Behind the Toy Brand - Micki
To celebrate the launch of our newest Micki Toy range landing in Australia, we asked Åse Thelander from Micki to share the story of how this stylish Swedish toy brand was born and what makes it so special today. After working with Axis Toys in Australia since 2004.
Read Micki’s Story:
For those who are new to Micki toys here in Australia, tell us how you began?
Micki is a family-owned company that was founded by Micki Leksaker in 1944 in the Swedish village Gemla in the county of Smaland, Sweden. In the ‘old days’ toys were a luxury that only rich families could afford, and were more of a decorative item than for playing with. Our founder Georg wanted to invent a toy that did not cost the earth to produce, but still stood out in the crowd and was “playable”. And that’s how we began.
What values helped bring this brand to life?
Our motivation and priorities when developing Micki children’s toys are the same today as they were when Micki was founded: Regular kids should be able to play with good toys. With this in mind, we prioritise toys that develop a child’s fine motor skills, imagination, and language and often involve educationists in our product development process.
Tell us a little about the design process?
Product development is the heart of our business, as such, it is all completed in house. We have an extremely talented team who understand children’s developmental needs and the way they enjoy playing. We are constantly studying new technology, research, and industry trends to help us to keep our products educational, modern, and (most important of all) fun!
What helps keep you inspired and true to your brand?
We are a family company placed in a small village in the middle of the woods in Sweden. We are by nature, very down to earth, and have no plans of changing that.
How do you see the business evolving in the future?
The shift towards buying more sustainable products has begun and it must continue. Micki Leksaker together with its 60 employees has devoted great care in producing environmentally-safe, high-quality toys. From 2020 all wood used in our products is made of FSC certified wood. We re-use wooden offcuts from the Micki wooden toys production line to heat our facilities in Sweden and we have removed plastic in our packing as much as possible. On top of this, Micki participates in ICTI CARE which is the name of the global toy industry's ethical manufacturing program, the aim of which is to ensure a safe and humane working environment for employees. Hopefully, more and more competitors will step up and do the same.
What’s next for the range?
Within our licensed brand “Pippi Longstocking” we have launched a “Talking Pippi doll to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first Pippi Longstocking book being written. Additionally, we are donating a portion of each sale to Save the Children in cooperation with Astrid Lindgren Company and their campaign #pippioftoday to help displaced girls.
What has been your proudest moment to date?
To be proud is not very Swedish, but we were all excited about our Lundby Room winning the “Toy of the Year Pre-school”Award in 2019.
Any last comments you would like to share with our readers?
Quality, safety, and responsibility are always our primary focus. All our products undergo safety tests at an external, independent lab. We also carry out additional durability tests and we x-ray products in our XRF analyser to ensure the highest level of safety standards are carried out on every delivery.