Welcome to iPlayCo's Blog
iPlayCO is a highly reputable designer,
worldwide installer of soft indoor playground equipment and custom play structures.
Other products we manufacture:
3D indoor mini golf, toddler soft indoor play, obstacle courses, climbing walls, laser maze arenas, ball shooters, TUFF Stuff soft sculpted foam play, sport courts, Air Trek obstacle adventures, mazes, Turn-Key designs, outdoor commercial playgrounds and interactive games.
Iplayco has the most innovative and custom creative theming. You dream it, we create it. #weBUILDfun
Iplayco understands the significance of designing play equipment that address the various stages of a child’s development. Age appropriate equipment is essential to ensure that every opportunity for play results in a safe and positive experience. We ship and install worldwide.
We now have a FEC TRAINING CENTER
- not many manufacturers can offer that
Contact us at: 604-607-1111 or email@example.com
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Our website is www.iplayco.com
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
FUNWORLD ARTICLE - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2010
Almost two years ago Iplayco Inc. (International Play Company) added another page to its business plan. The manufacturer of children’s indoor and outdoor play structures for playgrounds, family entertainment centers (FECs), and other facilities took the unusual step and opened The Great Escape right down the road.
Its all-ages FEC features a wide range of rides and attractions, including laser tag, climbing walls, an indoor playground, a suspended obstacle course, and mini-bowling. (Iplayco, headquartered in Langley, Canada, integrates products other than its own here.)
While the facility turns a nice profit, that’s not the only reason the company built it, says Scott Forbes, the company’s president. In fact, The Great Escape (www.thege.ca) serves a couple different roles.
Iplayco (www.iplayco.com) uses the FEC for research and development purposes to see which of its products guests enjoy most, and maybe more important, it’s a training site for people considering opening a similar facility. Dozens of customers, some from as far away as Mexico and Europe, have visited The Great Escape to learn firsthand how to run an FEC.
Iplayco offers a vast turnkey service that covers the business plan, financing, operations, design, training, and marketing. “We take care of the whole thing,” Forbes says, adding the relationship could continue for questions that pop up after the doors open.
The real-world model proves to be a strong selling point, Forbes says. The Great Escape staff can show clients exactly how to run a successful birthday party, what are the best seating ratios and setup for traffic flow, and even offer numbers that they can use for banking and financing purposes.
“We can give them all the right answers,” he says. “Whatever you need from us—if you want a turnkey FEC, just some advice, or a playground, we are here for you.”
Creative Minds - Forbes admits he can’t draw a straight line. “The designers quite often laugh at my pencil sketches,” jokes the 44-year-old father of two boys.
Luckily, he didn’t require an art degree when he cofounded Iplayco Inc. in 1999 with partner Franco Aquila.
By mixing interactivity and theming as well as putting an equal importance on creativity and aesthetics, Iplayco has earned a loyal customer base, he says. Its products can be found in more than 60 countries around the world.
“We just try to take it the next level,” Forbes says.
Years ago, play structures were simple and straightforward: ball pits, slides, things like that, Forbes notes. The level of participation by the child was relatively low.
In founding Iplayco, he wanted to break away from the norm to provide a more rewarding experience for kids.
“Let’s create things that are good for the children to interact with and let their minds be creative,” he says, explaining the company’s philosophy. “That’s a big part of what we do, whether its theming, unique shapes, or play events.”
With one of its tree-climb attractions, for example, young guests climb from level to level, doing something along each step of way. It could be making a sound effect or wiggling the nose on the tree character’s “head.” Its latest series of play structures, called Quantum Curve, takes a nonstandard approach, he describes. Gone are the standard rigid lines and 90-degree angles.
“We put an interesting curvature to the equipment,” says Forbes, who recently built one such innovative structure at Kuwait’s 360 Mall. “It looks like a piece of architecture.”
Iplayco worked closely with the mall’s management to develop Infunity. “We try to take the customers’ needs and feedback and not be taken back by it,” he says. “This is a creative process. We start with something that looks like a truck and it ends up like a race car.”
Forbes also looks for “the story” a facility wants to tell. If it’s a fairy tale, he would work to create a structure that would blend in with that particular theme, like a castle in this case.
He attributes much of the success of Iplayco, which boasts 80 to 100 employees depending on the season, to its team of designers. They frequently participate in roundtable brainstorming discussions and even take Forbes’ rough doodles and turn them into polished finished products.
“We have created some pretty wonderful play environments for kids over the years,” he says proudly.
Contributing Editor Mike Bederka at mbederka@IAAPA.org