Exclusive Interview with Juratoys’ Neil Montgomery

Founded in 1970, French company Juratoys have a wonderful portfolio of brands that are perfect for any gift, toy or nursery store. Their brands Janod, Kaloo and Lalaboom offer some truly unique products to the baby and nursery market. Janod create wonderful wooden toys to charm and delight, while Kaloo’s range of soft plush toys are luxurious gifts for birthdays or christenings. Lalaboom brings Montessori theories to playtime, giving kids the chance to explore and learn during play. We spoke to Neil Montgomery, Juratoys’ Commerical Director and UK Country Manager, to find out more about the brands!

Can you tell us a bit about Juratoys’ history and your portfolio of brands? 

Juratoys opened the UK subsidiary around 6 years ago and launched its wonderful brands into the UK toy market. Louis Janod began the Janod business in Orgelet in France. The company’s activities focused on the creation and sale of traditional wooden toys (including spinning tops, yo-yos, and skittles). Kaloo is the much loved French plush toy brand that has been delighting and comforting children of all ages for years. The award winning brand, Lalaboom, was introduced into the Juratoys family in 2020 and continues to go from strength to strength. 

Janod, Kaloo and Lalaboom are distinctive brands with different offerings. What would you consider to be each brand’s key strengths and selling points?

Janod’s philosophy is ‘Play Different’ allowing children to play and have fun, whilst learning. Janod is well know for its exceptional quality and traditional designs with a unique French feel. Whilst Kaloo is a combination of the two essential values – Cuddles and softness. The Kaloo collection is bursting with cute characters and plush gifts ideal for new babies. Lalaboom educational beads provide children with a wonderful opportunity to learn through play. Their simple shapes allow children from the age of 10 months to practise and acquire the motor skills that are essential to their development.

For retailers new to your brands, what are some core products that they should stock and why? 

Janod, is delighted to have established an exciting collaboration with WWF, we launched a brand-new collection bursting with stunning toys to inspire and engage the next generation of animal and nature lovers. The collection features many of the best-selling products from within the main range such as trains, pull alongs, stackers and balancing games all with a very cute animal theme. As part of a wider promise to help the planet, Janod is thrilled to be working alongside one of the biggest environmental organisations in the world. 

Ideal from birth and made from the softest materials, the Kaloo Tendresse doll collection will comfort little ones as they grow, soon becoming the star of any imaginative play, whilst looking right at home in a nursery from day one.
New for 2021, Lalaboom launched a new animal educational bead collection including Bizou, Birdy and Coco to help develop the first notions of fine motor skills, whilst enjoying the new characters.  

Is there anything particularly exciting on the horizon for Juratoys or any of its brands?

We are working closely with a baby and parenting specialist PR agency. With their vast experience, press contacts and parent bloggers, we are focused on building our brands at a consumer level. So far we have already gained exposure in the Independent, hello magazine, Sloan and are working with celebrity influencers on a regular basis. We have also just seen the products being developed for 2022 which look fantastic, we are already very excited about launching these in the UK.

 

Do you know how many awards your products have won globally? Which award is the most recent?

Lalaboom has won 8 awards globally including the Good Design award and the German design award in 2019. 

What social media reach do you have across your brands?

Janod Official has 83.9k followers, whilst Kaloo has £17.9k followers. Lalaboom has a growing following of 6.6k. We are also working with the PR agency to grow the Janod UK and Kaloo UK following. 

Tell us a bit about you:

What is your favourite comfort food?

I love sausages with mashed potato, onion gravy and good old baked beans. 

What TV show have you been binging?

I have just finished watching the last series of the Crown.

Where would your dream holiday be?

I have been lucky enough to do a lot of travelling in my work but one place I have never been and would love to is Japan.  

Check out the Janod, Kaloo and Lalaboom brand pages to view everything on offer to buy wholesale at Baby Brands Direct.