Monday marked the conclusion of the 69th annual Canadian Toy and Hobby Fair, where over 90 toy manufacturers, distributors and inventors were on hand to showcase their newest products. A big presence in this year’s expo were toys made from – of all things – junk!
Toy manufacturers are taking everyday discarded items, like aluminum cans and water bottles, and giving them a second life as components in new toys.
With annual toy sales around $20 billion in the U.S. alone, toys are definitely big business. Recent toy recalls may have parents looking closely at toy safety and materials, opening up a big market for eco-friendly and recycled toys.
Stars of the Show
- The Soda Can Rebug, from Playwell Enterprises, is made from a recycled aluminum soda can. At the flip of a switch, the Rebug becomes a buzzing, motorized robotic bug. Now that’s cool!
- The Amphibian Rover, also from Playwell Enterprises, uses four recycled plastic water bottles to function as wheels on either water or land. The Rover is scheduled for release in March.
- Uberstix, a line of interlocking building products engineered to work with recycled materials like McDonald’s straws, Popsicle sticks and plastic water bottles, showcased their latest toys. The Outrigger, part of the toymaker’s Scavenger series, requires children to gather items from a list of recyclable components to integrate with Uberstix parts.
Recycled toys weren’t the only eco-friendly playthings in the spotlight- biodegradable toys had their presence as well.
- German-produced PlayMais, a putty-like creative modeling substance, allows kids to craft creations with corn based, biodegradable material.
- SprigWood, a Canadian-made bio-composite material made from bits of reclaimed wood and recycled plastic, was featured at the show as well. The material is used to make Sprig Toys, a line of toys powered by kinetic energy, not batteries, containing no decorative paint, minimal packaging and made of eco-friendly bio-composite material.