University Games announces acquisition of Briarpatch

Published on: 12th March 2014

University Games, a San Francisco company, will acquire the assets of Briarpatch of Essex, New Jersey.univgamesbriarpatch300

The purchase price was not disclosed by the parties. John Donofrio, co-founder of Briarpatch, will join University Games in a consulting role.

Bob Moog, president of University Games, said: “Briarpatch is the leader in pre-school specialty games and has been for the last 20 years. Briarpatch has a rich portfolio of games and puzzles based on popular literary properties like I Spy and Fancy Nancy. A great day for the toy industry.”

The merger will increase University Games’ domestic revenue by approximately 20%. University Games will now have a larger selection of pre-school games and will be a one-stop shop for licensed literary games. Additionally, the Briarpatch licences will augment University Games’ Colorforms business. Plans are in place to make the transition as seamless as possible for retailers and consumers. University Games will begin to ship Briarpatch products in mid-March.

Briarpatch was founded in 1991 by John Donofrio and Martine Redman. Their first game was based on Eric Carle’s bestseller, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. In 2006 the licence transferred to University Games. The two companies are the only US Companies to develop and manufacture games based on Eric Carle’s bestselling books. More than 3m games and puzzles based on Eric Carle’s books are currently in print from the two companies. Over the years Briarpatch has introduced games, puzzles and novelties based on classic children books like Madeline, Fancy Nancy, and Goodnight Moon.

The Briarpatch acquisition is the ninth acquisition since 1994 for University Games. Prior acquisitions include Great Explorations, Bepuzzled, Colorforms, JP Kids and Front Porch Classics. In addition, the international division of University Games actively markets in more than 30 countries through its subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and Canada.

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