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Toy retailer owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway gets brainy


OMAHA, Neb. — Oriental Trading Company, a direct retailer of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys, novelties and school supplies owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has acquired brainy toy manufacturer MindWare Holdings.

MindWare is a manufacturer, wholesaler and direct retailer of what it describes as “brainy toys for kids of all ages,” based in Minneapolis, Minn. Oriental Trading Company is headquartered in Omaha, Neb.

“MindWare’s extensive selection of proprietary, award-winning educational toys, games and books is the perfect addition to our product assortment,” said Sam Taylor, CEO of Oriental Trading Company. “MindWare’s offering includes more than 1,000 educational products and will support our efforts to respond to the needs of educators and parents as we continue our mission to make the world more fun. We look forward to helping the MindWare team grow their brand and accelerate the pace at which they bring fantastic products to market.”

More than half of MindWare’s revenue is generated from exclusive, proprietary toys, games and books the company has created. During the past two years, MindWare’s proprietary products received 46 awards from nine different parenting organizations and publications, including Germany’s “Spiel des Jahres” (Game of the Year) award for Qwirkle. Most recently the company’s Mine Shift game received the Mensa Select Award, one of the most prominent awards in the toy industry.

“We are thrilled to be able to add our games and toys to the many products offered by Oriental Trading,” said Martin Smith, CEO of MindWare. “Like Oriental Trading Company, MindWare has grown from a small family business to a respected leader in its industry. With its broad customer base and large-scale, world-class technology and operations platform, Oriental Trading is clearly an excellent home for our educational products.”

MindWare products are sold via the company’s catalogs and e-commerce site, as well as by specialty and mass market retailers and internationally through distributors in more than 35 countries. Select MindWare products will appear in Oriental Trading’s catalogs and its e-commerce site this holiday season.

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