|Founded||1967 as Ritvik Toys, Inc.
2002 as Mega Bloks, Inc.
2006 as Mega Brands, Inc.
|Founders||Victor and Rita Bertrand|
|Headquarters||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Marc Bertrand, CEO
Vic Bertrand, COO
Number of employees
Mega Brands, Inc., formerly Mega Bloks, Inc., is a Canadian children's toy company currently owned by Mattel. Mega Bloks is the name of their most popular product, a line of construction set toys, with other brands including Mega Puzzles, Board Dudes and Rose Art. Mega Brands, Inc. distributes a range of toys, puzzles, and craft-based products.
In 1967, Victor Bertrand and his wife Rita founded the company as Ritvik Toys, Inc. (a portmanteau word based on a combination of Rita and Victor). Ritvik was amalgamated with Ritvik Holdings Inc. on June 30, 1998. On March 19, 2002, the name was changed from Ritvik Holdings Inc. to Mega Bloks, Inc. Currently, the founders' sons Vic Bertrand Jr. and Marc Bertrand are CIO and CEO, respectively.
On June 15, 2006, following the acquisition of several brand names not associated with construction brick toys, the company again changed its name, this time from Mega Bloks, Inc. to Mega Brands, Inc.
Mega Bloks were featured in a commercial for the Honda Element, in which countless bricks fell from the sky to assemble the full-sized vehicle. The commercial clearly identifies the bricks as Mega Bloks in the opening moments of the sequence.
Mega Brands currently has the rights for making Thomas the Tank Engine, Hello Kitty, the video game franchises Need for Speed, Halo and World of Warcraft, Barbie, Hot Wheels, Skylanders: Giants, and licensed Call of Duty sets became available in late 2013. Mega Brands picked up the license for SpongeBob SquarePants long after LEGO discontinued carrying their version of the licensed sets based on the most popular cartoon on Nickelodeon. On February 28, 2014, it was announced that toy industry giant Mattel, Inc. will acquire Mega Brands, Inc. for approximately US$450 million.
The Lego Group has filed lawsuits against Mega Bloks, Inc. in courts around the world on the grounds that Mega Bloks' use of the "studs and tubes" interlocking brick system is a violation of trademarks held by Lego. Generally such lawsuits have been unsuccessful, chiefly because the functional design of the basic brick is considered a matter of patent rather than trademark law, and all relevant Lego patents have expired. In one of the most recent decisions, on November 17, 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld Mega Bloks' right to continue selling the product in Canada. A similar decision was reached by the European Union's Court of First Instance on November 12, 2008 when it upheld an EU trademark agency decision following an objection by Mega Bloks against a trademark awarded to Lego in 1999.
On September 14, 2010, the European Court of Justice ruled that the 8-peg design of the original Lego brick "merely performs a technical function [and] cannot be registered as a trademark".
- "Mega Bloks Selects Aras Innovator Version 7 to Build on Product Development Quality and Cost Performance; Leading Construction Toy Company Chooses Aras for Development Cost & Quality", Business Wire, July 25, 2005
- "Trade Mark Case Summary: O/086/99 (Patterns of raised knobs or studs applied to the surfaces of a toy brick)". The Patent Office. 18 March 1999. Archived from the original on 29 May 2006. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- 27 Oct 2003 (2003-10-27). "Honda Element - Mega Bloks - Purpose (2003) - 0:30 (USA)". adland.tv. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
- Horovitz, Bruce (February 28, 2014). "Mattel gets construction toy brand Mega Bloks". USA Today. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- Mega Bloks' Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada via CanLII.org
- "Lego loses trademark ruling in EU", nytimes.com, October 12, 2008
- General sources
- KIRKBI AG and LEGO CANADA INC. v. RITVIK HOLDINGS INC[dead link]
- Mega Bloks Prospectus for 2002 share offering
- Press release. Link to the announcement of the agreement by which Mega Brands, Inc. began using software developed by Aras Corporation.[dead link]
- Lego loses long EU trademark battle with Montreal's Mega Brands September 14, 2010 Montreal Gazette Business Blogs
- Blok City - A Mega Bloks reference site detailing old and new sets.
- Bricker - Mega Bloks reference site for set information and reviews aggregator.
- The Bloks Forum - An online discussion forum for fans of Mega Bloks and other construction toy brands.