Brik-a-Blok markets play structures

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: November 30, 2012 6:00 am ET

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

Axiall resumes operations at damaged Lake Charles PVC feedstock plant

April 15, 2014 4:41 pm ET

Axiall Corp. has resumed operations at its PVC feedstock plant that was damaged by a fire in December.
More

Image

Power failure shuts down two PE resin units in Texas

April 15, 2014 3:35 pm ET

Two polyethylene resin units operated by Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP in Baytown, Texas, were closed from April 8-11 because of a power failure.    More

Shell Chemical to host public meetings to discuss plans in Pennsylvania

April 15, 2014 3:27 pm ET

Shell Chemical LP will host two public meetings on April 16 to discuss the possibility of building a major petrochemicals plant in the Pittsburgh...    More

Image

Despite struggles, Europe still key market in global resin picture

April 15, 2014 2:06 pm ET

Challenges and opportunities facing international plastics and chemicals markets were tackled by a trio of top executives at the IHS World...    More

Shintech in early stages of planning ethylene feedstock plant in Louisiana

April 15, 2014 3:22 pm ET

Shintech Inc. has filed an air permit with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality that would allow for the construction of a new unit with ...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

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

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events