Facebook Facebook Instagramgrahamcnbc: In January 2018, Danish-based Lego owner Kirkbi, a specialist in children’s learning products and the world’s fourth largest toy maker, acquired NYC-based Brainpop, which makes short educational animated videos and other materials for US schools, for $875M. The deal will help to build a robust presence across all major markets — including the US and Canada — on behalf of Mindstorms NXT robotics kits from Lego and Thomas & Friends toys from Fisher Price.
Kirkbi’s US operations are headed by former Brainpop CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Adam Karpel, who left the company in January 2017 to work full-time at Kirkbi. He will lead the newly formed Kirkbi U.S. Education division, which includes Brainpop’s staff as well as employees of Mindstorms/Lego in Hauppauge, NY, USA.
The acquisition of BrainPop by Kirkbi brought with it many difficulties. Mindstorms NXT 2.0, the update to Lego’s popular robotics kit, was being planned and thus release at CES 2018 between January 9–12 but was pulled last minute by Lego to be replaced by the old Mindstorms kit, 2.0 is meant to be released in Fall 2018 (between September 4–7).
BrainPop was supposed to be the website that hosted the new Mindstorms NXT 2.0 education platform, but this has been cancelled by Lego and replaced by BrainPop. The previous Mindstorms platform (1.0) was taken down on September 4, 2017 at 11:59 pm and the official page for its sequel was uploaded to the brainpop page with a picture of “Mindstorms NXT 2.0” and a video that displays all the features of its sequel.
Established in 2007, BrainPop is a provider of educational and entertaining resources focused on children aged two to twelve and their teachers. The company’s original web site was launched in 2007 by Seth Rubin and his wife, Dawn Rubin. The original web site’s main focus was on offering teachers free downloadable materials for their classes. The site offered children cartoon videos called “The BrainPop Show”, flash cards with animal pictures called “Animal Flash Cards” and other interactive activities to help teachers engage with their students. Parents also had access to printable activities for their children. The website was successful and grew rapidly as more teachers signed up and students came to the site. BrainPop released an iPad app in April 2011, followed by an Android version in December 2012 and a MacOS version in July 2013.
In March 2013, BrainPop raised $6 million from investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Spark Capital’s Discovery Fund, New Enterprise Associates and Harrison Metal. In April 2014, BrainPop raised another $10 million.
In July 2015, BrainPop was acquired by Lego for an estimated $80–$90 million. In February 2017, Lego acquired New York-based educational publisher Scholastic’s US children’s books unit for $700m. The purchase of Scholastic was to complement the existing portfolio of play experiences including the core building sets and the development of digital experiences. Check Facebook Passthrough Api Oculus Questclark.
Kirkbi U.S. Education is led by Adam Karpel, former CEO and Chief Creative Officer of BrainPop and a member of the advisory board. Kirkbi U.S. Education will be part of the Brick-and-Mortar Group within Kirkbi with other brands such as Mindstorms, Lego and Thomas & Friends under a single marketing strategy and sales teams throughout the world.