How Wild Republic turned its stuffed animals into a big company from scratch

How Wild Republic turned its stuffed animals into a big company from scratch
Image credit: Wild Republic

Wild Republic is a toy company that makes stuffed animals. It was created back in the 1980s from scratch and grew into a big company with over 1000 items.

The company was created by Gopala Pillai who believes that one of the best ways to encourage children to explore nature was with realistic stuffed animals, reports. Pillai was a GE engineer, but his real passion was toys and stuffed animals.

Thus, nearly four decades ago he started a part-time business marketing realistic looking stuffies to zoos, aquariums and museums. Over the next five years his business thrived and he decided to grow it even bigger. “We are not just a toy company. We have a specific mission. We created educational toys, and we put tags on the animals that talk about that species”, he says.

Today Wild Republic has about 400 employees in several countries. It also operates five factories in India. The company has over 1000 different items and it’s happy to say it was first to introduce the hanging monkey back in 1999. It is also one of the first companies to add patterns to plush snakes.

Now¬†Pillai’s grandson Vishnu Chandran has taken over as president, while Pillai took the role of CEO for the first time.¬†The company is currently reinventing itself once again in order to be in line with the changing toy market. It has added new toy lines with plush birds with authentic sounds, a Sweet and Sassy line with funky colors and items. It even has a new line of reversible stuffed animals called Swith-A- Rooz.

“In 2014, the company officially established our core values. These have really helped us define what our culture is all about at the company. At Wild Republic, we strive to maximize the positive impact we make on our customers, our community and our planet”, Chandran says.

For this year the company also has big plans go through a re-branding process. “It’s been 15 years since the company adopted the Wild Republic name. We wanted to refresh our logo to more closely align with who we are and what our brand stands for. Changing our logo to help grow awareness for our brand is a significant change for us”, Chandran adds.