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

DuPont investing $100 million for more ethylene copolymer capacity

September 16, 2014 1:51 pm ET

Increased packaging demand is leading materials giant DuPont Co. to spend more than $100 million to increase capacity for ethylene copolymers at its...    More

Image

Flexibility for complexity key for Brampton

September 16, 2014 11:26 am ET

Blown film machinery maker Brampton Engineering Inc. is well positioned to meet growing demand for complex film structures, highly customized...    More

Image

Latvian plastics recycler Nordic Plast boosts capacity

September 16, 2014 10:15 am ET

Latvian plastics waste recycler Nordic Plast Ltd. has invested more than 2.5 million euros ($3.2 million) to expand capacity and modernize production ...    More

Image

US plastics machinery market still gaining strength in second quarter

September 15, 2014 5:01 pm ET

U.S. plastics machinery shipments in the second quarter continued to outperform activity in 2013, according to data from Society of the Plastics...    More

Image

Sabic, Chinese Academy of Sciences sign five-year development agreement

September 15, 2014 11:54 am ET

Ties between one of the world's biggest oil producers and one of its biggest consumers grew tighter Sept. 12 with the announcement of a five-year agre...    More

Market Reports

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

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

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events