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PLUSHTOYS


Find the precious Find the precious


Plush toys aren’t only about the cuddle factor, retailers can look at them from a different angle to give added value and meet the modern demand for useful gifts.


EVERYONE remembers their favourite cuddly toy, and these can be anything from the tiniest beanie animal to a great big bear big enough to hug a child. However tatty or smelly they get, these toys mean the world to a little one – woe betide Mum if the precious can’t be found!


Despite the importance and love lavished on these collaborations of fun fur, wadding and stitches, they’re often the result of an


impulse buy, bought alongside the baby congratulations or birthday card. So, while


retailers featured in Talk Of The Town have been telling


Greetings Today over the past few months that the continuing straitened times have decreased demand for their plush offering as


Creating the ahhhhh factor CELEBRATING more than 25 years in business, Forever Friends remains an important part of the greetings industry, continuing in their mission to help consumers express love, friendship and sentiment.


Drawing on the popular trend for all things vintage, Forever Friends launched an exciting range last year, which continues to grow. The Vintage Forever Friends collection


offers everything that consumers already recognise and love in the brand and yet it’s managed to achieve the impossible - the bears are even cuter! Hallmark’s talented in-house design team has devised a range of cards and plush toys which hark back to the bears’ heritage while offering a fresh new look. The range includes purses, travel mugs, photo albums and stationery. The charming, home-made look to these bears means the brand is set to remain as popular as ever and is perfect for females of all ages. Consumers can also gain instant smartphone access to the Forever Friends world via a special QR code featured on all packaging.


20 www.greetingstoday.co.uk


people want to give useful gifts, they confi rm that it’s still incredibly important to keep a good range in stock.


That includes occasions plush like the bride and groom, or graduation bears which still have their place in the market, especially if you want a small gift as a memento to accompany the vouchers or cheque which make up the main present but an envelope on its own doesn’t look much. From the big players of Forever Friends,


Tatty Teddy, My Blue Nosed Friends, and Boofl e, through Ravensden’s animal replicas, to the characters from Rainbow Designs, it’s also a good idea these days to come up with a different take on plush, such as The Puppet Company’s products. There’s Snappers hand puppets based on many of the


world’s exotic birds and Venetian masks, fully-functioning Marionettes with embroidered and contoured faces – and a colour-coded anti-tangle system – and the new My Second Puppet collection of brightly-coloured funky glove puppets, certifi cated from birth.


These give added play value alongside the cute and cuddly factor so defi nitely meet the current consumer demand for a useful gift!


Forever Friends also has a selection of dedicated baby products, which make perfect gifts and keepsakes. Consumers can choose from a selection of the iconic cuddly bears, and comforters and rattles in both pink and blue, along with photo albums and keepsake boxes. The brand continues to be a proud supporter of the Tommy’s charity which funds research into preventing still birth, premature birth and miscarriages, along with offering support to parents. Richard Hollis, licensing


director from Forever Friends, said: “At our last count, Forever Friends’ offi cial website has more than 300,000 fans and we’ve dispatched toys and goodies to over 50 countries. “We have an incredibly loyal fan base and it’s great that the cute gifts and plush toys still continue to create the Ahhh factor!”


T: 01274 252000 www.foreverfriends.co.uk


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