Vivid Imaginations was founded in 1992 by former Matchbox Toys UK Managing Director Nick Austin and Finance Director Alan Bennie, with a loan of £380,000 from friends. The annual company turnover was £9.8 m in its first year and increased to over £20 m in 1996. The increase was partly due to acquiring the rights to distribute Disney and The Simpsons products in 1996 and distributing the Toy of the Year, the Pogmaker. Jordan Group, a private equity company from New York, bought an 80% stake in Vivid in 1998 for £25 m.
In 1999, Vivid started distributing Sindy and obtained the rights to Playmates and Toy Biz products. Vivid became the third-largest advertiser in the United Kingdom and the number three toy company in 2000. In 2003, Vivid Imaginations was bought by Phoenix Equity Partners, its management and venture capital company, for £62 million.
Vivid Imaginations acquired licensing rights to Bratz in 2004. Vivid had a strong market share in the boys' toy sector and saw Bratz as the opportunity to boost its girls' range, which included Care Bears, Disney Princess and Sindy, to rival Barbie owner Mattel. Bratz was the most popular doll in the UK in 2005, and was responsible for 30% of Vivid's turnover. Sales of Bratz and Spider-Man-themed products made Vivid the number one toy company in the UK in 2005, the first British company to achieve this in 30 years. Bratz owner MGA Entertainment set up its own UK office in 2008 and ended the distribution deal with Vivid.