Pre-school focus: Babogbaby

We take a closer look at a language-teaching teddy bear from Ireland.
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Progress has been steady for the Galway-based Bábógbaby so far. 

The company was created in 2010 after Adrian Devane and his wife couldn’t find a toy to help teach their children Irish. 

The result was Bábógbaby – a teddy bear which helps kids learn 33 words that has gone on to sell over 44,000 units.

BábógBaby has been most popular in its native Ireland, where more than 35,000 bears have been sold. The product is on shelves in 120 shops. But apart from the Irish bear, Scots Gaelic, Welsh and English versions are also available.

Smyths is currently Bábógbaby’s biggest retail partner, and is so far the only toy shop to stock the bear in England.

Looking forward to this Q4, BábógBaby is set to benefit from a PR and TV advertising campaign starting in November. And after that, the plan is to boost Bábógbaby’s profile with an animated series titled
BB and Bella.

It has already been signed by Irish kids channel TG4 and is scheduled to debut in summer 2013. The rest of the UK will follow; the show is already being adapted for the English, Scots Gaelic and Welsh markets.

“Our mission is to build a brand of global scale in the pre-school children’s market,” explains Bábógbaby creator, Devane.

“The animation series is very important in creating the brand value and underpins the sales of the teddies and other products.”

He continues: “We’ve developed a branded pre-school children’s toy and TV series, and have prepared a range of revenue streams from the intellectual property: toy sales of teddy bears, app sales and TV rights from the animation series.”

BB and Bella merchandise – including fashion accessories and backpacks, as well as stationery and other back-to-school items – is in production and will be in retail by Christmas 2013.

For the bear itself, Western Europe is next, with Spanish, French, Italian and German bears on the way, while there has also be interest as far afield as China.

“Research points to children who learn a second language in early life having much better educational outcomes in later life,” he explains.

And it’s not just Devane who thinks it’s a winner; the toy has picked up a host of awards, including Gold and Silver from the Practical Pre-school Awards, a Bronze in Toy Shop UK’s Independent Toy Awards, as well as Best Cuddly Toy at the Rainbow Toy Awards 2012. 

Bábógbaby: +353 8729 79131

BB stars on Jonathan Ross

Last year Bábógbaby shot to fame after appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show. ‘Wossy’ pressed the bear’s buttons to learn some Irish, with the help from BB’s compatriot, comedian Dara O’Brien.

“The impact was huge. We got orders from all over the world,” says Devane.

Babogbaby Factfile

  • Established in 2010 
  • 44,000 bears sold: 35,000 Irish,
    2,000 Scots Gaelic, 5,000 Welsh
    and 2,000 English. 
  • Price £24.99 
  • Suitable for 6 months and above 
  • Teaches 33 words – colours,
    numbers and shapes and objects 
  • App available on iOS and
    Android devices 
  • Animated series airing in
    summer 2013

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