Planes, beanstalks and treehouses: a tour of Moose Toys’ office

Moose Toys’ beanstalk treehouse at its Melbourne office.
Moose Toys’ beanstalk treehouse at its Melbourne office.

It could be the ultimate job brief: design an office space for a toy company.

Nothing was off-limits when Melbourne-based toy company Moose – renowned for being at the forefront of the yo-yo craze in the mid-1990s, and more recently for its “Shopkins” line of toys – shifted its operations to a new office in Cheltenham.

With a brief to create a space that looked like it came straight out of a child’s imagination, the designers didn’t disappoint.

You can’t miss the centrepiece of the 4940sqm building – a giant beanstalk with a treehouse at the top, which is one of the first things people see as they enter the office.

Moose Toys office beanstalk

The beanstalk is one of the first things you see as you enter Moose Toys’ office.

“Our team use it as a standing, brainstorming space.  The internal walls are all whiteboard and people are encourage to draw and express themselves,” Moose Toys marketing director Belinda Gruebner says.

There’s also the usual features that have become the norm in modern office spaces – table tennis tables, open plan collaborative areas, innovative workspaces and a family-style kitchen.

Moose Toys office beanstalk

Moose Toys’ beanstalk treehouse at its Melbourne office.

But there’s one feature you’d be hard pressed to find in any other office building, anywhere.

It’s an actual Douglas DC-3 airplane, which was secretly installed in the building over a weekend and is now used as one of the world’s most unique meeting spaces.

Moose Toys office Melbourne plane DC-3

Moose Toys’ restored Douglas DC-3 plane.

“Our CEO has always been fond of planes and he restored an old plane, a DC-3,” Gruebner says.

“Only a handful of staff knew what was happening and over the course of a weekend, a dynamite crew installed half a plane in our new office.”

Moose Toys plane office Melbourne DC-3

The plane is used as a Skype meeting room for Moose Toys’ employees.

“Imagine the faces and delight of the team that rocked up Monday morning to a plane with lights that still worked.  We use it as a Skype room to meet with our US colleagues each morning.”

Gruebner says further improvements are in the works, with the company currently building another building at the back of the current office, which will include a new warehouse but also other features including a yoga room and a full service gym.

Moose Toys office Melbourne plane fit-out

Moose Toys’ headquarters includes an actual Douglas DC-3 plane.

“To attract staff locally and abroad, you need to show that you are innovating.  This is a home away from home and we will continue to invest time and money into creating the perfect place for our team to enjoy their workday,” Gruebner says.