Peg dolls are wonderful personalise-able little things, they’re so fab* that they have their own little section of the EN71-1, called Play figures.
*by fab, I mean difficult.
Being wood, first of all they need to pass a host of battery tests, for which we don’t currently have a pack for(I know! but they’re tough ones!). These would include soak tests, and drop tests, impact tests, sharp edges checks, possibly more. Thankfully what we do have is a nice little certificate from the lab which has done all these for a certain type, and saves you some time on doing it yourself. (see our wooden pack for more info)
Why a certain size?
Peg dolls most importantly come down to size and shape. You’ll find out our certificate is for a certain size of peg doll and this is for a certain reason, and that is that peg dolls under 64mm tall, need to pass another set of tests to be available to children under 36 months.
The test for play figures as shown to the right, is a test similar to the small parts cylinder, but different, it tests to see how far the ‘head end’ of the peg doll fits through a hole…(say a mouth) and the hole(s) it has to not fit through is much larger than you’d expect. If the head of the doll should pass through and reach beyond the base of the template, its a BFF (Big fat fail!) and it either needs an important warning, or a complete size makeover…. So even if your doll passes the small parts cylinder, if its less than 64mm tall, and its head reaches the base of the figures test its a no-no for the little ones.
Can I just stick a warning on and be done with it?
ah this age old question. Never put a warning without making sure it really applies, as it means it reduces the validity of the warnings. Always question your market, your customer base and what they expect from you, where your items are sold and who the product applies to. Peg dolls are very basic so they can be that they are given to small children if they are appealing that way – So if you are using the warnings make sure they are clear and don’t counteract your warnings by advertising your peg dolls to a younger market with customer photos.
You may be able to add a warning if your peg doll is put into the context of something an older child would relate to, ie a farm set or the like. check out this blog post for more on warnings
Once you’ve got your size correct, choose your paints and finishes according to their safety. There are a few paints and varnishes that are children safe and tested, but it may take a few emails to find them. You may also choose to do a soak test to ensure that sheets of varnish do not come off of your pegdolls (small chips of paint still pass)
A few recommended paints and varnish companies: plastikote, liberon,everlong, annie sloan paints and rustins varnish these certificates may be available on request by emailing the manufacturer.
Remember any additions glued to your peg dolls will need testing again, so if you are using the certificate for the brand of peg dolls, it only covers by due diligence, and be sure to retest your pegs yourself or by a lab to ensure their safety.
Also slightly off topic but remember to beware of your copyright issues! peg dolls are so fun and easy to turn into anything its tempting to cross that line and could land you in trouble!