MindWare and Warren Buffett

MindWare former owner, Martin Smith

We received some big news yesterday!  Some really BIG news!!!

One of our major suppliers has been purchased.  It was announced yesterday that Oriental Trading Co. has purchased both the mail-order and wholesale divisions of MindWare.  Oriental Trading Co. is a US based company that sells primarily value-priced toys and novelties.  The company is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, which means that Warren Buffett is ultimately the new owner of MindWare.

MindWare is the company behind the best-selling board games Qwirkle and Q-Bitz.  They are also the manufacturers of the very popular KEVA building blocks, Q-BA-MAZE marble run toy, and the amazingly challenging EXTREME DOT-TO-DOT books.  Needless to say, MindWare is an important supplier for Outset Media.

From all accounts, at this time it is business as usual.  MindWare will continue to run its wholesale operations independently of Oriental Trading Co.  MindWare will continue with its strategy of using exclusive distributors around the world outside of the United States.   Product development will continue to be based in Minneapolis.

Here is a link to an article written by Steve Jordan from the Omaha World-Herald.  It is an interesting read.

Everyone here at Outset Media wishes Martin Smith, the former owner of MindWare, the best of luck in his retirement.  Martin Smith was one of those unique individuals who made the toy industry an interesting place to work.  I would personally like to thank him for his hospitality over the years.

A bit of interesting trivia for everyone… the Omaha World-Herald is the last major daily newspaper in the United States to publish both a morning edition and an afternoon edition.  And, in case you were wondering, Warren Buffett owns the Omaha World-Herald as well.