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Babógbaby number one Christmas toy!

After 3 years in the making, the new toy that teaches children Irish, Babógbaby, is on the market – and just in time for Christmas. It was back in April when the site was launched in which you can go on and listen to the bear and test it out before you purchase it. 

Adrian Devane, from Co. Galway, is the man behind this new educational bear for young children. It’s because of his 4 year old daughter Robyn, whose voice he used for the bear, that Adrian first came up with the idea for this bear.

“The idea came about when my wife had our first child and there was nothing out there to teach our daughter Irish. I think it’s important for all children to learn a language that will stand to them when they’re older. It’s important to learn the cúpla focal when they’re young, rather than to learn it later in life.”

And so Babógbaby was born. This charming bear speaks 30 words, from colours to numbers and shapes. 

Adrian previously worked for 12 years as a producer of films, ads and music videos, so this was a huge step for him. Along with designers, Adrian came up with the design for the bear and the site which is also useful for children and free. 

Back in May, Adrian was chosen to pitch his idea to members of the famous TV show, Dragon’s Den, at the Entrepreneur’s Fair in the RDS. Adrian was very excited about this; ‘They were very interested in the bear, and even though they questioned how viable the product was, I had all my figures with me and was able to show them that the language is still alive and well.’ 

Adrian has had great success with Babógbaby since it launched last month. The bear was even mentioned on the Late Late Toy Show.

“We have had great success! We are now in Smyths, Ken Black Toys, Arnotts, World of Wonder, Toymaster and Mothercare. I am at the National Craft Fair in the RDS today and things are very busy – we have had a lot of interest here. We have sold over 20,000 bears in 3 months.”

Adrian hopes to make more products, both in Irish and in other languages. Adrian and his wife spent a few years living in Cardiff and he said that he saw the love they have for their language, just like we do. After doing some research, he saw that there was no Welsh bear. He then researched other languages. “We are making different versions of Babógbaby, the first one will be in Scots Gaelic and then Welsh, English and then we hope to do a French and Italian version in the summer of next year. We also have plenty more to come in Irish, a phone and then a CD-book and an animation coming up before the summer.”

Even though Adrian is concentrating on the Irish market, he has gotten interest from North America, Australia and even Singapore with bears being bought from his site. 

Babógbaby has received a lot of press coverage since the site was launched last April, being mentioned on many radio shows. ‘I didn’t foresee this happening so fast. In the space of three months, we became the number one preschool toy this Christmas, selling over 24,000 units in the country between shops and online. It has gone treble of what I thought it was going to be.’

Adrian has won many awards for Babógbaby. It was picked as one of the top 50 companies through Irish when first launched back in April, and went on to win awards in England for electronic toys beating the likes of Vtech and Leapfrog. More recently he won Business Parent of the Year 2010 at the Infant Awards. And he also came second in the Galway JCI Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2010. These awards show how great Babógbaby is as an educational toy, and also show the great need out there to teach our children at a young age to love the language in order to keep it alive.

To check out the site or to buy a bear, log onto babogbaby.com

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