Maya Toys has been producing playthings for decades that focus on promoting creative play that is suitable for both boys and girls. The company is best known for its award-winning Orbeez brand and prides itself on applying unexpected technologies and on-trend themes to time-proven play patterns. Privately owned and based in Cypress, California, Maya delivers a jolt of innovation to toy categories including Arts & Crafts, Beauty & Fashion Play, Creative Play and Outdoor Play.
Tali Ben-Ezer is the VP of Public Relations for Maya Toys. She and her husband, Oden Ben-Ezer, founded the company in 1992. Prior to Maya Toys, Tali served as an Account Executive at McCann Erickson. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and her Master’s degree in Advertising and Marketing from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Recently, she discussed the company and her hopes for its’ future:
Meagan Meehan (MM) of Entertainment Vine: When was your company started and why was that specific name chosen?
MM: What kinds of items do you sell? Essentially, how would you describe your products?
TBE: We manufacture and market activity toys that are unique and offer a “never seen before” factor. In doing so, we apply unexpected technologies and on-trend themes to time-proven play patterns.
MM: Right now, how many items does your company offer overall?
TBE: We currently offer three TV-promoted brands: Orbeez, Pom Pom Wow, and Cutie Stix. In late spring of 2017 we will launch our new Zorbeez brand, which brings the excitement of the Orbeez technology to the boys’ market with an outrageously fun and somewhat “gross” way to play.
MM: How do you think up ideas for your products? For example, do you ever work with inventors?
TBE: We have partnered with JMP Creative, one of the best toy inventors in the nation and an organization which brings many innovative ideas to the table. From there, we have a world-class design and marketing team that helps us make our products what they are today!
MM: To date, what has been the most rewarding part of working with this company?
TBE: The most rewarding aspect of our business is seeing happy kids enjoying our products and creatively displaying their finished arts and crafts.
TBE: Our passion is to bring innovative products that delight kids and provide memorable play experiences. As a result, our long-term plan is to stick to our passion while continuing to grow our current brands and launching new and exciting brands onto the market.
MM: What advice would you give to someone who is striving to enter the toy industry?
TBE: My advice for anyone who seeks to enter the toy industry is to do it for the right reasons: delighting children and their families through safe and stimulating ways to play. As toy marketers, we’re continually reminded of the need to take an extremely responsible approach to our business.
MM: Are there any upcoming events that you would like to mention?
TBE: We’re extremely excited with our new Cutie Stix brand launch, which we believe will garner a lot of attention at the upcoming New York Toy Fair show and beyond. The Cutie Stix brand is bursting with personality, and empowers girls to create and show off fashionable and adorable bead designs.
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To learn more about Maya Toys, visit their official website.