Bandar To Gel is one of the most popular brands in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. With a range of products including beauty care products, health care products, confectionary and snacks, it is a popular brand in Malaysia, particularly for everyday use. This brand has also become a name that people in the western world will recognise. It’s easy to locate and buy. It’s a simple to use and the packaging is great value for money.
The whole story starts with Dan Hondatoto, a Malaysian salesman who decided to set up his own company after selling his first product. The first product he sold was a toothpaste called Tintin. It wasn’t popular, so he decided to launch another product called Dan Hondatoto Mempunyai which means “The Yellow Face”. The name stuck, it has now developed into Bandar Toge Gel and is now one of the best selling cosmetics products in the world.
The inspiration behind the name Bandar Toge was an old Malay poem that meant “all work and no play”. It was intended to be a warning to hard work, that all effort should be concentrated on the here and now and no thought of fun or leisure was allowed. It can loosely be translated as: work hard today and enjoy the fruits of your labours tomorrow. Hondatoto was a simple way of saying “work every day, play some fun tomorrow”.
To this day, when you see Hondatoto products at the shops, even if you don’t know any Malay, you can sense a bit of effort and fun in their designs. The colours are bright and vibrant and there is even a bit of levity in the names (Tintin, Hondatoto and Bandar Toge Gel). The funny thing is that the humour is in the small things, such as the bottle colours being the same as the flowers (orange, yellow and red). This simplicity, along with the obvious reference to hard work, has led to Hondatoto being hugely popular with hardworking young Malay girls who want a reminder of what a successful, confident and independent woman their parents might have been.
In fact, many young girls who are more adventurous than their parents are now attracted to Bandar Toge because it symbolises hard work and self-reliance, whilst still being a great party time item. Hondatoto sets the standard for other gift sets and mini-games. A perfect example is its “Secrets Bonus New Member” game. This is where the new member of the family is required to find the secret message in a bottle hidden inside a bottle filled with miniature bubbles. The more clever Hondatoto player will know within minutes that this is not the simplest game to master – but, once they have successfully completed the task, they unlock a secret bonus item!
The other feature that makes Bandar To Gel stand out from the crowd is its in-depth and witty teachings of household dynamics. The ini file is divided into 5 sections – a home, a living room, a bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom. Each section has a different daily schedule, which helps Hondatoto players to create a timetable for each room and how they spend their time there. The game takes a personal eye to detail and covers such aspects as assigning chores, preparing meals, taking a bath, dressing up and washing the clothes.