Collecting & crafting

Posted by Rachel Westall on 25 April 2021

Bachmann Europe plc was formed in 1989 but has an origination in America back in 1833 when it specialised in manufacturing high-back Spanish combs for the ladies of the southern states. It’s mostly known for the manufacture of model railways these days but also distributes a variety of products to create scenery for model layouts, plastic model kits, educational and science craft items, toys and collectables across a number of brands. Bachman Europe is based in Barwell, just outside of Hinckley in Leicestershire. Pauline Hinkley, sales and business development manager tells us more.

Collecting & crafting with Bachmann Europe What company values do you hold?
Bachmann Europe's heritage is built on the constant innovation and development of award-winning products. Our vision is to lead the model and hobby industry with a successful and resilient business for the long term. Through our extensive expertise and the high standards that we set ourselves, we constantly strive to nurture and grow both our business and the wider industry as a whole. To realise these goals, we'll always empower our team and support our network of retailers and partners throughout Europe and the world.

What do you specialise in?
Model railways and all accessories for building layouts, plastic model kits covering aircraft, military and general interest, collectables, craft tools, art and craft kits.

How has your product range evolved over the years?
Mostly by acquisition, particularly in the plastic model kits, toys and collectables area.

What's your most popular range?
Model railways still are the largest part of our business but that aside, then Woodland Scenics, Scenecraft, Modelmaker and Toyway are all growing brands.

What crafts are currently very popular and have you noticed lots of newbies taking up crafting?
All kinds of modelling have grown throughout the lockdown period with people of all ages finding their creativity and taking up the hobby.

educational craft products specifically designed to stimulate creativity Talk us through the current collections you're particularly excited about.
We're about to launch a range of educational craft products specifically designed to stimulate creativity and help students of all ages to build dioramas, displays and various arts and crafts projects. These kits provide all the material needed along with ideas, tips and techniques to achieve the best results. Classroom packs are also available for teachers.

How would you advise a retailer who is interested in stocking your products?
We have some starter packs which cover the key/core items in our ranges and our sales team will be able to advise what might best work for each individual retailer. Contact me in the first instance and I will arrange for your local representative to give you a call.

What sets you apart from your competitors?
We have a large range of associated products across various brands that are sourced from all over the world.

Do you visit any trade shows?
In a normal year, we'd exhibit at Spring Fair, Toymaster, Harrogate Home & Gift and Autumn Fair at least. This year, as we plan to expand out to new channels, we'll additionally be looking at other shows as the Covid restrictions allow. We recently took part in Spring Fair @ Home and our profile is still available to view, although it was directed at Toy and Gift buyers.

How did business cope during the Covid-19 pandemic and what are your plans going forward?
Our warehouse remained open throughout, strictly following all the government guidelines, and we've therefore been able to continue to support our retailers who offered on-line sales and click & collect. Our sales team are working from home and available via telephone, video calls and by email. They continue to share their knowledge and help all our customers old and new to review their product offering and keep up to date with new arrivals.

What new products can we expect from you in the future?
We have a very exciting new range of plastic kits which launched on 8th March. These will be extremely sought after across all channels, not just the traditional model shops.
There will be further expansion into educational learning and craft products throughout 2021.

Pauline Hinkley, sales & business development manager
+44 (0)7739 200153

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