A BLACKPOOL company which stuffs cuddly toys for amusements and theme parks is expanding.
Stuff It, based at Wellington Point, Squires Gate, has grown from a family firm making teddies into an organisation which ships toys across the UK, Europe and even to South Africa.
And owner Paul Jelley said that demand is so high that the only limiting factor is the amount of polystyrene they can get to fill the novelty toys.
Now he is appealing to firms and individuals across the county who may have clean polystyrene packaging – the white bobbly material that is used to protect electrical items such as TV’s or flat pack furniture – they want collecting.
He said: “We collect from London and Scotland but we need more.
“Basically we recycle massive amounts of polystyrene and we are always looking for more supplies of the stuff. I know there is so much still going into land fill in Blackpool alone and we all know how bad that is.”
He said anyone with small amounts can drop it off at their premises free and if anyone has enough to fill a van they will come out and collect it if they contact PlaytimeUKLtd@aol.com.
The material is used to fill Stuff It’s production of on average of 17,000 toys a week which can rise to 25,000 at peak demand.
Paul said: “It is very seasonal. Right now were are working to produce the toys that the theme parks want for the February half term. And we have all the new lines coming from China. The toys based on the Nintendo games are really popular right now – Mario and Yoshi.
“The only time we get a break is three weeks at Christmas when we close the factory.”
He said the company was begun by his mum Linda and dad David in Kent 40 years ago.
But they soon found that it was better to concentrate on filling the skins of cuddly toys sent over from China where they can be produced cheaply.
Paul joined the family firm and moved up to Blackpool to take over a rival company they had bought and eventually moved the whole operation to the seaside at Cocker Street 10 years ago. Since then he took over the firm full time and moved into bigger premises at Squires Gate three years ago. They currently have eight full time staff.
“We do a lot of trade in Germany, Holland and Spain so we are considering opening a base in Europe too. I would say we were the largest in the world at what we do, but I couldn’t confirm that.”