In one of my earlier posts (Nanomania in Switzeland), I did promise to find out who invented the absurd but highly effective Migos marketing Nanomania lure.
Migros admits it has taken the idea from the United States where the Nanos are called Mighty Beanz.
Mighty Beanz are collectible toys manufactured by Moose Enterprises, a corporation headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. Mr Stul took over the Moose business with his partner, joint owner and the company's director of product development, Jacqui Tobias in 2000. Moose had seven employees when the pair took over and had an annual turnover of $10 million. Is a great Victorian business success story, having done what few toy companies in Australia have been able to achieve - it has taken its quirky and inventive toy creations to the rest of the world and in doing so has quadrupled its annual sales to $43 million in three years. Moose services 42 countries these days, with half its export revenues generated in what is generally considered the toughest toy market in the world, the US. Moose does all its design and development work locally, but like almost all toy makers these days, it manufactures its products in China.
Moose's breakthrough toy is Mighty Beanz, which Mr Stul describes as a collectable version of Mexican jumping beans. "The secret there was that we made them collectable and gave them endearing character designs," he says.
Moose launched Mighty Beanz in the Australian market in 2002 and the toy launched in the United States that summer. Besides the five main series of Mighty Beanz, Moose also produced licensed Beanz based on Marvel superheroes, The Simpsons, Pokémon and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. So just you wait for Migros next marketing wave with Superman and Bart Simpsons, we'll have to fight our way into the Migros stores!!!!
Mighty Beanz have become a large collector's commodity and prices vary on sites such as Ebay based on rarity of the Beanz. The highest rate at the moment is US 770.00 for a complete set from 2004. (This still doesn't cover my cost of CHF 960.- spent in Migros to receive 48 Nanos)
Just wait until they launch the Special Edition Beanz: G-Force Bean, Crash Test Dummy Bean, Genie Bean, Daredevil Bean, Computer Bean, Skeleton Bean and Hollywood Stunt Bean or Space Moose Bean.
If you are still curious about the Mighty Beanz click here.