This friendly PushAlong Dog from ImagiPLAY is just right for toddlers that love have wheel toys but are not ready for cars that have small parts. He doesn’t make any sound–also a welcomed novelty these days! There’s also a really cute yellow duck, greencar, and red cat in this line. All $14.99.
With Green Day hours away, we are certainly pleased with the trend in the toy industry to go green. It seems like every week there are new organic doll collections, toys made of recycled materials, and toys/games that have an empowering (but not obnoxiously heavy-handed) green agenda. More good news-the packaging also seems to be more friendly to the environment-with fewer toys trapped in a sea of plastic.
Here is our current list of top ten green favorites–happily the list keeps growing!
My Natural Collection (Hosung NY)
At toy fair this year there was a booth that caught my attention…while most booths are chockful of game/ dolls/toys/electronics/candy…this booth had a chair. I was at the very end of toy fair–I’m pretty “toyed” out by then, but I stopped.
The cardboard chair from eliafun.com had a very modern appeal. It comes undecorated (left) with big bold stickers (a la Marimekko)…that also looked like fun (and something a parent wouldn’t mind having around). Our testers really enjoyed working on the chair….the directions were easy to follow and one of our testers was delighted that the chair is reversible giving her more options about decorating! She and her mom are thinking about decoupage. Their site has lots of creative ideas for decorating. The chair holds up to 200 lbs. – impressive. Michael Gross, the President (and an architect/engineer), also points out that the chair is completely recyclable. Michael’s background is evident in the construction and design of the chair. We’ve seen many cardboard products in the past – many with extensive pre-printing on them – making them more like 3D coloring books. What I really liked about this chair besides the design–was the open-endedness of the project. The chair retails for $34.99. The site also indicates that a table is in the works.
Just received a press release from Late for the Sky that they are making a new game called, Earth-opoly.
“Every attempt has been made to make the game as earth-friendly as possible. The game board and box are made from recycled materials, the printing is done with soy based ink, the shrink wrap is plant-based EarthFirst PLA film, and the game pieces are either made by nature or are completely recyclable.
Players buy properties and increase property values through recycling and reducing. Everyone learns how to offset their own carbon footprint as they collect Carbon Credits and trade them for Clean Air. While traveling the board and visiting impressive land forms, players will learn about the planet and pick up “Go Green” tips for everyday life changes from each property deed card.”
Note–We haven’t tested the game yet…just thought it was notable as the first boardgame to use carbon footprints.
Looking for a great lightweight truck to take to the sandbox–or just enjoy in your house? Take a look at Sprig Toys new Eco-Trucks ($14.95). We’ve been big fans of this truly green company that makes it toys from repurposed milk jugs and saw dust! There are three trucks in the new in line: a loader, a dump truck and an exacavator. While we were concerned that some folks may find them too lightweight, our testers across the board thought the weight was a plus–making the toys easier for their kids to tote about.
I just opened a box of Joobles…a really adorable collection of knit dolls (made of organic cotton) from Fair Indigo. Each doll is knitted (some with yarn hair)…and stitched features. This is now the third collection of fabric dolls we\’ve received this month that have such wit — a really good sign that there is still a great deal of talent and creativity out there in toy land. (Apparently a lot coming from Peru! – the blabla collection is also made in Peru.) The Joobles are $29 each. They will appeal to both boys and girls- also a plus! They will be just right for toddlers that will love their squish factor and cheerful design. According to the company’s information, Joobles are made in a Peruvian co-op that also provides free breakfast to the children in their community.
Probably not too many other people in the world would take note of the number of recyling trucks…but here’s another sighting…
Fisher-Price Little People will also have a Recycling Truck this fall…it will be call the Little People Sing’n Learn Recycling Truck. There will be singing and sorting…looks fun.
Recycling trucks are back–as they should be. Maybe we’ll have kids less confused by all those recycling bins! This one from Lego is $16.99 and available on at Lego.com or Lego brand stores. We haven’t tested it yet–but it looks promising.
Plan Toys , a Thailand based toy maker, had one of the most exciting collection of new toys this season. We were happy when we walked away from their booth–both Joanne and I were thrilled with the design, eco-friendly design and the incorporation of a green message in their play settings.
We’ll want to see their new Eco Town (the house at right) is just part of a bigger system that you can to (eco vehicles, charging station for the cars, train station, etc.). You’ll note the house has solar panels and Wind Turbine.
If you’re looking for a bigger more traditional dollhouse with the same commitment to green architecture, the Green Dollhouse also looks promising (below). What’s also really pleasing is not only is the green message incorporated in the play pattern, but the company also walks the walk by using recycled wood and what they call E-Zero MDF for assembly. We have also always loved this line because it is gender-free.
We just received a new collection from Mary Meyer called Earthmates. The little Organic Little Sprouts Club here is just 5″ tall, he’s made with organic cotton . There is also a small orange cat and sweet green dog. The tag reads “They are all made without the use of any harmful pesticides, or toxic chemicals or dyes.” What your child will love about them is that they are very sweet and soft. Done in a soft Velour with stitched features, these are safe for infants and toddlers. If you’re looking for something bigger, there’s this 12″ friend Big Bear- he’s not as huggable as the smaller animals–but he is very cheery.
So many organic plush lines we’ve received this year arrived looking very washed out and sad. This line is green and happily does not sacrifice on play value and overall product appeal.