Behind the Fun and Games
Hasbro Inc.’s in-plant doesn’t play around. The printing and packaging it produces play a big part in the company’s success, and its recent sustainability certification further demonstrates its commitment to corporate goals.March 2012 By Erik Cagle
Try as we might, In-plant Graphics has never been able to secure an interview with Santa Claus' print shop at the North Pole.
Fun though it would be to get an inside look at Kris Kringle's fleet of ABDick half-size presses (and what is presumed to be one of the largest mailing and fulfillment facilities on the planet), there is a shop in East Longmeadow, Mass., with one of the most impressive game and puzzle printing operations south of Santa's Workshop. It's goal is to put a face and a package to a magical world of discovery for children of all ages.
East Longmeadow is the home to Hasbro Inc.'s 44-employee in-plant. A web and sheetfed operation, the shop produces packaging, box and board labels, puzzle board, internal game components and various general printing in support of its parent company.
Over the decades, Hasbro has found its way into the homes of most children, not only in the United States but around the world. Its iconic brands have bridged the generation gap for more than 70 years: Playskool, Monopoly, Nerf, Mr. Potato Head, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Play-Doh, Easy Bake Oven, Tonka and the incomparable G.I. JOE, only scratch the surface.
"We're extremely proud of the corporation," says Gary Brennan, vice president of manufacturing for global operations, at the East Longmeadow site. "We have our own color scheme in the plant, which matches Hasbro. We have a really neat timeline as you enter the building that shows product as it was developed, going back into the 1900s. Hasbro and its brands are featured all throughout the facilities."
A Great Place to Work
It's safe to say that working in Hasbro's in-plant is anything but a dreary experience, as evidenced by the corporation's No. 82 ranking on the 2012 Fortune 100 listing of the "100 Best Companies to Work For." It's also reflected in the craftsmanship and quality of Hasbro's world-renown wares.
It can be argued that the printing and packaging is more essential to the marketing of toys and games than most consumer goods. The company's marketing division sees product packaging as the consumer's "first handshake" with a brand when shopping at retail and online. Packaging must quickly communicate brand attributes and product features in the most compelling and engaging way possible.