How did you find out about CE Testing toys?
I was vaguely aware of it when I started making but avoided making anything for my business that might need marking because I had no idea where to start, and it all seemed a bit intimidating. But I love making toys for my children and I knew it was something I wanted to be able to add to my page so I joined the collective last year and never quite got around to doing anything about it. When I received a request to make some toys for a sing and sign teacher to use for her classes and several other teachers showed an interest it was the push I needed to just go for it. I found it wasn’t nearly as scary as I had thought once I made myself do it!
Did you have to alter your designs to fit the en71?
The first design I made for the sing and sign toys were backed in a faux leather because I knew I had a huge number to make and I wanted the design to be as straight forward as possible. Unfortunately after testing whilst I was getting my file finalised I realised the “en-71 certificate” the seller had sent me for the backing fabric was actually just a fire safety certificate and that they didn’t actually have the correct certificate. I had to redesign the toy to eliminate this fabric which made the design slightly more time consuming to make, but it was such a relief when it passed the second time and I knowing it was all done properly was really satisfying.
What advice would you offer to makers that are new in the process of CE marking their own toy design?
Go for it! It’s not as scary as you think and you might be surprised how robust your toy actually is. It’s a great feeling when it passes and you can send your toy out in the world confident that it’s safe.
What are you plans for the future?
Lots more toys! I am developing a wider range of teaching aids for my sing and sign ladies and I have a list of other toys I’m looking forward to adding to my business.
Is there anything you wished you’d know about CE Marking earlier, EN71 regulations or making your own designs and products?
I think it would have been good to see a video of something being tested from start to finish. It would have helped eliminate the “am I doing this right?” concern!
The feeling of pride in the end product and hearing back from happy customers
Did you encounter any CE marking blocks? (eg denial, material difficulty, money blocks, procrastination or others!) how did you get through them?
As I said above I had difficulty obtaining a certificate for a fabric that was clearly advertised as en-71 complaint when the seller clearly didn’t actually know what that meant! It was also a big decision investing so heavily in my membership when I was so early on in my testing experience but it was definitely worth it knowing how much easier it will be in future to source tested materials and having the support available if I need it.
What item/project are you most proud of?
I’m still at the beginning of my toy making process but I really enjoyed the car mat I have just finished designing, it was really satisfying figuring out how to make it work so it had plenty of play value but could also fold up neatly to be carried around.
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