With Earth Day just around the corner (April 22nd), the roll out of green products has begun. I love that Barbie has gotten into the Green groove. You can buy a Barbie that wears a t-shirt that says “Think Pink, Live Green” (a child size version of the shirt also exists). Also new is an attractive line of Barbie BCause accessories that are made of re-purposed Barbie clothing scraps. The accessories include notebooks, bags, diaries, etc. They look a lot like Coach in styling. A really nice concept.
As part of the green trend, Aurora is introducing a new line of plush called Aurora Naturally. According to the company, these stuffed animals are made from 100% soy fiber — who knew? The stuffing is 100% Kapok (I didn’t know that kapok is a silky fiber known for its hypoallergenic softness). It’s also a sustainable rainforest crop–cool. We’re looking forward to testing this line.
When recycling was a huge trend in toyland (about 15 years ago) it translated into a lot of clever recycling trucks–but that was about it. We’re really looking forward to seeing how the industry responds in a more meaningful way by using greener or re-purposed materials as well as delivering the message in a way that is playful (as opposed to overly preachy).
My personal goal–to remember to bring all the bags I already purchased to the grocery store!
We got to meet with the folks from Sprig Toys, a new company that is scheduled to launch a line of action vehicles for the 4 & up crowd. The vehicles will be chunky and rugged–nothing ground breaking in that department–but what is a huge departure is the method and technology that they will use. The trucks will be made from re-purposed plastic and wood. Literally made of saw dust–the vehicles have a strong green component, but not one the company feels is the key to their company–just their way of doing business. Cool.
The action figures will plug into the vehicles via a USB port built into the vehicles and from there the vehicles can suggest “adventures” for the child to participate in. From our point of view the directed play mode is not that important since we strongly believe that kids can generate their own adventures. It was clear that the folks from Sprig think so too–and therefore you can turn off the directed play mode.
The lights and sounds are generated by the motion of the vehicle (not batteries). Also clever. The “electronic base” in each vehicle can also be removed for repair and perhaps, most importantly for smart recycling. Much like a toner cartridge, you can take this component out of the vehicle and not just send it to the landfill. All good.
We look forward to testing the vehicles out with kids. The company is producing the products in Canada–no paint, no phthalates, no lead….They’re off to a very good start.