Kids II wants to take playtime to a more advanced level. The company, which got its start making The Original Infant Foam Bath Aid in 1969, designs and produces nursery items and developmental toys for infants and children up to 2 years old. It makes toys under its proprietary Bright Starts brand and under license with Disney for the Baby Einstein and Disney Baby names. Kids II's product offerings, including bouncers, play gyms and mats, mobiles, swaddling blankets, and travel toys, are sold in toy stores, children's specialty shops, and department stores (such as Mothercare, Target, Toys "R" Us, and Wal-Mart) in more than 60 countries worldwide. It also sells its products through its website.
Since opening its first international office in Hong Kong in 2001, the company has expanded its operations to five continents. It has branch locations in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, and the UK. The company has domestic facilities in Arkansas, Georgia, and Minnesota.
Demand for Kids II's products has grown with the introduction of innovative products under its Bright Starts brand and through the formation of licensing agreements and partnerships with other companies. Kids II's Baby Einstein license with Disney reaches back to 2002 and brings in some 20% of sales. Bright Starts accounts for about 75% of business. In 2010 Kids II logged roughly $300 million in revenues, about twice the amount generated in 2005.
The company's growth can be attributed to operational changes made by CEO and president Ryan Gunnigle, who owns the business after taking it over from his father, Tom. (Tom Gunnigle purchased the toy maker following its founding in 1969 as Pansy Ellen Products.) At the helm of Kids II since 2004, Ryan Gunnigle has pared down the firm's brand portfolio to focus on Bright Starts, curbed dependency on contract manufacturers, expanded international operations, and began marketing its products worldwide. Gunnigle plans to keep Kids II focused on its proprietary brand's new product development, including rolling out toys for the toddler niche, and he expects double-digit revenue growth in the years ahead. – less