It was Keith Flint from the North Essex-based band Prodigy who famously referred to himself as a twisted firestarter. Yet it’s at the opposite side of the same county where this blog post takes us. For from the South Eastern seafront of my beloved county is a sorceress who captures the very air we breathe, manipulates it, shapes it and sells it. A twisted air ballooner, if you will. And like Keith Flint and his cohorts, who transformed the nightclub scene with their infectious take on dance music in the 90s, Balloon Baboon takes the seemingly dull world of balloon modelling and elevates it to a new level that had to be seen to be believed.
I’ve been a long time admirer of Balloon Baboon since I first stumbled across the company on Twitter (even dedicating my Jacqueline Gold on a Wednesday afternoon trying to get the company some attention via the #WomenOnWednesday weekly hashtag which the Ann Summers supremo promotes every week.to their monkey last week). If you follow me there you’ve probably seen me tweeting
The site, which can be found at balloonbaboon.co.uk, has pictures of the range of balloons offered by the company, broken down into categories. All you need to do is choose, pay by PayPal and sit back in the knowledge that your choice will be winging it’s way by Royal Mail within a couple of days.
The process of balloon modelling itself is a simple premise. Take a balloon, twist it, and end up with something better than just a balloon. We’ve all seen people making balloon animals, and if you’ve ever tried it, it’s harder than it looks. My attempts at making a balloon dog ended up looking more like a balloon giraffe with two heads - and that was one of my better attempts.
I’ve ordered from the site a couple of times in the past, and the deliveries have always been quick and on time, and the cost of the product amazing value. It allows you to buy a gift with a twist (ha! Balloon twisting. Geddit?) and given the unusual nature of the product, it always results in a delighted face. In fact, both Alan Carr and Lings Cars have said they are fans!
In fact, I’m such a fan that I approached Julie, the owner and latex-lyricist herself and asked if she minded me reviewing her products for this blog. Having met her a couple of times before, and knowing I was a fan, she quickly agreed, and the conversation culminated in an order for a bunch of Wrapped Bouquet flowers for my girlfriend. Alongside this was the new “message in a bottle” which is being offered on the site, defined by Balloon Baboon themselves as such:
“Everyone loves something a bit different, something they can keep and we think that our new Message in a Bottle is the perfect answer.
So, from now on you can include your message on a little message card or, for a little extra (introductory price of £3.50) we can pop it into one of these cute bottles. Not only that but if you are sending one of our cute balloon characters and they are able to hold it then that is exactly what they will do. A personally delivered message in every sense.”
I chose my message (which is far too soppy for me to repeat on here), put my order in and requested a delivery date for a couple of days ahead. 48 hours later the box was delivered to my girlfriend, and I was fortunate enough to be there to see her open it. I hadn’t told her that I was getting her anything, and so it was a total surprise. To say she was thrilled is an understatement, and both the bouquet and the message in a bottle now take pride of place in the house. The kids fell in love with them too, especially the monkey which I’d ordered to hold the bottle.
The total cost for the bouquet and the monkey pictured above, including the message in a bottle with hearts or diamonds was £22.95 (plus £3.95 delivery), or £19.45 for the bouquet by itself. For comparison, I looked up flowers on Interflora, and the vast majority of flowers on their homepage are £30 or more. From experience, the balloons will last a few weeks, and though naturally they will start to deflate, they outlast even the strongest-willed flowers, meaning they are excellent value for money.
For regular customers, the company is now offering a loyalty card on orders over £15. The points can be redeemed and used towards discounted delivery or extras that can be added to your next order.
I’m hoping to tie up a competition to win a prize from the company soon, but in the meantime it’s definitely worth checking them out if you want to send a gift that is different to the norm, and something that will make people smile. Julie is one of the friendliest Tweeters around, and will happily chat through your order, and is also often open to a challenge, so if there is something you have in mind which isn’t shown on the website, drop her a message and she’ll let you know how feasible your idea is to put into practice!
Disclaimer: The items were provided free of charge for me to review on the blog. All opinions expressed here are true and honest, and all words are my own. My thanks to everyone at BalloonBaboon.