Blue Imp’s name was derived from Blue Implement, a company that manufactured steel farm implements, and was started in 1917 by S.F. Scott in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. At that time, the demand for farm equipment had dwindled, and there was an increasing demand for playground equipment.
During the depression years, the company had to use salvaged materials from decommissioned railroad cars in order to build the playground pieces, and in 1936 Blue Imp built its first swing set.
Blue Implement officially changed their name to Blue Imp in the 1950s. At this time they were commissioned by the local Lion’s Club to build playground equipment for the city parks.
Blue Imp has taken safety issues in playgrounds and playground equipment very seriously. Because of this, they are International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) and International Standards Organization (ISO) 9001 certified. They are also members in good standing of the Canadian Standard Association (CSA) and IPEMA.
In their 90th year of business, the Scott family introduced “Extravaganza” which features equipment with varying levels of difficulty. This playground system uses both aerobic and muscle training. It was designed to develop eye-hand coordination while developing both upper and lower body muscles. The president of Blue Imp, Don Scott says that, “teachers and parents have told us that many kids struggle to make it up the climbers or across the overheads in the beginning, but over time, their fitness level improves noticeably.”1
The company offers three different playground formats: MegaPlay, PowerPlay and ImpPlay. MegaPlay’s format is rugged with heavy duty round support posts (5”O.D. X 11ga). PowerPlay’s format is strong with heavy duty square support posts (3” x 3” x 11ga) ImpPlay’s format is for smaller spaces with round support posts (3.5” x 11ga). These options allow for many different playground requirements.
The challenge was to come up with something this particular age group would find to be not only fun, but challenging and at the same time, promoting fitness. They came up with combining traditional equipment with their innovative u-play series. This playground is designed on a (58” x 77”) footprint for ages 5 through 12. It has many components, such as a corkscrew spinner, climb-a-wall, stepping saucer, chinning bar, along with the double dip slide and many other new designs.
They received The Award for Excellence for Innovation in Recreational Products and Retailing on April 15, 2010, sponsored by the Alberta Recreation & Parks Association and the Recreation for Life Foundation. This award was given to them for their innovative design (u-play) for the middle school children of Balmoral School in Calgary.
Verna Scott, Sales Manager of Imp believes that, “Kids love movement. A well-designed playground gets kids moving without realizing they are getting fit at the same time.”2