Brik-a-Blok markets play structures

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: November 30, 2012 6:00 am ET

Brik-a-Blok’s flat panels snap together to make walls and roofs for hollow structures children can play in. (Brik-a-Blok Toys Inc. photo)

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Suppliers

QUEBEC (Nov. 30, 2:05 p.m. ET) — Plastic construction toys have made a quantum leap to a larger size through a Quebec company.

Brik-a-Blok Toys Inc. of Boucherville, Quebec, is marketing its polypropylene panes that children can use to make life-size forts, tunnels and towers. The flat panels that make up the system measure 16 inches on a side and snap-fit together to make walls and roofs for hollow structures kids can play in. Each panel weighs almost 9 ounces.

Brik-a-Blok was established in 2009 by Vincent Michalk, president. The panels are molded by Montreal-based Les Produits de Plastique Age Inc. in automated cells. Michalk said once shipping and warehousing costs are taken into account, Brik-a-Block can have them molded for 5 percent less than Chinese sourcing.

Brik-a-Blok chose a custom molder “because it costs too much to do it alone,” Michalk explained.

“When we’re bigger in the market we will use our own [injection] machines,” Michalk said in a telephone interview. “Now we have a small office and can work on development.”

The panels take 32 seconds in the molding cycle. Diamond shapes in the panels give them rigidity. Still, they are not strong enough to support children climbing over the resultant structures.

Sales are running at about C$1.3 million (US$1.31 million) a year and are projected to reach C$5 million in 2013. Key customers include Sears, K-mart, Costco, Toys R Us, Home Depot and specialty outlets. Brik-a-Blok has protected its market position by taking out or applying for patents in the European, Chinese, Canadian and U.S. markets.

Michalk said oil prices, which influence PP prices, can be worrisome, since its product prices are set for a year. At the retail level, a 46-piece set sells for C$179.95 (US$180.90) and a 26-piece set goes for C$109.95 (US$110.53). It’s important to find the right financing with a company that understands the seasonality of the toy industry, he noted. Centre d’aide aux enteprises de la Rive-Sud in Beloeil, Quebec. is a key backer for the business, according to a published account.

Michalk said more toys are in the company’s pipeline. Toy shovels, baby kits and printed Brik-a-Blok panels are ideas soon to be the company’s product extensions.


Comments

Brik-a-Blok markets play structures

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: November 30, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

EPA fines RI polymer company

August 29, 2014 1:20 pm ET

A Rhode Island polymer manufacturer has reached a $60,000 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating federal clean...    More

Image

Haitian's standardization efforts paying off

August 29, 2014 9:53 am ET

Streamlined design efforts and robust export sales helped propel Ningbo, China-based injection molding machine manufacturer Haitian International...    More

Image

Updating a travel icon for the professional millennial

August 29, 2014 11:44 am ET

As part of a drive to expand its customer base to include more millennials, Airstream Inc. turned to the Columbus College of Art & Design's...    More

Image

American Starlinger-Sahm begins work on new US headquarters

August 29, 2014 10:18 am ET

American Starlinger-Sahm Inc., which sells equipment for woven plastic bag production, PET recycling equipment, sheet extrusion and laminating lines...    More

Image

Chinese compounders seek market shares, often at the expense of margins

August 29, 2014 10:02 am ET

China's largest compounder, Kingfa Sci. & Tech. Co. Ltd., as well as its more automotive-focused counterparts Shanghai Pret Composites Co. Ltd. and Ch...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events