Available to buy wholesale from Baby Brands Direct, Rainbow Designs is a brand dedicated to bringing well-loved childhood characters, such as Peter Rabbit, Paddington Bear and Peppa Pig, to life! Their products are made from high-quality, soft and snuggly materials and are beautifully made – the perfect gifts for baby.
Here, we speak with Zara Grindrod, Director of Sales at Rainbow Designs, to find out more about the brand and its great licensed toys.
When and what were the origins of Rainbow Designs? Is it a family owned British company?
Rainbow Designs was founded in 1971 specialising in the production and distribution of high quality gifts, soft toys, stationery & books. A change of ownership in 2005 brought an extensive investment plan that moulded the business into the company that you see today. Over the years we have developed an impressive Character Portfolio focusing on Children’s Classic characters and brands derived from book properties with wide ranging appeal and nostalgic value and today we remain loyal to our roots, with Classic characters still at the core of our business but we have expanded our license portfolio so it now includes Children’s favourite characters from TV and Film as well!
What are the most important values and ethics of the brand?
Rainbow produce high quality toys and gifts that are designed and developed in the UK using our “Learning through Play” ethos which was developed in line with the key stages of learning for 0-5 year olds to ensure that all of our products not only look and feel great but they have educational benefits as well.
What sourcing, testing and design process does the Company embark on to produce their range of plush toys? (What key factors do you take into consideration when choosing materials, deciding colour palettes and which toys to select)?
Each individual product will have its own set of considerations that are specific to the brand/ product type/age target so these will vary from product to product. Our product development team work closely with the brand owners throughout the product development process to ensure that our products reflect the brand values and ethics of each individual brand as well as our own.
What do you think is the most appealing aspect of your products?
We are widely recognised for the good quality of our products, customers and consumers alike know that Rainbow products represent quality.
Which range of characters do you think has been the most popular with consumers?
Our Character portfolio sits across a wide age range and each do well in different categories. In the Nursery category specifically Guess How Much I Love You has been a phenomenal success along with our Peter Rabbit collection – which has just been given the Royal approval by Carol Middleton. Our new Peppa Pig for Baby collection that launched this year has got off to a great start!
What are your top best-selling baby product lines?
Our Bean Rattles and Comfort Blankets always sell well as do our “My First Soft Toys” across all of our brands.
Miffy celebrated her 60th birthday recently. What activities took place and how did this milestone affect sales and popularity for Miffy’s products?
We have a celebration event planned at Retail in October to celebrate not only Miffy’s 60th birthday but also the Launch of the exciting new TV Series “Miffy & Friends”, it’s a really exciting time for Miffy at the moment and the launch of the new TV show will bring Miffy to a whole new generation of fans!
Baby Brands Direct stocks baby comforters and rattle toys from your new Peppa Pig collection featuring both characters Peppa and George. Why should retailers stock this new nursery range?
Peppa Pig is firmly established as a favourite character in all households and so new babies are being exposed to Peppa by their older siblings at a much earlier age than ever before. Mums and Dads understand the power of Peppa and recognise and trust the brand, so are happy for Peppa and George to be introduced to their families at a younger age. We have seen the most success with this range where it is clearly displayed within the Nursery section in store so it doesn’t conflict with the existing toy ranges and is clearly visible by the target consumer.
Are the products seasonal? Can retailers expect a surge in demand for these toys as we approach Christmas? If so are there any licences or products in particular to stock up on? Will any of them be TV or have specific activity taking place in the run up to Christmas?
The Nursery category is historically less seasonal than toys but as a lot of our products are very giftable, we do benefit from a Christmas sales peak. Our The Snowman and Snowdog collection is highly seasonal and so I would advise customers to have placed their orders early on this to ensure they don’t miss out! We will have two Consumer PR & Advertising campaigns running across Key Parenting Magazines and Websites featuring the Peppa Pig for Baby collection so again I would advise customers to have stocked up on both of these brands, as consumer awareness will be higher than ever before!
What’s next for Rainbow Designs? Are there are new licences or product lines coming on board?
We have lots of new product launches in 2016 focusing mainly on expanding our existing licenses and then we have some really exciting new licenses that will come on board for 2017 – watch this space!
If you could go anywhere in the world, without worrying about costs, where would you most like to go?
What was your favourite childhood cartoon or show?
Hong Kong Phooey
What hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time?
Walking and climbing, I recently walked the 3 peaks for charity in 23 hours & 59 mins – my next challenge is to master surfing
Which person do you most admire and why?
Wonder Woman! – doesn’t every woman admire her?