Ethical Toy Brands at Babipur
Christmas is swiftly approaching so I thought I’d take a minute to introduce the lovely brands we stock here at Babipur without too much waffle and cliches. We have a huge selection of toys suitable from newborn up to 99 years, but around 6 years is a more sensible upper limit. In no particular order
Plan Toys have been making “green” toys since… well, before “green” was fashionable. Made in Thailand from exhausted rubber plantations in super eco factories. A modern and innovative company, Plan Toys make their own glue because they don’t want nasty stuff in it and they make some toys from a clever kind of MDF (but not MDF) using the roots of the rubber trees which would otherwise go to waste. Clever designs, bright colours and generally pretty fab all round. Here’s a few of our favourite Plan Toys toys, baby car rattle, duck racer, balancing tree and the tot drum.
Haba are best known for their German build quality, but don’t worry, there are no faked emissions tests here. The Haba baby walkers are built like tanks and their range of wooden teething and grasping toys is phenomenal. “Quality” is the word that comes to my mind first when you mention the word Haba. Yes some of their marble run items and blocks are quite expensive but they will probably last until the turn of the next millennium and who else makes a marble catapult? The Haba dolls range is very popular, their size and lack of Barbie like features appeals to parents and children. Haba fabric toys are conscientiously made in China. Here’s a few Haba picks, Discovery wagon, Kringerling, Coliseum blocks and Lighthouse stacker
Grimm’s toys are quite simply stunning! Each one looks like a work of art and sometimes you’re not sure if they should just sit on the shelf as an ornament or if they should actually be played with. Rest assured Grimm’s are definitely toys and they’re another wooden toy brand with a “Made in Germany” tag so they’re super robust. I’m pulling a quote from our Facebook hangout group to demonstrate the quality
“We have the large rainbow at the pre-school I work at, we’ve had it for about 7/8 years, it gets a daily battering from around 40 children in the setting and is still going strong! We love it.x”
The rainbow colours really make this range stand out from the crowd. Grimm’s are popular with the Steiner Waldorf education sector because they encourage children’s natural enthusiasm and wonder free from the pigeon holes that society often thrusts upon us. I believe that the majority of all the toys we sell at Babipur also encompass this ethos. Here’s a few of our picks, Large rainbow (of course),
Lanka Kade are one of the first brands we stocked here at Babipur back in 2007. Made in Sri Lanka by traditional artisans the hand made nature of these beautifully colourful toys really shines. The wooden jigsaws are extremely popular but the dolls made with handloom woven cotton are a real favourite of ours. All Lanka Kade toys are fair trade, made in Sri lanka, all wooden toys utilise exhausted rubber wood. Lanka Kade favourites including our Welsh language friend, Welsh Dragon, London bus, Penguin and baby and a doll.
Hape make an incredible array of wooden toys with some super clever designs that are perfect for encouraging learning through play at the pre school age. We love the fact that Hape Toys are completely devoid of gender stereotyping across their entire range. Hape Toys are made in China using FSC certified wood. The prices are noticeably lower than their German competitors but the quality is still great. Here’s a few favourites, 1-2-3 shape sorter, All seasons dolls house (no pink in sight), Colour flutterby and the Discovery box
Le Toy Van, oooh la la it sounds so Francais, a British company with french connections, fabulous wooden toys made in Indonesia in an ethical way at every stage. Noah’s arks, farms, pirate ships and a fantastic range of kitchen toys. Reasonable prices, great quality and simply great fun. Here’s a few faves, Budkin barn, Doctor’s set, Noah’s ark and Cafe machine.
Janod are a big name in France and they make some unique wooden toys. Most famed for their magnetic rocket, Elton John has one don’t ya know. We’re always impressed with the designs and quality of Janod wooden toys. Janod make their toys in China conscientiously which makes their prices affordable but their designs are what stand out. We love the Janod Rocket and the Janod play garage.
DiscoveroO is an Australian company, hence the kangaroo logo, that creates a sweet range of wooden toys. Made in China using sustainable wood and finished to a high standard. Natural wood combined with neutral colours and designs that children love. smackeroO and builderoO ranges encourage smacking and building… or maybe more bashing and building, we don’t do smacking these days. Check out the bird smackeroO and the stacking windmill.
Funky, Danish, Organic and rather cool. Franck and Fischer toys are super trendy and super eco, although I’m not quite sure of the Danish are naturally super cool or they’re trying to be. Either way these toys look great and they’re made by small scale producers under fair trade conditions. Aaaand due to the nature of production stock can be tricky to get hold of so if you see something you like and it’s in stock grab it while you can. Franck and Fischer faves, Jeppe the tiger and the Norma the elephant