TELETUBBY mania helped piece together a record year for Bicester jigsaw maker Ravensburger.

The firm has grown to become the top jigsaw manufacturer in Britain and now rates in the top 20 toy makers in the UK.

The continuing attraction of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po helped the firm:

Sell more than a million Teletubbies puzzles

Achieve the number one slot in the puzzle market

Win a Toys 'R' Us vendor of the year award.

Managing director Harald Pfanner said: "The last 12 months has been an amazing time for Ravensburger.

"We are fortunate to have such famous names as the Teletubbies, Thomas the Tank Engine, Winnie the Pooh plus loads of other children's favourite characters in our puzzles portfolio.

"The Teletubbies have been a huge success. We produced more than a million Teletubbies puzzles in the second half of last year to keep up with the British appetite for Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po.

"This has been quite a challenge, but one we have risen to with confidence. All our staff have been great.

"Keeping up with demand is critical in successful retailing and I understand this was one of the reasons why we were judged to be winners of the Toys "R' Us Vendor of the Year Award for 1998. We are really delighted to have won."

The factory, in Bessemer Close, Bicester, produces card and wooden puzzles for children and adults.

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