Max Mindpower, a children’s brand that comprises a range of plush toys, a book series, and a new app all with the focus on promoting and encouraging mindfulness among kids, is pushing ahead with licensing efforts thanks to investment from CHF Media and licensing guidance from industry expert Valerie Fry.
Today, the conversation around mindfulness in the children’s space is in full flow, and in recent months and over a development period of years, Max Mindpower has found itself at the centre of much of it. Developed by Nikki Collins, the Max Mindpower brand already spans a successful book series, mindfulness app and soothing plush bar that encourages mindfulness in children through play and breathing exercises.
“The topic of mindfulness in children is incredibly important, not only because it’s something that the consumers are actively looking for and want, but because it’s a real issue in society today and not something that is going to go away today or tomorrow,” Collins told Licensing.biz.
“It’s certainly something that is being taken more seriously than it was maybe two years ago, but like anything it takes familiarity before people can take it on board. The more we talk about what is affecting children and what they need, the more the industry will listen and respond.”
Having met with investment from CHF Media and having recently appointed the licensing specialist, Valerie Fry as its commercial director, Max Mindpower is ‘on the cusp of some big things in the licensing space.’
“Max has certainly made an impact on the toy industry and brought mindfulness to the forefront after winning an award at its launch at London Toy Fair,” continued Collins. “I notice a lot of the trends in toys since have been more towards wellbeing, which is so heartening as it shows that this is something which is becoming increasingly important throughout the industry; not just a nice idea.”
Collins’ move into mindfulness toys for children was, in fact, inspired by a number of culminating factors, not least the recorded rise in mental health issues in children today and the fast-vanishing downtime that children have at their disposal in modern day living. But not only this, Max Mindpower was inspired by Collins’ own life experiences, following a hit and run incident that left her with disabilities and mental health issues at the age of 19.
“I was given a very poor prognosis in terms of recovery and was actually recommended mindfulness as a way to come to terms with how my life would be, but I actually got better. It gave me a completely different outlook on life and made me fascinated with psychology, which I went on to study,” she explained.
It was while studying that Collins was struck with the idea of developing an all round children’s toy that ‘conveyed mindfulness through a mainstream children’s toy.’
From then on, Max Mindpower, a toy which “encompassed emotions and coping skills and tricks that children could learn from a young age and use in every day life,” was put into development.
The move has payed off for Collins who has since reported an ‘overwhelmingly positive’ reaction from consumers and retailers to her Max Mindpower concept, and the brand developments around it.
“In terms of retailers, we have some that champion and support us so much, but the consumer reaction is the best. We often get emails, letters, and videos from people letting us know the difference it has made to their children. We are so grateful that people take the time to write to us, and they probably have no idea how much getting these responses means to us,” she concluded.