A Dragons’ Den winning Welsh company has teamed up with animation experts Aardman to bring to life the popular TV and film character Shaun the Sheep in beautifully crafted wooden toys ready for Christmas shoppers.
Timberkits, a company based in the heart of the Welsh countryside, has launched its fantastic new range of Shaun the Sheep Timberkits, crafted in warm, natural materials with colourful prints.
Last year, Timberkits’ entrepreneur Sarah Reast appeared on the BBC1 show, Dragons’ Den, with her business partner, Phil Wilson.
In that notoriously difficult environment, they attracted investment form multi-millionaire business magnate, Touker Suleyman, who was impressed by the ingenuity of the designs which are already established in premium toy retailers such as Hamleys and Harrods.
Timberkits produces and sells wonderful mechanical model kits throughout the UK and internationally.
The new designs feature Aardman’s favourite Mossy Bottom Farm friends and is the first licensed brand to be picked up by the Dragons’ Den winning company.
The new collaboration has been a life-long dream for Timberkits’ director and designer, Sarah.
“I have always been fascinated by the detailed, crafted world of Aardman and feel a natural affinity with their quirky approach,” she said.
“Timberkits’ designs undergo a similar painstaking process to bring inanimate material to life with movement and humour.
“I have always wanted to work with them.”
This dream finally became reality when Suleyman opened doors and the fun began.
Sarah said: “It has been a lovely experience incorporating these adorable characters into our designs. They lend themselves so well to simple mechanical movement and I have tried to make each model tell a typical Shaun the Sheep story.”
Having launched the first range, Timberkits is now in the process of developing more prototypes. The first kits are aimed at five to eight year olds, with new ranges extending the scope for younger and older children ready for market in the coming months. The models aim to provide a simple and enjoyable way to explore engineering concepts with the help of Shaun and his friends, as well as fostering creativity and imaginative play.
Timberkits’ workshops, located in a green Mid Wales valley surrounded by sheep grazed hills, is the perfect home for this new project, “Shaun’s world is our world”, as Sarah puts it.
The collaboration between Timberkits and Aardman provides the impetus for some fresh, innovative approaches. “We are in the business of design and invention and happy to look to new collaborators in order to extend our scope,” added Sarah.
“We feel immensely privileged to be working with Aardman who have been very creative and supportive partners and, together with the great backing of Touker Suleyman, these are indeed interesting times.”
Rachael Peacock, Shaun the Sheep Brand Manager at Aardman, added: “It’s been a wonderful experience working with Timberkits, whose quality handmade products are the perfect match for the beautiful handcrafted world of Shaun the Sheep. We can’t wait to see these products come to market and hit premium retailers like Harrods in time for Christmas.”
See full story in the County Times