John Hales and Christine Nicholls were eager to start their own toy business having gained considerable experience in their previous roles at the Chad Valley company. With great enthusiasm, they created Golden Bear Products Ltd which rapidly became a leading manufacturer of soft toys with the emphasis on quality, safety and reliability. The Shropshire based company swung into production with 26 employees making bespoke toys for their first 4 customers which were Mothercare, Boots, BHS and Woolworths.
Golden Bear relocated to a new purpose-built office and warehouse facility in Hortonwood. Most of the manufacturing moved to the Far East but the company continued to focus on using their design expertise in the UK to create ‘must-have’ products. The new headquarters of 68,000sq ft became the lovely new home for the creative, sales, marketing, warehouse and despatch departments.
Golden Bear won the ultimate accolade – the licence to make the Olympic Mascots for the London Olympics 2012. Wenlock and Mandeville were developed into an extensive range of plush and plastic toys along with keyrings, figurines, character backpacks and accessories. The Team GB mascot, Pride the Lion also launched at the same time to support the British team.
Golden Bear Toys are still developing innovative, creative and super-fun toys for those well-known children’s TV shows such as Hey Duggee, Bing and In The Night Garden as well as a variety of other toys and games designed with one goal in mind; fun!