1. Who are you and what kind of company do you run?
I am Emmanuel Nouveau, founder and CEO of Baghera. Baghera is a family business located near Paris in France. Every year, a team of talented and enthusiastic designers designs new go-karts, carriers, small metal cars and wooden toys to the delight of the little ones.
2. What is the history behind Baghera? How did it all start?
I started the company at the age of 25 in September 1989, just after I graduated. So I have been running Baghera for over 30 years! At that time, the toy market was flooded with plastic toys, and at the same time, people developed an increasing need for high-quality wooden toys. I immediately understood the potential of this toy and then started the entrepreneurial adventure by becoming an importer. The products I sold came from China and I offered them to Galeries Lafayettes, Le Bonhomme de bois and other major retailers in France. That was really the beginning of the company.
After some time I felt like creating my own products and setting up my own brand. So I started working on this project with designers. At first I made the toy brand Bawi, which comes from “Ah bah oui”, “Bah oui” and eventually gave “Bawi”. That was about ten years ago, but I eventually reconsidered this activity. I didn't want it to be my main activity anymore, I wanted to do something that was in line with my real passion for classic cars. As a child, I regularly walked past a Parisian shop called Le Nain Bleu, and every time I was amazed at this opulent shop window and the products in it.
A few years later, I realized with my designer that these beautiful pedal cars had disappeared from children's toy racks. That is why we have set ourselves the goal to bring these beautiful cars back to life. The very first Baghera car model was created from that goal. This model was a huge success! We decided to fully focus on Baghera, because this brand matches my DNA more than Bawi did at the time.
3. How did you get the name Baghera?
In the 50s and 60s, the car brand Matra Bagheera of the Peugeot group was extremely popular in France. That's where we got the idea to use the Baghera brand name. We contacted the Peugeot group and for over a year, after many memories, our registration was finally accepted. We are proud of this brand name that refers to these beautiful racing cars. It was also a great opportunity to contact the Peugeot group, which we count as one of our best customers today!
4. How does your company operate?
As for the way Baghera works, it is a family business where I own 100% of the shares. Our structure is very light, we are almost fully digitized, allowing us to work with more than ten subcontractors across Europe.
Family-technically I work with my wife and actually my kids too, because when they were little, they were the first testers of Baghera cars! I have four sons and they played with the first models for hours and hours. This also helped me understand how strong and robust our cars were.
5. What is special about Baghera?
I think it's the vintage side of the cars, these products bring the history of car racing back to life. Fathers and grandfathers have a lot of emotions about the products, they bring back a lot of memories. They appeal and are nostalgic. But apart from that, the characteristic of Baghera is the high-quality design, the clean lines, quality, extensive contours and the materials used. Every detail counts. Therefore, I would say that what sets these beautiful cars apart is the nostalgia that comes from their vintage look, as well as their design.
6. Do you have direct competitors?
No, in my opinion we have no direct competitors and this is mainly because each product requires between 6 and 9 months of work. This time the design time (creation of the design), and making the mold for the car and finally sending the products. This requires a very important investment and few players in this market are willing to commit to it. On the other hand, there are many copycats, which I would call “the ransom of success”.
7. How do you protect your brand against these copycats?
This is very complicated. Protection against copycats in France is feasible, but requires 3 years of procedure and significant costs. It is an economic process that is not profitable for our company. The only way to fight against this is to always be innovative and strengthen our brand image. Consumers interested in these types of products generally want one Baghera car and not another.
8. What are the values you pursue?
9. What is your goal and what have you done to achieve it? In which categories can we find your products?
My goal is to become a reference in the PREMIUM toy market. To achieve this, we invest more and more in human resources, marketing and product development every year. Our products are even in the Premium High-End toys categories. Our products are for young children, such as baby carriers, for children from 1 to 3 years, such as the pedal cars and for children from 3 to 6 years with the toys and accessories. You will find our products in the category Kids & Baby at Orderchamp.
10. Have you launched any special collections?
Yes, we have established various partnerships with major car manufacturers such as BENTLEY, CITROEN, PEUGEOT and MERCEDES. We have joined forces to design original and unique car models. The licenses are registered.
11. What is your target group in terms of retailers and consumers?
The main type of retailers for us are traditional game and toy stores. But our products are also considered to be real decoration products. We are often told "we are not ashamed to leave children's toys lying around in the living room". So we have a new type of customer, these are the Lifestyle stores, but also concept stores. And that is also the advantage of working with Orderchamp because this platform essentially brings together this type of customer and retailer! On the other hand, we are not at all present in the very large toy stores, these giants do not interest us.
12. In summary, what is your greatest professional success at Baghera? Is there a nice story to tell?
Well ... my biggest success is that Baghera has become a brand known for its design and the quality of its products. This is the work of my entire life.
I remember one time when a couple entered the store. The father was over the moon with the toys, he absolutely wanted to buy one. His wife was against the idea of making this purchase because she was pregnant and thought their flat was too small for that. The father still did his utmost to convince her and buy the product. In the eyes of that father I saw all the memories and emotions that this product gave him and that made me very happy. I will always remember this memory!
13. What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
I had to look for reliable partners who accepted our high standards of quality, style and ethics. I would like to pass on the saying “hard work pays off” to other brand owners, it is worth continuing.
14. Why did you choose Orderchamp?
We were approached by Orderchamp and immediately loved the platform! We were looking for a reseller in Belgium and the Netherlands when we received this request. The site is beautiful, the resellers are of high quality and the catalog and order management system is very easy to use!
Thanks to Orderchamp, we have gained visibility especially in the Netherlands and Belgium. We appreciate the ease of use of the platform. From entering new products to processing orders: everything is clear and respected. Our main customers come from the Netherlands and Belgium. Finally, I naturally recommend Orderchamp to all other entrepreneurs and brands who want to expand and develop their company.
At the brand you will find cars in all sizes, such as the one you can see in the photos below. On the left you see the silver ”Rider”, In large format for the little ones to ride, indoors or on the street. On the right you see the "Race" toy cars in various colors. The authenticity gives them a lot of charm.
The Baghera gas station is a toy with which your child will have great adventures. With this toy he or she will have hours of fun and let his own imagination run wild. The little pilot will come up with new scenarios to guide his car. With its charm and features bursting with realism, your little one will ride into increasingly exciting stories.
Before the arrival of plastic safety helmets, race drivers wore appropriate leather hoods and goggles for better visibility at top speeds. The set reproduces this vintage look and is a fitting accessory for small speed devils.
In addition to the wide range of toy cars, there are also toy planes. These consist of a particularly strong and durable ABS plastic, which is exclusively painted and polished by hand.
One multidirectional ride, great fun and manageable. Small and robust, yet quiet, perfect for the first steps at home. This toy is intended for toddlers from 1 year. Ideal to enable them to develop their motor skills while having fun exploring their environment.