Express & Star

From Soccer Bots to Curlimals: The toy company creating new products for Christmas

Thinking about Christmas yet? One company in the West Midlands has been getting ready ever since the last big day passed.

Soccerbot is a product that Barry Hughes is excited about

And today it reveals some of the toys it expects to be big hits come December 25.

As the dark nights draw in, Barry Hughes, managing director of Golden Bear Products, says shoppers are finally getting in the mood for Christmas and stepping up their plans.

That means an exciting time for Barry and his team at the firm, based close to the M54 in Hortonwood, Telford, after the launch of a host of new products this year, including many taking the global market by storm.

Founder John Hales

Among their creations are Smart Ball SoccerBot and a game called Farty Freddie, both of which are now on sale at leading retailers, while sales of the company's Curlimals range continues to soar. They are now on the market in the USA, along with more than 50 other countries.

"We have looked at a lot of analysis and Christmas has started much later this year," Barry said.

"We do research, for example, on Amazon, and can see when searches build up on things like festive gifts, trees and decorations.

"Things are six weeks behind and I think the weather has had an impact.

"It's only turned about a week ago and it's amazing how much that impacts things,When people are walking around in short sleeves, they not thinking about Christmas.

"The cost of living has also played a part, of course, with people having to wait for their monthly pay before they can spend money."

Carl Catt in the automated warehouse at Golden Bear