STITCHED into the tag of your polo shirt; stamped on the bottom of your toys, the global “Made in China” mark is a dominant market force whose latest conquest is an Irish-speaking teddy.
In a country where manufacturing costs strike fear into the heart of our deadliest dragons, it was inevitable that trying to produce such a creature at home would prove nigh impossible.
So an enterprising Galway man turned his attention to the country where the giant panda is a national treasure and a toy company in Canton promised to churn out Teidí at more than five times less than could be achieved on Irish soil.
Enter “BB” the first Irish-speaking teddy, capable of cúpla focal a rá and of counting from a h-aon to a deich.
“I live in the Gaeltacht and I wanted my daughter, Robyn, to learn her native language in an enjoyable way.”
Adrian, 35, who is married to Karen and lives in Moycullen, Co Galway, costed producing “BB” at home, but chose China where the talking teddy plus shipping costs amounted to approximately €15 compared with €108 in Ireland.
Adrian is quick to point out that “BB” is not a solely Chinese production.
“Robyn does the voice, so what you hear from ‘BB’ is the sound of her speaking,” Adrian says.
A Galway design company, Block 5 Design, was involved in designing the 12-inch green and black “BB” and Adrian plans to develop other Irish speaking products over the next 12 months that will encourage the Irish language to be spoken at an early age.
Details are available on www.babogbaby.com
The “BB” prototype hit Irish shores this week and the real deal is expected to be in the shops by September and will retail at a cost of €29.99.
With three quarters of an initial consignment of 8,000 already sold, Adrian is ar muin na muice with the success of an Teidí ón tSín.
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