Shark Tank Company Surprise Ride Acquired by Fat Brain Toys
Fat Brain Toys expands direct-to-consumer business with toy subscription.
November 14, 2018 – OMAHA, NE and WASHINGTON, DC – Fat Brain Toys, one of the nation’s leading independent toy companies, today announced the acquisition of Surprise Ride, a subscription box service originally featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank”. The acquisition brings together two leaders in the educational toys space.
Surprise Ride was founded in 2013 by sisters Donna and Rosy Khalife, landing on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank just a few months after launch. The company has developed more than 50 kits – crafts, STEM projects, and games to keep kids engaged without screen time – as part of a subscription box service. The Khalife sisters will continue to develop additional products under the new collaboration with Fat Brain Toys.
“We’ve been evaluating the subscription space for a number of years knowing families today want more convenient ways to get quality products for their kids,” comments Fat Brain Toys CEO and co-founder Mark Carson. “Surprise Ride’s mission to get kids off their devices and help them engage in the real world with hands-on activities is just what the market needs.”
Donna Khalife, Surprise Ride CEO and co-founder says, “We’re thrilled to join forces with Fat Brain Toys to bring Surprise Ride to every kid. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work and the American Dream coming to life for us.”
Surprise Ride’s products are inspired by memories of Donna and Rosy’s childhood. The dynamic sister duo grew up as war refugees from Lebanon and did a lot of projects with their artist dad as kids to keep busy. After appearing on Shark Tank, Surprise Ride received an investment from celebrity investor Kevin O’Leary who has been instrumental in the company’s growth.
Kevin O’Leary adds “Backing Surprise Ride is one of the best moves I made. You’re seeing kids everywhere glued to screens. What Donna and Rosy built for families is sensational, and Fat Brain is the perfect partner. This deal is another great example of how women-founded companies get outstanding returns.”
“This acquisition means big things for the toy industry,” says Surprise Ride COO and co-founder Rosy Khalife. “Every subscription category from food to beauty has a clear leader, except toys. With our products, Fat Brain has the infrastructure to build a global billion-dollar toy subscription.”
At a time when the Toys R Us liquidation leaves billions of dollars in toy sales up for grabs, Fat Brain Toys’ innovative direct-to-consumer approach is poised to win. Fat Brain Toys was founded in 2002 when then 10 year-old Adam Carson suggested to his father, a web developer, that they create their own online toy store. Since then, the company has evolved from being a seller of toys online to one of the nation’s fastest growing manufacturers of educational toys and games. The company now boasts thousands of innovative toys, games and gifts and employs over 300 people to meet the Holiday rush.
Surprise Ride subscriptions are the ultimate “gift that keeps on giving.” Each shipment includes all the materials to complete a hands-on project, an original book, easy instructions, and a keepsake. In addition to popular titles such as “Build a Dinosaur Science Kit” and “Make Beeswax Candles Activity Kit”, Surprise Ride has also developed unique bundles, including “The Digital Detox Collection” which contains nine popular kits to break kids free from their screen-time obsession.
Just in time for the Holidays, Surprise Ride subscriptions can be purchased online at: fatbraintoys.com/surpriseride
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
About Fat Brain Toys:
Fat Brain Toys is one of the nation’s leading independent toy companies. Unlike mainstream alternatives, Fat Brain Toys creates and curates quality toys, games, and clever gifts, and enables children to learn through pure, authentic play. Fat Brain Toys are available at leading retailers around the world, including their own website, www.fatbraintoys.com. Fat Brain Toys is a family-owned and operated company based in Elkhorn, Nebraska.
About Surprise Ride:
Surprise Ride, founded by sisters Donna & Rosy Khalife in Washington D.C., develops and delivers activity kits to homes around the country to give kids a break from technology. Each month, families aboard the “ride” receive a package with all the supplies needed to enjoy hands-on projects and create lifelong memories. The company has brought 50+ products to market and appeared on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank, The View, QVC, The New York Times, Forbes, and Star Magazine, among others.