Agreement aims to strengthen toy manufacturer's presence in China educational market

By - Last modified: September 20, 2013 at 10:11 AM

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At the K'NEX Brands research and development facility in Hatfield, one room is chock full of toys manufactured by The Rodon Group, a subsidiary of the company.
At the K'NEX Brands research and development facility in Hatfield, one room is chock full of toys manufactured by The Rodon Group, a subsidiary of the company. - (Photo By Brian Pedersen)

K'NEX Brands, a construction toy company in Hatfield, signed an agreement with Learning Resources Limited of Hong Kong to exclusively distribute its K'NEX Education line, and select retail products, in the People's Republic of China and Hong Kong.

Michael Araten, president and CEO of the Rodon Group and K’NEX Brands, told Lehigh Valley Business that the agreement will run through the end of 2014.

“We’re hopeful that we will renew beyond that,” Araten said.

The company has been working on its educational strategy for some time and looking for a way to enter the Chinese marketplace so its products could be marketed directly to schools, day care centers and both for and nonprofit companies, Araten said.

K’NEX toys are already used in many U.S. schools, Araten said.

“As we work on our educational expansion strategy, we look at what we can do to reach other markets,” Araten said.

The company is looking at expansion distribution into several European countries, and already has markets in the U.K. and Canada, but would like to focus on China first, according to Araten.

“There’s a lot of demand for this type of construction play,” Araten said.

The company named Learning Resources Limited as the sole authorized reseller of K’NEX Education products in China during the length of the agreement. Learning Resources also has the non-exclusive rights to sell popular K’NEX retail sets including the Six-foot Ferris Wheel, Six-foot Double Ferris Wheel, Grandfather Clock and the Son of Serpent Coaster.

Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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