6 March 2019

On the 17th October 2018, I decided that I was going to look into an idea I'd been mulling over for a year or two and that was to produce my Ballyhoo Burny cartoon character as a plush toy on the grounds that over the years when people first clap eyes on Burny, the most common response has been how cute he looks. Perfect for a plush toy I thought and so I started to draw Burny from all angles and model images of how I might like him to look as a plush toy.

While I was doing this, I started to research aplicable manufacturers in China through the Alibaba site. I had travelled China back in 1985 when it was still very much a poor communist country. Obviously a lot has changed since then so I did a lot of research, particularly on YouTube.

I advertised my search on Alibaba and received a lot of replies from manufacturers. Alibaba advises to keep all messages on their site for safety reasons, so straight away, warning signals started to sound for me when a company added me to Skype. I played along and then copied & pasted the important parts of our conversation back to Alibaba and asked for them to continue messaging through that site from then on.

I also asked companies for details on Australian and New Zealand companies that they produce plush toys for. One company declined my request, so I crossed them off my list of Chinese manufacturing companies with potential to do business with as I wasn't able to check how good they were from the clients they supposedly already have. For previous clients to act as guarantors.

As I was getting close to deciding on a company of choice to do business with, the New Zealand Government, along with the Australian & Canadian governments have had a falling out with the Chinese government over the posibility of China spying through their Huawei ICT provider. A fear instilled by the US government, who themselves are probably in fear of China rolling out it's 5G network to the world?

Anyway, this put hopefully only a temporary hold on business with China, during which time I also investigated doing possible business with manufacturing companies in India, Taiwan & Vietnam because though I haven't provided my designs yet to get concrete quotes on my product, I know that China isn't as cheap as it once was, due to the massive increase in their overall prosperity.

I still have a leaning towards doing business in China, but really don't want to loose the copyrights and intellectual property on my designs, so there's still more time consuming research to do, but I'm giving myself until the middle of April to start the ball rolling!

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