In 1992, Jane Bosman and Joyce Stevens decided to become involved in a small business venture that was run out of their homes. Living out in the country, they each had a Jumpking trampoline set up on end at the end of their laneway with a large yellow banner announcing the phone number and the price of the trampoline in bold black letters. Offspring picked up a couple of dealers in the area, one just outside of Listowel and one outside of Milton, who operated the same way with a trampoline set up at the road for passerby’s to see.
They continued in this way, adding a couple more dealers over time until Jumpking Inc. decided to get involved with Walmart and Costco in Canada. At that time, Jane and Joyce thought that their little business was going to come to an end because, after all, who can compete with the big box stores? As it turned out, Jumpking was in need of a Canadian warranty connection and depot for returned trampolines. So, Jane and Joyce still with their trampolines at the end of their laneways, proceeded to open an office within Norwell Dairy Systems in Drayton. Norwell was (and still is) owned by their husbands, and they graciously allowed the ladies to take some space. Offspring acquired a toll free number, started stocking parts as well as complete trampolines and the face of the business took on a major change.
Originally, Jumpking sold the 12’ and 14’ Airborne Trampoline (JKTR14AB). This was a great quality round trampoline that Offspring continued to sell until 2005. Many owners of this particular trampoline are still enjoying this unit in their backyard, almost 18 years later! Costco continued also, to sell this particular trampoline until it switched to carrying the Springfree in 2006. Walmart, however, requested Jumpking to manufacture a different model of 14’ round trampoline. It looked very similar to the original Airborne but instead of a top ring consisting of 8 top rails, the new Airtime trampoline (JKWS14AT) consisted of 16 top rails. The idea was to allow the customer to make a quicker decision to purchase and take home, because the packaged size allowed it to fit in most vehicles (the Airborne box being much longer, of course). During this period of time, a company called ICON which carried many brands of sporting equipment, took over Jumpking and during that time made decisions to make the Walmart Airtime trampoline with lighter weight steel so that Walmart would have the ability to lower the price and be more competitive in the market. HOWEVER, the quality and the safety of the trampoline was now in question and Offspring needed to deal with many unhappy customers who dealt with frame welds breaking because of insufficient steel thickness. In 2005, there was a North American wide recall on the trampolines sold through Walmart due to these weld breakages which subsequently caused many injuries in children.
At the time of the recall, Offspring purchased as many of the spare parts as possible from Jumpking in order to supply customers with replacements for these top rails that were failing and Offspring also took on the responsibility of shipping out the “recall kit” to anyone requesting it. The recall kit consisted of a set of 8 brackets which would re-inforce the weak welds and although they did not prevent the weld from breaking inside the bracket, it did prevent the poles from coming apart and causing further injury.
Due to this recall, the Jumpking name went up for sale and was purchased by a company from China. This company did not carry on the responsibility of providing warranty parts for these trampolines and, in fact, discontinued the old Jumpking models (Airborne included) completely, replacing them with, in Offspring’s opinion, substandard product for the industry. Although the price is very appealing to consumers, the product does not give long life and after a year or two, the consumer is typically disappointed in how much it is necessary to pay to replace items such as the frame pads and the netting. At this time, Joyce Stevens chose to move away from the company due to wanting to pursue a different direction and Jane Bosman acquired sole proprietorship.
So, now Offspring had a decision to make. Thankfully, their international contact was able to connect with a company in Europe that was willing to manufacture a trampoline very similar to the original Jumpking Airborne Trampoline. The company, TE Avyna in the Netherlands, does its manufacturing in Taiwan and the product, being sold under the brand name Jumpfree , has been very successfully tried by many Canadian families and Offspring has dealt with a minute amount of warranty issues all of which have been immediately corrected to the satisfaction of the customer.
In September of 2009, Offspring made the decision to carry a second line of trampolines. Magic Circle has now been added to the product line that Offspring carries. Magic Circle trampolines are a high end, top quality trampoline that comes in two sizes, 13.5’ round and 16’ octagon. Magic Circle also has a unique enclosure system which is called the Magic Cage. Offspring believes that the Jumpfree and the Magic Circle trampolines will both provide their customers with many years of enjoyment.
Offspring’s Head Office has had many locations (Rothsay, Drayton, Conestogo), and has now settled in their new facility on New Dundee Road at the south end of Kitchener. Offspring products are currently being sold through thirteen dealer locations across Southwestern Ontario, as well as just recently, through TSC stores (under the brand name Proline) in Ontario and Manitoba. Offspring looks forward to many years of continuing to serve the KW community and all of Canada with a product that most families have claimed to be the best investment they ever made in backyard play equipment.