My Toy Fair Blog – Golden Bear
Please introduce yourself and your company:
Christine Nicholls – Vice Chairman & Creative Director of Golden Bear Products Ltd, based in Telford, Shropshire.
What products are you launching at Toy Fair?
A brand-new launch will be creating quite a splash…. Squirty Gertie is a hilarious family game with a cheeky twist…it’s ‘udderly’ amazing! Curlimals, a delightful own IP girls range, will also be making its debut, featuring cute woodland animals that uncurl when stroked and react with sweet sounds and phrases. Our preschool licenses, Bing and Hey Duggee see new hero lines being introduced – the Hey Duggee Space Rocket is sure to delight with its transforming feature and exciting activities.
How did you get into the toy industry?
I was offered a design job by The Chad Valley Toy Company following their visit to the BA Fashion and Textiles exhibition where I was presenting my final work.….and the rest is history. Five years later, with business partner John Hales, Golden Bear Products Ltd was created and we’re proud to say it’s still a highly successful and well-respected business over 40 years later
What was your favourite toy growing up?
At this moment I just love Hey Duggee but unsurprisingly I always loved to play with toys as a child. I remember being especially enthralled with a doll called Estella who had sleepy eyes and long blonde hair – my dad won her at a garden fete! I also had a big blue teddy bear called Snuggles who went everywhere with me – clearly a sign of my future career.
What is the one “special ingredient” that makes a great toy?
I believe it’s the people behind it……with passion and expertise they create amazing, innovative products whether it be own IP or our much-loved licensed properties.
Other than your own, what toy brand really stands out to you today?
Wow Stuff is just such a brilliant and interesting company – it is constantly innovating and pushing boundaries with exceptional results. Their product development is very inspiring.
What was your best memory of Toy Fair?
The year of the Olympics has to be a favourite with all the excitement that surrounded the mascots. Visits from Roger Black and Clare Balding made it especially memorable. Another occasion that also springs to mind is the year of the Teletubbies launch …. our stand caused great excitement as it became the Teletubby dome – we had a great hit on our hands!
What’s your top tip for surviving Toy Fair?
Comfortable shoes, a good breakfast and an endless supply of coffee!