INTERVIEW: BanBao - ToyNews

INTERVIEW: BanBao

Building brick manufacturer has sales in excess of $10 million and recently launched in the UK. Jonathan Wynbourne tells us more about the company.
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How many products are available in the UK and what are the key items in the range?

There are currently eight ranges appealing to both boys and girls including trains sets, farm toys, rescue and military and Loving World which is very much aimed at the girl’s market. Play sets include Wedding Chapels, Flower Shops and Restaurants with all of the minute attention to detail which girls love. 

The most popular range so far has been BanBao’s Pull Back Cars – there are eight in the series and with a trade carton price of just £2.50 per item, many retailers initially stocked these to test the brand placement and gauge sales potential in store.

Which retailers are currently stocking items and how are you looking to increase distribution going forward?

Take up for the BanBao brand has exceeded all expectations and in just a few months we are now on the shelves of a diverse range of retailers including toy shops, gift shops and garden centres. 

Feedback from those stocking the brand for several months has been fantastic and many have commented that customers are stunned by the quality of BanBao at such low prices and keep returning for more. We now have sales agents covering the entire UK, so we can arrange appointments for retailers to view and try out the brand first hand.

How was Spring Fair?

We chose to launch BanBao officially into the UK at Spring Fair as we felt that visitors attending the show would be more relevant to the diversity of our brand and we weren’t disappointed. 

We took numerous orders at the show and have a couple of very exciting enquiries, which if they reach fruition will firmly establish BanBao as a house hold name in the UK. It’s early days, but I’m sure we will be considering exhibiting at Spring Fair and potentially other toy and gift related trade shows next year.

What can we expect to see in 2013?

Later in the year, BanBao is planning to launch a pre-school range of building bricks and will be introducing the brand to the nursery market. There will also be two or three more exciting ranges joining the collection.

What’s BanBao’s USP and how does it stand out from the competition?

Building bricks are a traditional and tried and tested toy, but what makes BanBao’s range stand out is the exceptionally high quality, yet we estimate that our prices are about 30 to 40 per cent less than similar product ranges on the market. If early feedback is anything to go by, BanBao is already standing out from the competition in terms of value for money and customers keep returning for more.

Also unique to BanBao is its range of ToBee characters which come with every play set. These have distinctive short legs and large characterful faces which make them incredibly child-friendly.

What marketing activity are you planning to support the line in the UK?

We have a PR company on board with an in-depth consumer campaign planned for the coming year. Retailers can expect to see BanBao highlighted in various forms of media across the UK and we also hope to offer additional promotional activities such as in-store competitions.

What would you like to have achieved with BanBao in the UK market by the end of 2013?

BanBao means ‘children playing with unlimited dreams’ and we would like to think that our low price points and high quality means our products will be accessible to all children. By the end of 2013, we would like to think that BanBao will be readily available in every town in the UK.

About/contact Banbao

You can contact BanBao on 020 8731 6050 or by emailing orders@bbtoys.co.uk.

BanBao Co Ltd manufactures high quality building bricks using the most advanced CAD/CAE/CAM Technology and the bricks are produced with the highest 100% ABS plastic. 

Established in 2003, BanBao’s 30,000 square metre factory is based in Shantou, Guandong, China with sales volume in excess of $10 million. The company currently exports around 60 per cent of total volume to countries in Europe, South America, North America and Asia and only recently launched into the UK market.

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