Exclusive: Over the Rainbow – 50 years of Rainbow Designs

Published on: 10th November 2021

Rainbow Designs’ MD Anthony Temple chats to Sam Giltrow about the evergreen appeal of the company’s classic characters and what lies ahead.

It’s been a big year for Rainbow Designs as the company celebrates its half century. Looking back on his achievements since acquiring the company, Anthony says probably his biggest was transforming the business model from that of a distribution company to a creative product development source. Part of that involved him setting up a strong supply chain, using factories in the Far East for improved margins and taking personal control over the design of the range.

Like many companies, Rainbow Designs has taken advantage of the change in consumer and shopping habits through online growth with Amazon and other retailers. However, Anthony stresses the company has not turned its back on its independents, which represent 30% of the company’s business.

In the past 16 years, Rainbow Designs has seen its customer base grow in the UK, and the company has plans to expand its offering even further afield. Anthony explains: “Historically, our licences have been limited to the UK, but we’ve now expanded on that and extended territorial rights. We’re now looking at EMEA being a growth area in the next two to three years.”

With 12 licences of ‘classic characters’ in its stable, including four power brands: Paddington, Peter Rabbit, Disney’s Winnie the Pooh and Guess How Much I Love You from Walker Books, Anthony believes “There’s always room for more.”

He puts a lot of the company’s success down to the consistent quality and design of its product. “I think that is something that genuinely defines us,” he explains. “For a company of our size, I think we punch above our weight in terms of sourcing and purchasing capability. Our mantra is ‘quality at affordable prices’. We are also specialists, and being specialists in a small market is a good thing.”

Anthony’s positivity is infectious, and will no doubt stand the company in good stead for another 50 years.

To read the full interview, which appeared in the November edition of Toy World, click here.


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