April 23, 2021
Meet Moose and Menal
In this episode of The Brainbase Podcast, we were lucky enough to speak with the VP of Global Licensing for Moose Toys, Menal McGrath. Menal spoke with us about her amazing career with innovative companies such as Disney and Mattel, as well as Moose Toys’ focus on unique and creative product development and licensing.
If you have children, you may have already heard of Moose Toys and their hit products like Squeakee the Balloon Dog, Bluey, and Heroes of Goo Jit Zu. The company is an award-winning, leading innovator in the toy industry, making kids “super happy.” Additionally, they’re also a high-growth international brand that’s been lauded in the licensing industry as well.
Listen below as we discuss all things toys and licensing with Menal below.
Why an Entrepreneurial Mindset Matters (1:52-3:48)
Menal McGrath has been a part of innovative and entrepreneurial companies since she was a young college undergrad working at her family’s neighborhood flower shop. As her career progressed, integrating the entrepreneurial spirit into her work with corporate companies has made a huge difference. At Moose Toys, she mentioned the company’s innovative energy helped her “get inbound licensing off the ground” and “mobilize our global cross-functional teams.”
She loves how entrepreneurs are curious people, which makes for an environment where people are free to ask questions and brainstorm together.
On Developing “Delightful, Surprising, and Unexpected” Innovative Products for Kids (5:51-7:22)
“Innovation is at the heart of everything we do when we’re developing a product. Our ultimate goal is to make kids super happy.”
-Menal McGrath, Moose Toys
Menal talks about how Moose Toys’ curious and innovative spirit also has lead to some pretty spectacular product development. “At Moose, we pride ourselves on doing things differently,” she says.
Moose Toys’ philosophy of encouraging employees to share ideas, brainstorm, and participate in ideation regardless of their department leads to endless creativity. For example, they created the “Gotta Go Flamingo” entirely in-house. It came about naturally in a brainstorming session.
The toy had everyone caught by surprise and giggling. It was “unexpected and funny,” which is the kind of delight Moose Toys aims for. And, unsurprisingly, the adventurous innovation paid off: Gotta Go Flamingo was named one of the “Top Toys of 2020”.
Why Being Your “Fully Authentic Self” Leads to Licensing Success (8:11-9:21)
Menal also spoke with us about her guiding principles when it comes to working towards success. Her biggest recommendation was working in an environment where you can choose to be your fully authentic self– especially in licensing. “It’s okay to be goofy and funny, and then serious. It’s okay to admit you don’t know the answer to everything and it’s okay to push back when you don’t agree.”
She goes on to describe why this is particularly true in the licensing industry: “When your team and colleagues see [that] side of you, it builds trust and respect…and our industry is very connected. Trust and transparency matter.”
Want to learn more about how Moose Toys’ entrepreneurial spirit and innovative products? Check out the full episode of the podcast above, or listen on your favorite podcast platform.
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