost Poulus – Chief Product Officer at Moose Toys

We decided the best way to navigate the pandemic was to prioritise our people and our product. We have an amazing team at Moose and they really rose to the challenge, ensuring we were successful in what was obviously a tough market. We took the time and focused on developing super cool, unique and innovative toys (i.e Magic Mixies and Mama Surprise). We created new processes and became laser focused on what mattered to us as a business (innovation). We also wanted to come out the other side ahead and we believe we did that. Another essential element of managing the business during Covid was communication with our team. We had weekly updates, wellbeing check-ins and ensured our IT capabilities were configured to set the team up for success. We focused on what the team needed, extra flexibility, the proper tools / materials for working from home and had a huge focus on culture and wellness, with staff receiving care packs, free yoga and fitness classes online, a performance and wellbeing program and much more.

What is driving Moose’s success?

It is simple. A focus on innovation and doing things differently. As a business, we have a Big Hairy Audacious Goal to be the most innovative toy company in the world and that goal is always in our sights. We have worked hard over the past few years to diversify the categories in which we operate. We have seen huge success in new categories such as Action Figures (Treasure X and Goo Jit Zu), Youth Electronics (Magic Mixes ) and Pre School (Bluey). Games is also a huge area of focus for us and we are already seeing great results with the launches of the likes of Clipology and Spontuneos. And finally, our culture. It is truly incredible and to be officially recognised as a Great Place to Work in all of our offices is a real testament to the teams commitment around the world.

The Magic of Moose

Moose seems to be everywhere these days. Are there plans for more expansion?

We have certainly grown! We currently have over 600 staff globally and even though the toy industry is generally down, we are seeing double digit growth in all our direct to market regions (France, Germany, Canada, US, Australia and UK). After 10 years direct to retail, Moose is now seen as a major player in the US market and after only three years in the UK Moose is ranked in the top 10 manufacturers (NPD October 2022) which is something we are very proud of. We will always be looking for more opportunities. As a business we have grand plans to expand our direct to retail model to even more markets, and to rise even further up the global toy rankings.

Moose is famous for its innovation, can you tell us a bit about how the business fosters this within its culture?

We are lucky that we have an incredibly strong capability in-house to drive innovation as well as extremely strong partnerships with the key players in the inventor community. We aim to deliver genuinely new, imaginative play experiences for kids that they can really dive into and also continue to overdeliver on the play value of all of our toys. All of these elements ensure we are able to relentlessly generate new ideas and provides us the platform to become the most innovative toy company in the world. We are super proud to have received several global innovation awards this year so hopefully that shows we are doing something right!

  • 2022 Big W Innovation of the Year – Magic Mixies
  • 2022 Most Innovative product for the Magic Mixies Crystal Ball at the Mastermind Vendor Show (Canada)
  • 2022 Most Innovative Toy Brand of the Year (France) – Moose
  • 2022 Play Creators Award – Toy Designers of the Year – Moose
  • 2022 TOTY Creative Toy of the Year – Magic Mixies

We see 2022 as just the beginning and we are so excited to see the process and structure we have devised will ensure we continue to elevate our business and our brands.

The Magic of Moose

Magic Mixies is taking the world by storm, can you tell us a little about the toy and what is next for the brand?

Magic Mixies is the ultimate unboxing experience. Moose made its name on unboxing toys, with Shopkins and Scruff a Luvs and has taken it to a new level with Magic Mixies. Everything in our Magic Mixies line has a magical spin on its reveal and we’ve seen an incredible response to our signature mist, first used with the Cauldron and now with the Crystal Ball. Kids love that they get to experience ‘real magic’ and see their Mixie appear out of the mist that they created with their spellcasting wand. Amazingly we sold more than one million Magic Mixie Cauldrons globally, since launch last year! It’s an exciting brand and the possibilities are endless. There’s only so much I can say here but I can say the magic will continue.

Can you tell us a little about the Moose Happy Kids Foundation?

The Moose Happy Kids Foundation exists to make kids Superhappy: To allow kids to be kids no matter what their circumstances, to have access to the pure power of play and to use their imaginations. We select our partners in four key areas: Wellbeing (clown docs, Monash Hospital), Opportunity (Adara, Igniting Change), Inclusivity, Empowerment (Children’s Ground, Eat Up) and we measure impact by smiles – 1 smile = 1 child impacted. To date we have created nearly 4 million smiles with our partners around the world which is something we are very proud of.

The Magic of Moose

What are the key trends you are seeing within the toy industry leading into 2023?

Toys that are all about the experience. In 2023 people will continue to look for toys that allow children to customise their play experience and allow for repeat play. A great example of this is Magic Mixies, yes there is the initial reveal but kids can continue to reveal and create their very own magic over and over again.

Entertainment Partnerships – Kids are the ultimate cross platform consumers. They love bringing their entertainment into the real world for imaginative play so the licensing opportunities are now greater than ever before. Everyone’s favourite dog Bluey is a great example of how a TV show translates into fantastic toys for its fans.

Sensory Toys – This area continues to expand beyond fidget toys with the growth of content online. We saw amazing ASMR videos appear across numerous platforms in 2022 featuring Magic Mixies and Goo Jit Zu and believe this will only continue moving into the new year.

What is next for Moose?

We will continue to supercharge innovation and strive to achieve our BHAG of being the most innovative toy company in the world. We will continue to focus on creating a culture where our team are encouraged to bring their true selves to work and be recognised for it.

And of course, lots of fantastic, ground-breaking product!

This article originally appeared in Edition 3 of The Toy Universe Magazine




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