MegaFun USA, the North American sales and distribution arm of a Mexico-based toy manufacturer, plans to move its operations out of Wichita this summer after a nearly 25-year presence here.
Donnamarie Senn, CEO of MegaFun at 3843 N. Cypress, said Wednesday that the move is expected to happen in August.
She said the move will mean laying off three full-time employees. A marketing employee will remain with the company but will work out of Wichita. A couple of other full-time workers who have already left the company were replaced with temporary workers, who will also be affected by the move.
MegaFun’s distribution will be relocated to south Texas, and its sales and other operations – accounting, purchasing and customer service – will move to Chicago.
The relocation comes as Senn, who has been with the company for nine years, prepares to retire. She said the person she recommended to MegaFun’s parent company as her replacement lives in Chicago and plans to stay there because of family considerations.
MegaFun’s parent, Guadalajara, Mexico-based Glasfirma S.A. de C.V., manufactures glass marbles, marble games, play balls and other toys. One of its newest products is the Inflation Station, a patented inflation machine that holds 288 inflatable balls with more than 30 designs. Local retailer Imagine That Toys has one of the machines and tested it before MegaFun released them to market.
Senn said MegaFun hasn’t yet settled on an office location in Chicago. It also is in the process of selecting a warehouse and fulfillment center in south Texas.
Most of the products MegaFun sells enter the U.S. in Laredo, Texas. Senn said there is an added expense bringing products from Laredo to Wichita, instead of shipping them from Texas to customers in the U.S. and Canada. “The cost is so much more … plus the time involved with (shipping) it, too.”
MegaFun’s roots in Wichita date back to 1990, Senn said, known then as Vacor USA.
In 2001, the company built and opened a 25,000-square-foot building in northeast Wichita. The building, which has 5,000 square feet of office space and 20,000 square feet of warehouse space, has been put up for sale for $1.3 million. Randy Johnston of J.P. Weigand & Sons is representing the seller.