History

fran bryceThe story of Patch begins in 1971, when brothers Fran and Bryce Patch started a commercial printing company in their hometown, Beloit, Wisconsin. The business was built by printing products for other companies: Fun items such as Trivial Pursuit game boards and Cabbage Patch doll sticker books were brought to life in the Patch facility.

Patch took a leap forward in 1985 when Patch Products, Inc. was formed, and it began printing its own fun products! It broke into the children’s puzzle market by creating a line of PuzzlePatch® puzzles. These preschool puzzles grew in popularity, and built the foundation on with Patch Products has grown. Today the puzzles feature updated art and imagery, but remain a staple in Patch’s repertoire.

Success with the PuzzlePatch line prompted Patch to jump deeper into the toy industry and take on the competitive board game market in 1992. It obtained the license to the board game TriBond®, and on its success built a line of family-friendly board games that included Blurt!® and Mad Gab®. 

Patch is proud to have achieved success with many of its games, including Buzzword®, What’s Yours Like?®, Farkle Frenzy®, Malarky®, Swap!®, Toss Up!®, 5 Second Rule®, 100 Wacky Things®, Go Ape®, Giant Spoons and Word Shout®. Patch has created popular family and party games, and has even dabbled in the retro craze with best-selling 80s games Bed Bugs™ and Shark Attack!™. The value-packed skill-and-action Big Little Games™; and the one-of-a-kind Tales to Play® line, featuring children’s favorite books in board game form, are just a couple more of Patch’s pride-and-joys.

Patch expanded beyond games and puzzles in 1998 by acquiring Just Kid’n™, a foam ball company. Using the Zoam® foam, Patch designed collegiate-licensed foam balls and mini hoopball sets. In 2014, the collegiate line grew to include flying discs and playing cards. Patch expanded again in the early 2000s, creating activity books, a line of card games, and 2' x 3' Sneaky® Floor Puzzles. It has since expanded the Sneaky Puzzle line to include 3D Floor Puzzles that allow children to use “magical” glasses to see the puzzles come to life! In 2010, Patch also developed a Take ‘N’ Play Anywhere™ line that includes magnetic travel games and magnetic activities.

Patch successfully entered the world of brand licensing back in 2000, and it has continued to make new relationships and add new licenses to many products. Some past and present favorites are *NSYNC, Jeff Foxworthy’s™ You Might Be a Redneck If…™, McDonald’s®, Dora the Explorer™, SpongeBob SquarePants™, Sesame Street®, Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train™, Clifford the Big Red Dog®, The Berenstain Bears®, The Little Engine That Could™ and Where the Wild Things Are.


In 2008, Patch Products acquired Smethport Specialty Co., a leading manufacturer of toys and specialty line products, including the Lauri® brand. Smethport™ is famous for its classic toy, Wooly Willy®. Lauri is known for its durable crepe rubber puzzles and Tall-Stacker™ pegs. Patch has expanded both lines, adding fun new Wooly Willy characters to the mix, and revolutionizing pegging with the double-peg Mighty Monkey® pegs and the new Mighty Monkey Playset that celebrates creativity, as well as early learning and development. Lauri and Smethport are also well-known for their educational tools, and together boast a full line of alphabet, pre-reading, phonics and early math products for home or the classroom. Recently, Patch has also expanded the Lauri line of early construction toys, adding moving wheels and new connectors to Locktagons®. This makes the building play sets more versatile and action-packed.

2013 was a big year for Patch, becoming the exclusive distributor of the 3D maze game Perplexus™ to independent toy and gift retailers. Patch also became the manufacturer and distributer of the popular party game The Game of THINGS…®, whose inventor won a TAGIE award in 2013! It was this same year that Patch also launched its new Mirari® line of specialty preschool toys—the infant and toddler toys feature classic play with innovative twists. Another new category Patch stepped into in 2013 was soft collectible dolls. Planet Sock Monkey® is a line of sock monkeys infused with personality—these aren’t your ordinary nostalgic sock monkeys. These dolls have attitude, style and humor. This line is also Patch’s first line to be available for licensing.
2014 started off with a bang as Patch gained the rights to market and distribute the classic strategy game Stratego, including the original version, sci-fi, Master’s Edition and card game version. Patch also became the U.S. distributer of the best-selling European wood craft kits Wood WorX™, expanding their Lauri craft line.

In this technological world, Patch games can also be found in the iTunes app store. The popular Wooly Willy can be found in app form, as well as the exciting dice games Farkle and Word Shout! We can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.
For over 25 years, Patch has continually built on its early success, leading the toy industry in design, manufacturing and marketing of high-quality, award-winning products that enrich lives by providing fun and interaction.