American publisher buys British toy brands

News - International Friday, 13th November 2020

San Francisco–based Chronicle Books acquires game and toy brands Petit Collage, Ridley’s Games, and Games Room from DC Thomson

Chronicle Books has announced the acquisition of DC Thompson division Wild + Wolf’s three game and toy brands: Petit Collage, eco-friendly toys and gifts for babies and young children; Ridley’s Games, games for all ages, including bestsellers like Avocado Smash, Selfish, and Drawsome; and Games Room, trivia decks and games featuring bespoke, iconic designs.

The acquisition spans approximately 350 active lines and more than 10,000 existing retail partners across 60 countries. New products will continue to be produced under the Petit Collage, Ridley’s Games, and Games Room brands.

According to Chronicle: 'With consumer demand for games, activities, and all-ages entertainment continuing to increase, the acquisition is a major step in Chronicle Books’ strategic growth strategy. This move greatly extends Chronicle’s already substantial reach in the gift, game, and entertainment categories around the world.

'Petit Collage, Ridley’s Games, and Games Room have won numerous industry accolades and awards over the past few years and have achieved significant sales growth across a wide range of retail environments. They bring with them a loyal and diverse international fan base.'

Tyrrell Mahoney, president of Chronicle Books, said: "The Ridley’s, Petit Collage, and Games Room brands align seamlessly with our mission to spark the passions of adults and children worldwide and will complement Chronicle’s distinctive publishing program, as well as those of our distribution clients,”

"The integration of these three much-loved and admired brands, and the addition of extremely talented members of their creative teams, supports our strategy to serve even wider consumer interests in all types of retail stores and environments."

Paul Taylor, ceo of Bath-based Wild + Wolf, said, "We are very excited to have Ridley’s, Petit Collage, and Games Room become a part of the Chronicle Books publishing universe. We have long admired Chronicle for their inventive and diverse range of books, games, and gift products. Their creative ingenuity and sales acumen will propel these popular game and toy brands to new heights in the marketplace."

As result of the transaction, Chronicle will establish a subsidiary, Chronicle Books Limited, in the UK and will bring on board a number of Wild + Wolf creative staff to lead and develop the future programme out of Bath, and in San Francisco. For the rest of this year, sales and distribution will remain unchanged but from January, all distribution and sales representation will move to Chronicle Books in the US and to its partners Abrams & Chronicle Books in the UK and Europe and Raincoast Books in Canada.

Ten years ago Chronicle Books and ABRAMS, based in New York, announced a new partnership in the UK and European export markets. Based in London, A&CB distributes ABRAMS and Chronicle Books as well as other illustrated, gift and stationery publishers, including Levine Quierdo, Galison, Knock Knock, Emily McDowell Studio, SelfMadeHero, Princeton Architectural Press, Smith Street Books, V&A and Magic Cat titles across the UK and international markets.

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