Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 7, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Spin Master Corp. was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018):
- Spin Master supports employees who are new mothers with maternity and parental leave top-up payments (to 75% of salary for up to 17 weeks) and offers the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence
- Spin Master helps employees balance work and their personal lives with a variety of flexible work arrangements, paid time off during the winter holidays and up to 5 paid personal days off, which can be scheduled throughout the year
- In keeping with its line of business, Spin Master's charitable focus is youth -- the company established The Toy Movement, a global initiative to ensure children have opportunities to play, learn and grow, regardless of their socioeconomic conditions
Spin Master offers 'a playground of innovation'
What kind of company offers the most fun to its employees? A toy company, perhaps? Or maybe an entertainment company? Or -- how about two in one? That's Spin Master Corp., a bustling centre of creativity in both spheres.
From the time it introduced its first toy, Earth Buddy, in 1994, and then its blockbuster Air Hogs in 1998 -- not to mention its current beloved Hatchimals -- Spin Master has been known as a gem of Toronto innovation in children's toys. But with the advent of its hit television series, like "PAW Patrol", the top show for pre-schoolers in 160 countries, it has also become an important entertainment studio.
"Our entertainment division is now a cornerstone of the company," says Anton Rabie, Spin Master's Co-Founder, Chairman and Co-CEO. "We have a proven and growing entertainment pipeline, and it has taken us well beyond toys. You'll find 'PAW Patrol' on backpacks, stationery and a lot of other merchandise through our licensing programs."
With strong growth in recent years, Spin Master has a wide range of fascinating opportunities to offer prospective employees. While the company has 26 offices around the world, Rabie notes that the global headquarters is in Toronto, and creation, oversight and marketing of award-winning brands takes place there.
Kate Frostad touches all three with the globally recognized franchise Hatchimals. Based in Toronto, she is Senior Brand Manager for the fuzzy toy that literally hatches from a large egg and then interacts with its owner. Frostad was present at the creation, when designers developed the hatching mechanism and the look of the characters, and helped take the toy forward to market. "Creating a toy takes a whole village," she says. "It's really a team sport. We all make small decisions that culminate in one big result."
Frostad, who has a degree in English literature, came to Spin Master three years ago after working in product development in the furniture industry. So her new job was a big change. "With toys, storytelling is so important," she says. "It's not just an item -- there has to be a reason for being. Kids take on toys as part of their identities, so it's very important that you put all of the thought you can into them."
She describes Spin Master's culture as very go-go in an industry constantly looking for something new for kids. "You have to be really innovative, and Spin Master's culture embodies that. It's fast-paced, creative, energetic, collaborative and entrepreneurial. People who are driven self-starters are the ones who really succeed at Spin Master." And you never know what you'll be doing next, she adds -- she and a colleague recently found themselves on the "Today" show in New York, hatching a Hatchimal on live TV.
Rabie says he and other leaders are spending more time than ever with employees, imparting its culture and values. "To be in our home, which is how we view Spin Master, you have to have two things -- integrity and an open mindset," he says. "And there are five ways we play together -- innovating everything we do, having an entrepreneurial spirit, using collaboration and teamwork, making partnerships, and driving results to succeed.
"We strongly consider how people live our values before they get promoted," Rabie adds. "We often rate people's hunger, even more than academics. We've got to see that hunger to succeed, that tenacity. It's such an important element for today's world in a city like Toronto."
And then there's that environment of toys and entertainment. "People just love being around this playground of innovation," says Rabie. "And it's a growth company with an incredible foundation and a very genuine heart and soul."
Spin Master's corporate vision may say it all: "To make life more fun."