Sunday, February 14, 2016

K'nex tries direct online sales to China

Ex-Ambassador Frank Lavin's Export Now will list the toys on Taobao and Tmall

K'nex tries direct online sales to China

President Obama looks a rollercoaster with from left, K'Nex inventor Joel Glickman, robotics expert Joao Silver, and chief executive officer Michael Araten and during a visit to th K'Nex factory in Hatfield, Pa. on 11/30/12. ( Michael S. Wirtz / Staff Photographer )

K'nex Brands, the Hatfield plastic fit-the-pieces toy company started by Joel Glicksman 21 years ago, says it's attempting its first direct-to-consumer sales in China. K'nex has hired Export Now, of Akron, Ohio, to sell online via Chia's and 

"We wanted to enter the Chinese markets" with "the right e-commerce partner," K'nex ceo Michael Araten said in a statement. He's planning to market K'nex's Angry Birds and Super Mario lines, among others, and to add new products in China each quarter. K'nex retail and education products have been sold in China stores "for many years, but this is the first effort by K'nex at direct ecommerce sale" in China, K'nex spokesman Kate Loffio told me.

Export Now is headed by Frank Lavin, Undersecretary of Commerce under President George H.W. Bush, 2005-07, and a former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore. The company also counts Totes and a number of small maunfacturers as U.S. export customers, said spokesman David Hertz.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at and his Inquirer columns at Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
Also on
letter icon Newsletter