Lappset Announce New Creative Division and Partnership with HIT Entertainment

Lappset, a leading manufacturer of playground and sports equipment, launched their new branded activity attractions division, Lappset Creative, in an event held appropriately at the Residence of the Ambassador of Finland in London.

In addition to the launch of Lappset Creative, Lappset used the event to introduce their partnership with HIT Entertainment.

Lappset is a 45 year old family owned business based in northern Finland, “not far from where Santa lives, ” explained Ambassador Pekka Huhtaniemi in his opening address.

The company now has 350 employees in 7 countries but Director of Lappset Creative, Johan Granholm, says that family values are still at its core.

In 2011 Lappset broke new ground with the partnership with Rovio to create Angry Birds Land at Särkänniemi Adventure Park.  The success of the venture encouraged the company to expand the branded attractions side of the business, leading to the formation of the Lappset Creative Division.

Lappset Creative

Mike The Knight themed attractions from Lappset Creative and HIT Entertainment

Granholm, introduced Lappset’s presentation.  Lappset he said “do things from the heart” and are focussed on creating attractions where kids are physically active and create their own experiences: “you are the motor.”

Robert Hetherington, Lappset Creative Global Business Development Manager, went on to explain that the new business unit and their partners HIT Entertainment have developed three scalable business concepts.  These repeatable branded experiences are based around interactive physical activities: Compact Activity, Activity Café + Brand Shop and full scale Activity Park.

Hetherington emphasised that these are not high capex, theme park like experiences with queues and prescribed, passive attractions.

The custom designed attractions can be linked to other venues, eg shopping malls or holiday parks, or be made into full size Activity Parks.  HIT Entertainment’s extensive brand portfolio allows operators to select brands to appeal to their customer profile and generate multiple revenue streams.

Thomas and Friends attractions from Lappset and HIT Entertainment

Some of the activities operators can choose from are adventure trails, mazes, zip lines, Go Karting, shooting battles, jump towers and trampolines.  Adding a layer of theming requires sensitivity to the brand: Mike the Knight would have an arena with soft play tournament activities; Angelina Ballerina could include a performance space and in Thomas the Tank Engine’s dockyard area, toy cranes.

With experiences driven by kids interacting with an environment “perfectly themed” around their favourite character brands, coupled with fun, safe activities, the attractions benefit from high repeatability and dwell time.

Parents will have opportunities to play with their children, but, by providing quality themed cafes and a variety of activities for different age groups in a safe environment, Lappset demonstrate their deep understanding of what is needed for a relaxing and enjoyable outing for the whole family.

Partnership with HIT Entertainment

Angelina Ballerina themed attractions from Lappset Creative and HIT Entertainment

HIT Entertainment are best known for their younger brands including Bob the Builder, Thomas and Friends and Angelina Ballerina as well as newer characters like Mike the Knight, however, following the acquisition by Mattel Experiences in 2012, HIT now has access to brands aimed at older girls and boys including Barbie, Ever After High and Hot Wheels.  The age group covered by the portfolio now includes something for toddlers through to 12 to 14 year olds.

Hot Wheels logo MattelDavid King, Group Director Mattel Experiences, explained that joining forces with Mattel has had the benefit of allowing HIT to look long term at investment opportunities, rather than being constrained within a private equity funded 18 month time frame.

Of the combined power of the brands held, around $750 million pa television advertising revenue, he said, “We now have a brand portfolio that’s second to none with something for everyone: older, younger, boys and girls.”

Partnering with Lappset will bring new opportunities, said King: “Lappset are a great partner for us…we’re only just beginning to scratch the surface.”