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About Bibi Buzz

 

We are a husband and wife team that started the business with the vision to bring the best educational toys available locally and internationally to the South African consumer. As parents we found it incredibly frustrating to try and find toys for our children that are truly educational and of high quality, and when we did find toys that met this criteria, we discovered that local stores often only stock a selected subset of the range.

We found that the most worthy local brand was the Idem Smile range and successfully applied to become distributors of their educational toys and classroom aids.We then started looking internationally for toys that meet the criteria for being educational and of exceptional quality and entered into a distribution agreement for the Schoenhut range of musical instruments made specifically for children.

We are still continuously searching for more exceptional products to add to our offering in order to give our fellow South African parents a choice of toys that will be beneficial to their children.

   
Bee Schoenhut About Schoenhut Piano Company
 

Albert Schoenhut (1848-1912) was born in Wurtenberg, Germany to a toy-making family. His father and grandfather made wooden dolls, rocking horses, and wagons. At a young age, Albert began making toy pianos in his home. The hammers on the early toy pianos struck a sounding bar made of glass instead of the strings used on real pianos. He later exchanged the glass bars for those made of metal, making the instruments more durable. Albert's toy pianos, more than just playthings, stayed in tune and were accompanied by sheet music to encourage children to play. 

In 1866, John Dahl, a buyer for Wanamaker’s department store, heard of young Albert's talent and brought the 17-year old to Philadelphia where he worked as a repairman on glass sounding pieces in German toy pianos that had been damaged in shipping. Albert struck out on his own in 1872, founding the Schoenhut® Piano Company. As his toy piano business grew, Albert added other instruments including a ukulele-banjo, xylophone, and glockenspiel. He also expanded his line to include dolls, circus figures, and toys. 

By the time of Albert's death in 1912, Schoenhut Piano Company® was the largest toy company in America and the first in the United States to export toys to Germany. The business then passed through a succession of owners located in various parts of the United States. In 1984, Frank Trinca purchased the company. He continued manufacturing some of the toy piano models that had been designed by Albert in the early 1900's. Twelve years later, wanting help with new concepts and in expanding the business, he asked his brother and sister-in-law, Len and Renee Trinca of St. Augustine Beach, Florida, to become partners. Optimistic about the potential for Schoenhut with its excellent reputation and enamored with the small instruments, they jumped at the chance. Len and Renee acquired ownership in 1996 and are adding new styles and colours to the range every year. Four years later, they moved the entire contents of the factory from NY to a new facility in St. Augustine. Frank remains involved with the company as a consultant and also helps at trade shows (Toy Fair, NAMM, etc.). 

Schoenhut goes beyond the all governments' base requirements for product testing. They use accredited laboratories to test for fire hazard, mechanical properties, construction, stability, and toxic elements. A lead-free finish on the sanded wood surfaces of the instruments is smooth for little hands. The design and placement of sturdy wooden legs on piano stools ensure stable seating. There has never been a safety issue or recall of a Schoenhut product.

The Schoenhut range now also includes guitars (acoustic guitars in 2 sizes and an electric guitar), harps, drums and 3 different "Band-in-a-box" sets. The Schoenhut instruments have won various toy awards in the USA over the years, the most recent being the Creative Child Magazine's Top Toy of the Year Award 2011 for Schoenhut Piano Pals. They also consistently feature in various toy industry "top 10" lists for classic toys. 

   
Butterfly Smile About IDEM Smile
 

SMILE EDUCATION and IDEM joined forces in 2007. Both companies have more than 30 years experience in providing quality educational material. Where SMILE EDUCATION focused on "Learn through play" and reaching the market through direct marketing, IDEM focused on providing schools with Learning and Teaching Support Materials (LTSM). The direct marketing model was abandoned in favour of distribution through authorised resellers, such as Bibi Buzz.

Their vision, "TO LIVE, LOVE, LEARN AND LEAVE A LEGACY" compelled them to build on SMILE and IDEM'S strengths to evolve into a company that now supplies more Learning and Teaching Support Material to more parents and teachers in our country and abroad, than ever before.

Smile has been the number one choice in educational products for many parents over the years and has proven time and time again to be excellent quality and value for money. Through a range of innovative and fun products, Smile teaches every academic skill required by children from 18 months onwards. An excellent range of products is also available specifically for schools covering Grade R to Grade 2 : Numeracy, Literacy and Life Skills