Friday, 15 May 2009

A Biblical Fuss Over Toys

Thought for the day; what a diverse and interesting world we live in...sometimes.

Occasionally, however, one is left scratching one's antennae at what horrifies some folk of this world.

Now let's take Playmobil toys for example. Those pie faced, smiley little characters have been filling toy boxes the world over for around 32 years and have become one of the most successful toy brands in the world.

Recently, though, they have offended...or at least their use has been interpreted as offensive by the ├╝ber toy maker! Despite backing from the Pope, Father Markus Bomhard has been ordered to scrap his Playmobil Children's Bible Plan which incorporated scenes from the Bible using Playmobil figures.

His award winning plan, hatched some 3 years ago, was lauded by Church groups and German-born Pope Benedict XVI even congratulated the priest, writing last November: "May your project make the Holy Bible more approachable for many children as well as adults and grown-ups".

Perhaps rather than be horrified that the "scenes could offend people of other religions", Playmobil should have got on board if for no other reason than the terrific marketing opportunity it represented.

Now they have that anyway...only in the negative.

Boo hiss


Monday, 11 May 2009

Spring and the Eternal Hope Therein

Time and it's ability to sweep on by as if we were stood still really is fascinating, even for a humble bee...or should that be a bumble bee?

The reason for this musing is that it has been almost two weeks since I Bumbled my beelog and I really don't know where the time went or, for that matter, what I did. Perhaps my memory and the activities of this period got blown and/or washed away during the worst start to May in West Scotland since records began...or at the very least since May 2008!

Anyway it's a quiet time of year and we've been busy bees working on the book in between periods, but then Easter and the period immediately after always does seem very quiet. I think it will remain quiet until September...

However, hope springs eternal! Apparently with Easter falling in April this year and the summery weather arriving there is optimism for the toy market in the next few months. Personally I'm not sure what difference Easter makes - to anything - and as for the weather...don't make me want to come over there and sting you!



Thursday, 30 April 2009

Bumble Bees Can't Fly in the Rain

Not a lot of people know that, or perhaps that's a fallacy, whatever that is...

Anyway, it's been a[nother] wet and cold day in Bonny bloody Scotland, but never mind Winter's nearly here.

Been quite headachy today; it's probably this rotten weather as bees are sensitive to changes in barometric pressure [okay, I made that one up]...unless, of course, it's you know what?! In fact it's probably just wearing this mask all day that's caused it.

So in amongst all that and my phone dying, just to complicate matters further, the toy world has been positively rocked to it's knees by the horrific news that the owners of Argos, Home Retail, posted a 24 per cent drop in full-year profit in its latest results! Just how they're going to scrape by on profits before tax of a measly £328 million last year, I'll simply never know. They must be besides themselves the poor things.

On a brighter note, the once rock soild [ish] UK car industry seems to have turned the corner with the news of car sales out today, though this best seller may suit a bumble bee more than real people who may possess more "normal" human dimensions...

Green shoots everywhere, people!



Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Spotlight on Swine Flu

I was buzzing around this morning and thinking of stuff, as you do, and I was kind of tempted to title this post "Thank goodness for swine flu", but I knew someone would take offence, where none was intended, or perhaps even sue my stripey ass.

So I chickened out, an odd thing for a bee to do, and went for the spotlight option.


Because at least the flaming media have got something to report on rather than the credit you-know-what or the wretched recession that they have been ramming down our pokeys for months on end.

Rant over and blessedly short it was too.

I'm off to play with the new Playmobil Underwater Expedition toys which I really rather like...even though I can't swim.



Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Lego again


a couple of blog posts ago I was rattling on about LEGO.

Well I think at some point most folk have built something rubbish with LEGO. However, one of those many people is NOT the guy who built the Classics in LEGO


Now I'm off to bed...even Bees need to sleep.


Monday, 27 April 2009

Social Networking Honey Bees


I really don't know where the time goes...honestly I don't.

When I'm not flying round making honey for my friends or selling toys, I've gone and got addicted to social networking...and I'M A BEE FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!

It's quite ridiculous really, but my pal Jim at JU2 made me do it, muttering I'd be a Twit not to Twitter. So before I could say look at the pollen on those, I'm on You Tube for heavens sake!

Whatever next? Well according to Jim, I've got to get my face in a book and turn into a twit or I can flicker off...and I thought Blogging was enough?!



LEGO, Bumble and Le Crunch

Well, Bumble has been a little tardy in keeping up with the Blog of late, but, as the saying goes, I've been as busy as a bee!

Anyway, enough of the excuses...what's been happening in the world of toys?

The credit crunch [Bumble doesn't like that term at all], is biting ever deeper, if you listen to the 24 hour rolling TV news, though Hasbro was one of the bigger Toy manufacturers to post disapponting news with a profit drop of 47 per cent for the first quarter of 2009. At least they're still making a profit, though!

Whatever next? Before you know it, Poundland will be taking on all the old Woolworths stores and the high street will just throb to the sound of rushing feet and the "Ching Ching" of tills...just what it needs ;)

I notice too that Lego has teamed up with the enemy, Toys R Us [only kidding!], to create a new initiative for its City range.

A senior brand manager for Lego City was reported as saying that they were delighted to work in co-operation with you know who in order to further involve children and parents with the City brand on a global scale. Well what about the small guys? I reckon you should stick with the small guys whilst there are still small guys to stick with! Plus if it's Lego you want, well come and see what's available at Bumble where there's the age defying Lego Star Wars, a personal favourite of Bumbles!

As well as Star Wars Lego, there's Indiana Jones and Duplo for the really small people too!

Bumble had lots of LEGO as a young bee and would encourage one and all to continue collecting and building with those lovely little bricks!

So whilst you're off to put together the gazillion pieces of the LEGO Star Wars Republic Attack Gunship, Bumble's off for a cup of tea and a honey sandwich!

Buzzzz for now


Friday, 13 March 2009

Bee's don't Blog

Hi, I'm Bumble.

So in fact I have contradicted myself immediately in as much as Bee's do Blog. Well they do now!

But what is there to Blog about? Well, I guess I could rattle on about honey, hives, stinging...ooops, we don't do that! But no, I'm going to introduce my friends...gradually. I say gradually because some of them are still being created, just like I was back in 2002. Crikey, I'm 7 years old next month!

One of my best friends is Boo. He's a scarecrow, but not particularly scary. In fact not scary at all.

What is scary, however, is the state of the economy. So what the heck does a bee know about money markets and this apparent global downturn? Well a surprising amount...for a bee!

I know that some people are struggling generally and many are even losing their jobs, but I also know that there are people better off with lower mortgages, lower fuel costs, plus better deals at every turn or click of the keyboard.

At home in the toy trade, my particular specialty, I read that even that darling of the London high street, Hamleys, has hit hard times with it's owners filing for bankruptcy and unable to restructure the firms $1.3 billion debts. On the other hand, another popular name in wooden toys who have been around since 1884, BRIO, has steadied the ship with a share issue after a bit of a cash crisis...well we all know about that now don't we?!

On a lighter note, I see Sir Alan Sugar invited a selection of MDs to assist him in judging the celebrity teams' toy inventions on this weeks "The Apprentice does Comic Relief". I hope they raised a pile of cash, but I must say I remain a bit miffed that I wasn't invited...

Until next time, friends, happy playing and eat lots of's good for you!