Best of British: Part two

We continue our round of top UK manufacturers with our second instalment, starring Golden Bear.
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Golden Bear

Founded: 1979, Product to watch: Bush Baby World

35 years of hard graft has placed Golden Bear at the top of the leader board for children’s plush and plastics, particularly among the licensed product market.

And it’s not by accident that the firm has earned its reputation for producing high-quality, safe and reliable children’s toys among parents and kids. In fact, it has been the company’s ethos and central focus since its establishment back in 1979.

A true British success story, it was John Hales and Christine Nicholls who founded the business that has continued to grow.

Take a quick look at the NPD stats and Golden Bear emerges as a UK top three manufacturer of plush, as well as number two manufacturer of licensed plush. In fact, the firm can lay claim to being a top manufacturer in the licensed toy market in general with an impressive portfolio that includes some of the biggest names and properties in children’s and pre-school entertainment.

Stable properties include In the Night Garden, Mr Tumble, Something Special and Twirlywoos – each favourites among the CBeebies’ roster of leading pre-school series. 

But it’s not just the big names that Golden Bear offers up its time and expertise to, boasting an eye for innovative and emerging new brands such as the new launch of Bush Baby World. A range of characters based on a new series of animated webisodes, Bush Baby World is testament to Golden Bear’s eye for an exciting new line as it expands the company’s presence within the girls’ market.

“Bush Baby World is one of our hero ranges for AW17 and has been building great momentum and interest with retailers since it was first revealed at London Toy Fair in January,” says Nicholls.

On top of this, Golden Bear was recently included in the London Stock Exchange’s 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain Report, an encouraging achievement for a company that continues to push forward and seek out the hottest new licences as well as advancing its in-house development programme.

“The future is looking really strong,” explains Nicholls. “We are continuing to push forward and seek out the strongest licences, while also bolstering the company’s own IP offering via innovation and development.”


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Best of British: Part one

Whether it's a loaf of bread or a multi-million pound business, nothing compares to the taste of home. And the UK has a stellar line-up of toy firms in its midst, each as impressive as the last. Here, Robert Hutchins explores the heritage, products and plans for the future with some of Britain's greatest, starting with Sambro.

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