The Canadian Toy Association

Victor Bertrand, SR.

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VICTOR BERTRAND, SR.

 

 

Victor is truly a self-made entrepreneur. He stared his toy career at a young age through pure need. Going to night school and working during the day to support his parents, he got his start in the toy industry at the age of 17. At 20 he formed his own agency, which he named Ritvik. This agency eventually became the largest in Canada.

 

His contacts with U.S. principals led him to negotiate exclusive manufacturing contracts for the Canadian market. As most of these arrangements were for plastic toys, he became very knowledgeable in plastic injection molding. Owning a good share of the Canadian marketplace, he set his sights on global expansion. His drive to own proprietary products led to the birth of Mega Bloks. He truly believed there was a need for a competitor to the leading brand, ironically against the advice of many industry peers and friends.

 

Mega Bloks were launched simultaneously in Canada and the U.S. at the 1985 toy shows. They were an instant hit! In 1989 he divested of all his other toy activities to focus on further expanding Mega Bloks beyond the 30 countries already achieved. To quote Victor, “This was the best strategic move I ever made”. This focused effort produced a compounded growth rate of 70% for 7 straight years, which led to an association in 1996 with the Blackstone Group of New York.

 

Today, Mega Bloks can be found in over 100 countries and is the growth leader within the category. Victor is now Chairman of Ritvik Holdings, involved in strategic planning and product development. His sons Marc & Vic head up the management team leading a worldwide organization of thousands of dedicated employees. His wife Rita, who was involved in all facets of the business and a great contributor to the overall success from the beginning while raising four children, retired in 1996, along with his daughter Chantal, who oversaw the embryonic Mega Bloks development. He attributes much of his success to strong family ties.

 

Victor and Rita have 4 children and 9 grandchildren. They maintain homes in different parts of the world and have interests in many diversified holdings, and still enjoy shopping toy shelves, always looking for opportunities true to their entrepreneurial spirit. Victor at 57 is celebrating his 40th year in the toy industry.

 

 

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