Many thanks to Smylers Wooden Toys for the photographs for this post!
Facebook’s toy makers are ever expanding! We’re getting more and more new toy makers coming through our virtual doors! and with that is the ever expanding wonderful toy types.
Wooden toys are the classics, and we’re honest in that its not our first line of experience! But as there is so little out there at the moment for wooden toys, I wanted to put together a post which collates all the information I do have, get a cup of tea – it might be a long read!
Firstly: ‘Do you have a pack for wooden toys?/will your soft toy guide cover wooden toys?’
We currently do not have a wooden toy pack, its not ruled out for the future, but right now due to time limits we just can’t put one together! However our CE marking guide for soft toys does cover a good amount of information that you’ll need to know, and other information can be sourced via the EN71 linked on our free resources page, or the Wooden toy group who have proved to be a lovely helpful group. All the paperwork for your technical file in the soft toy is adaptable to any toy. So go ahead, do some reading and grab it!
Physical testing for wooden toys differs from soft toys due to the hard parts which could break off and cause a choke risk. There are a few more tests which need performing, and then repeating if they fail the first line, to be sure the broken pieces don’t fail things such as the small parts cylinder or cause a sharp edge. Many of the wooden toy tests depend on exactly what type of toy and what age range they are aimed at, so its important you check this by having a browse through the EN71 (manchester link on our free resources)
You may need different equipment for physical tests for wooden toys, items such as weights and steel plates and a newton meter. As small time makers you can apply a bit of ingenuity to this, but do as much as you can, so you feel safe applying due diligence. Ensure you photograph/video all you can for evidence for your file.
General Physical tests for wooden toys:
This is just a quick run down to be used alongside your own research.
-Soak test- For toys for under 36 months using glue: 4x 10minute cycles of soaking soak for ten minutes, shake off and leave to dry for ten minutes and repeat, check that nothing has come off of the toy (flecks are ok, sheets of coating are not) – this test is to be performed before the other physical tests
-Sharp edges/points examination – perform this after each test.
-Torque test: rotation of 180 degrees or of 0.34n hold for ten seconds, and repeat counter clockwise
-Tension test: on the same part of toy as the torque test -to 90n
-Drop test(for smaller toys): drop the toy from 90cms high onto a steel plate with a silicon coating(or similar surface), angling it so that the piece which is most likely to break is what hits the surface.
Large and bulky toys can skip the drop test and instead do the push over test.
-Impact test: drop a 1kg weight onto the most breakable part of the toy once
-Compression test: if there is a part of the toy inaccessible when doing the impact test, compression test needs to be completed with 110 newtons of pressure, by slowly increasing pressure and then holding for 10seconds, should be done with a 30mm disk weight
Additional tests for particular toys:
For toys for under 36 months particularly: Small parts cylinder, Soak test for toys with glue/paint, shape and size of certain toys
For peg dolls and similar rounded edge toys: Play figures test/ shape and size of certain toys test
Hemispheric shaped toy – toys with cup/bowl/egg shape or any elliptical shape – these have a particular set of rules due to their choke risk.
Ride on toys and other larger toys intended to hold the weight of a child: these have their own set of strength and stability tests that are best read on the en71-1 itself (free resources page)
Helpful video links for physical tests:
We love these videos by gospel house on their small wooden toys, simple but useful:
Gospel House toy testing on youtube
Drop test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8mxpLueXcI
En71-2 Flammability testing
There is no particular reference to wooden toys in en71-2, so conducting a test similar to the fabric toys is recommended. Wood does not tend to catch light easily, but your finishes may prove different.
En71-3 and wooden toys
Heavy metals testing is needed in any ‘naked’ wood. So any unfinished wood will need to be tested to EN71-3 in the lab (you can’t do this one at home) There are certified teething rings out there, and also the collective has certain brands of teether ring, peg dolls and certain wooden shapes.
If your toy is completely enclosed in your paint and varnish, and that varnish/paint has already been certified, then you do not need to perform the heavy metals testing on your wood. It would be wise to however choose sensibly – go for pure wood rather than MDF or plywood etc which contains a lot of glues etc.
There are tested paints and varnishes available out there – its mostly a matter of contacting the manufacturer for proof of their testing.
Tested paints/varnishes others have found helpful:
Tetrosyl spray acrylic paints
Everlong chalk paints
Don’t forget your all important labelling and paperwork for your completed toy, and then you’re there!
I hope this posts leaves those of you puzzled over your wooden toy in a bit of a better position to move forward! Remember it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to research and ensure their toy’s comply with all the relevant standards! good luck!