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If there’s a poster company for toy industry consolidation, Basic Fun! just might be it. As the industry of play continues to evolve and more companies jockey for position in the wake of the Toys “R” Us closure in the U.S. and elsewhere, team-ups and mergers are where it’s at, and that’s something that Basic Fun! saw coming. Announced during Toy Fair 2017 and reported on here, Basic Fun! was formed by combining two smaller companies – The Bridge Direct and Tech 4 Kids. At the time, Tech 4 Kids CEO Brad Pedersen said that the new company had the “expectation to acquire or merge with new businesses every twelve to eighteen months” to fuel growth. Indeed, the company has grown, but at an accelerated rate, having already absorbed K’NEX, Uncle Milton and Good Stuff. Today comes word that the company just pulled another PAC-MAN, gobbling-up Playhut, maker of indoor and outdoor play structures.

“We believe that Playhut is the brand of choice for indoor and outdoor play structures,” said Jay Foreman, CEO of Basic Fun! “The company is well known for innovation and quality by consumers, retailers and licensors. They ran into serious troubles navigating the challenging retail environment between the bankruptcy of Toys”R”Us and the fight at retail between brand and price. It’s our mission to reinvigorate Playhut and return the brand to its position as the leader in this very important micro category within the kids’ products space.” 

Playhut has been making play tents and other structures for decades, many of which were licensed products featuring characters from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, Thomas & Friends and others.

On the PAC-MAN note: Basic Fun! makes the fantastic Arcade Classics line of portable electronic games that I’m a huge fan of. While I have their PAC-MAN machine here, I have to say that Rampage is my favorite thus far.