Los Angeles, CA – January 23rd, 2019 – Leading international toy and consumer products company, ZURU, is excited to announce the company’s acquisition of Sparkle Girlz, the 10 year old doll brand developed by Danuta Saville as Funville.  The Sparkle Girlz brand vision was to create a stronger presence of magic, imagination and sparkle in the doll category. The brand features an extensive range of products that incorporate fun, fantasy and fashion into a variety of dolls. Sparkle Girlz has seen strong brand growth since its beginnings, now distributing its products globally.

Anna Mowbray, COO of ZURU, explains the strategy behind the acquisition, “The brand is a perfect fit to the ZURU model. Exceptional quality and design at affordable prices. I see so much synergy between what Danuta and John Saville have developed alongside the passion, creativity and business success of ZURU.”

Mowbray continued, “We have exciting product development plans and marketing initiatives that we know will rapidly grow and elevate the brand and look forward to adding this range to our girls portfolio.”

The integration of Sparkle Girlz into ZURU does not only boast a win for ZURU, but Funville also. Founder Danuta Saville commented, “The success of ZURU coupled with the drive of a young, dynamic and visionary team makes them a great partner in driving the Sparkle Girlz brand forward.”

For John Saville, Director of Funville, he too looks forward to a new venture with ZURU. “After 49 years in the toy industry I am delighted to see this exciting progression of the Sparkle Girlz brand. I know the brand will grow phenomenally with ZURU behind it.”

The extensive product range includes iconic themed dolls such as fairies & princesses, hair styling unicorns, baby dolls, interactive play sets, castles, surprise collectables and more. The brand also works to integrate environmentally friendly packaging into more of its products.  The brand is particularly proud of the exemplary cone packaging design in one of its key doll lines, which removed the presence of single use plastic. The innovative design has been globally recognized as a pioneering example of movement towards sustainable packaging.

The dolls category is valued at USD$3.4 Billion and has grown 13% since 2017. Play patterns surrounding dolls show no sign of slowing down as they continue to hold a key role in instilling creativity, empathy and compassion in children. Sparkle Girlz have a stable presence in all sub-categories providing huge opportunities for ZURU to continue developing the brand in partnership with Danuta.

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ZURU’s story began with a simple science project. Mat Mowbray invented a model hot air balloon that won the New Zealand science fair. Some years later Mat, 23, moved to China with his brother, Nick, 18, where they were later joined by their sister, Anna, 22, with a goal to build ZURU into one of the world’s leading toy companies. Today, ZURU pays tribute to these humble beginnings by supporting the annual Balloons over Waikato event in New Zealand. The event hosts over 130,000 spectators over 5 days with the highlight of the event being the Zuru Nightglow, where the balloons glow to orchestrated music finishing with the best fireworks display in town! The Balloons over Waikato Trust is a non-profit organisation that selects local charity partners to benefit from the funds raised each year.


At Zuru we believe that becoming myopic in the toy industry is to become redundant. This is why we approach business with a vision of preparing for the future – the world which children will one day live and play. Sustainability is a commitment to current and future generations, to leave this world better than when we were brought into it. The social conscience of our society is growing every day and so too is the social conscience of our company. We have individuals in our team who are extremely passionate about sustainability, and are constantly looking at how we can incorporate sustainable practices into our business, products and future lines of toys and consumer goods.

We incorporated this mentality into the production of ZURU Bunch O Balloons. Our balloons are made from natural rubber latex and the stems can also be easily recycled through your regular recycling bins.

Launching in September 2019 we will make ZURU Bunch O Balloons 100% recyclable – balloons, packaging and stems – in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and the United Kingdom via a partnership with Terracycle Inc. Learn more at BunchOBalloons.com.


We are delighted to be official Corporate Partners of Shenzhen based charity, Captivating International, as we support their mission to see the poorest-of-the-poor children reach a better tomorrow. Through two programs, the My First Job Program and Vocational School Scholarships, we hope to support over 300 young women back through education and give them a future they can look forward to.


It is our ambition to support, inspire, educate and promote the growth of opportunity for women in the workforce. With a remarkable 73% female workforce, we demonstrate that diversity and a mix of cultures only strengthens our ability to compete with industry leaders. Diversity is a core driver for thinking differently. This is what allows us to continually critique and improve our processes, our company, and ourselves. It is our inspiration for innovation. Diversity doesn’t divides us at Zuru, it brings us together.

We value the importance of creating a society of equality among sexes and culture for our next generation. This is why it is so important for us to speak through action by alleviating inequalities against women internally and externally. Internally, our workforce environment is designed to support inclusion and co-operation of sexes and culture. Externally, we direct our efforts towards organizations assisting in providing opportunity through partnerships.

Zuru is an annual support sponsor for Women in Toys (WIT). WIT provides educational, empowerment opportunities and scholarships to women seeking work in the toy, licensing, and entertainment industries. Our very own Anna Mowbray is a 2x Nominee for their prestigious Wonder Woman of the Year Award for her innovations in the toy manufacturing category. We also partner with Captivating International, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide disadvantaged, impoverished, poor children with a better tomorrow: ending poverty, stopping human trafficking, & educating girls.