PlanToys is an excellent family-friendly, green and ethical toy company with almost zero cons.
Basics about PlanToys
I’m always talking about PlanToys, so I figured it was high-time I did a full company review. PlanToys was founded in 1981 and notes the following, “We create toys that inspire children’s imagination as well as promote their physical and intellectual development. We’re also proving that it is possible to maintain superior quality standards while steadfastly following a path of environmental and social responsibility.”
As you may have guessed, PlanToys, makes, well, toys. Currently they offer toys in the following categories…
- Plan Baby such as Plan Baby Activity Baby Gym
- Plan Preschool such as Plan Preschool Eco Recycling Game
- Plan Activity such as Plan Activity Planimal Polar Series Play Set
- Plan Large Scale such as Plan Activity Kitchen Center
- Plan Dollhouse such as Plan Dollhouse Green Dollhouse
- Plan City such as Plan City Eco Town
PlanToys has also recently launched Plan Education, an organization designed to complement educational programs via ideas, lesson plans, activities and play-centered learning tools.
PlanToys has almost too many sustainable perks to count, but let’s try…
- All PlanToys are made with clean, natural rubberwood from rubber trees which no longer produce latex. None of the wood is chemically treated. To keep the rubberwood pure, no fertilizer is added to the soil for three years before the trees are cut. To strengthen the wood, PlanToys uses a special chemical-free kiln drying process.
- Water-based colors that are safe for children are used to color all toys.
- The PlanToys teams uses a special certified E-Zero glue in place of traditional toxic wood glue. This non-formaldehyde glue, which is non-toxic and totally free from unhealthy formaldehyde emissions is used to assemble all toys.
- An ongoing reforestation program is in place.
- PlanToys products are free from dyes containing lead or any other heavy metals.
- Recycled and recyclable materials are used when possible to minimize impact on the environment.
- Soy and water-based inks are used on all printed materials.
- PlanToys packaging has been specially designed to optimize packaging materials in order to minimize storage, increase shipping efficiency and help with waste reduction.
- Solar energy and low emission bio-fuels are used to power the machinery that kiln-dries the wood and the finished toys.
- Biomass is also used in the curing and plywood molding process. This form of energy helps reduce electricity usage and waste. The company plans to be using a Biomass Steam Turbine Generator soon.
PlanToys meets SA 8000 (Social Accountability Management) industry standards set by Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS). SAAS is an accreditation agency founded to accredit and monitor organizations as certifiers of compliance with social standards, including ethical working conditions.
This means that PlanToys follows rules that help improve working conditions, based on the principles of thirteen international human rights conventions, including eight core elements – health and safety, working hours, child labor, forced labor, discrimination, freedom of association and collective bargaining, wages and discipline.
Also, their website is well laid out and offers plenty of easy to access product info for parents.
Some feel that Plan Toys are too expensive. I disagree. While some of their larger items do cost more, they also offer a good amount of smaller, less expensive, yet still awesome items. For example, the toys below:
- $16.70 – PlanToys Cone Sorting
- $16.95 – PlanToys Oval Xylophone
- $18.43 – Pandabo Game
- $14.11 – PlanToys Lacing Beads
- $90.94 – PlanToys My First Dollhouse
As you can see, PlanToys offers many items under $20 and even has affordable green dollhouse choices.
Honestly, you can buy cheaper toys, but they won’t be as safe or ethically made. Quality costs more, as it should.
No dedicated online shop, which I like to see.
5 out of 5 little trees. I know, PlanToys seems so perfect that you wonder what skeletons are hiding in their closet. However, other than some customers who dislike specific toys (via toy reviews) I couldn’t dig up any dirt on this company. They seem to be utterly on the up and up, both on eco and ethical level. Plus, their products are beautiful, fun, developmentally appropriate and affordable. There’s not much more you could ask for in a toy company.