In addition to all his other skills and accomplishments, David Manga can now say he knows how to throw one heckuva good party.
The well-known president of Victoria-based Outset Media Corp. recently hosted a two-day event that not only celebrated Manga’s 20th year in business but also marked the launch of Outset’s new warehouse/showroom in Brampton, Ontario.
Along with his wife, Joy Marie, and their three daughters, Manga welcomed over 100 friends, relatives and toy industry colleagues, including retail customers and Outset suppliers.
On Day one, local dignitary, Her Worship Linda Jeffrey, Mayor of Brampton, was also on hand to cut the ribbon, officially opening Outset’s stunning 60,000-square-foot facility. She presented Manga with a certificate and thanked him for his commitment and contribution to Brampton’s thriving economy.
Double the size of Manga’s previous Brampton facility, which closed earlier this spring, the new two-storey building features rooftop solar panels, a 3,000-square-foot brightly lit showroom, and a state-of-the-art warehouse/assembly area. Its massive floor-to-ceiling racks are already filled with product. About 33 employees will work out of the new building.
Designed to be fun and informative, the agenda for both days included informal presentations from toy industry entrepreneurs, such as U.S. inventor Alice Brooks and Canadian game creator Richard Fast. Guided tours of the facility took place throughout the afternoon. (Click on the bar below for a synopsis of presentations.) And at noon, guests were treated to a BBQ lunch, complete with checkered table cloths, a sumptuous anniversary cake and candy buffet.
The Roominate Story: Play Monster’s Alice Brooks is the co-creator of the very popular Roominate, a STEM-inspired construction line for girls. Alice described the early research, hard work, and perseverance that went into designing and bringing the award-winning toy to market.
Cobble Hill: A Puzzle: Outset’s chief puzzle person, Allegra Vernon, entertained the audience with a visual retrospective of the trials and tribulations in creating the company’s fabulous Cobble Hill puzzle collection. She also revealed some of next year’s introductions.
The Snakes & Lattes Board Game Café Story: Ben Castanie, a co-founder of Toronto’s two popular Snakes & Lattes cafés, shared his experiences in taking the business from doubtful concept to a thriving gathering-place for board game fans of all ages.
MindTrap: A Canadian Success Story: Game inventor Richard Fast related how he and associates turned his idea for a brain-bending game into a household name through ground-breaking marketing. Since its launch in 1991, MindTrap has sold over four million copies worldwide.
The afternoon rounded out with more presentations and product demonstrations in the second-floor showroom. Outset is the Canadian distributor of several top-notch brands, including Play Monster, D-Toys, Late for the Sky, Maranda, Royal and Langnickel, and, of course, its own Cobble Hill Puzzle Co.
Staff demo’ed several new products, such as Mindware’s Leaps & Ledges strategy game, and Outset’s own This, That and Everything party title — all got great reviews from retail guests.
Outset Boss Looks Back
While the same agenda of activities took place on Day two of the event, only Day one wrapped up with a fantastic dinner and a final presentation (from the boss, himself) for all guests at a nearby Toronto Airport-area hotel.
Following dinner, and with his family and many of his long-time customers and supporters in the audience, Manga took to the podium to talk about his own adventures as an entrepreneur and board game inventor.
Starting with the launch of All Canadian Trivia Board Game in 1996, Manga walked guests through the highs and lows of building his multi award-winning business. Fortunately, other than having to overcome an unexpected major financial crunch in 2002, Manga has been able to take his company on a fairly steady climb to success. He mentioned several milestones, such as the launch of his best-selling brands Cobble Hill Puzzles, and Professor Noggins games — an educational line which recently sold its one millionth copy — and ended with the purchase of the new warehouse.
Manga thanked many audience members — in particular his wife and children — for their support over the years, and especially credited his employees for their hard work, passion and commitment to company values and goals.
Finally, Manga talked about future milestones for coming years. For example, he said Outset continues to increase the number of products manufactured in the U.S. or Canada — recently surpassing initial goals. More licensed products are coming on board and the company’s penetration of international markets is growing. Manga revealed that Outset’s revenues are expected to top $20 million by the end of 2016.
Not surprising, Manga concluded his moving speech to much applause and a standing ovation.
However, the party didn’t end there. Many guests stayed to enjoy a couple of hours of game play with some of Outset’s new and best-selling titles.
(Click on thumbnails below for full sized images and captions.)
For more information, contact Outset Media Corp.