For any soft toy manufacturer including those that hand make their products, continual testing is part of the course especially if you wish to expand and develop your ranges further than just the one or two toys!
Following on from my previous post all about the basics of CE Marking for Handmade Toys, today I am going to share with you my most recent tests on my new dolls safety eyes!
During the development process of my ‘dinkie dollies’ I decided to work on 3 groups of age range to market them at. One for babies, one for under 3′s and one for over 3′s. Now even though I have decided to aim them at these age groups the new toy safety laws state that ALL soft toys need to be suitable from birth. There are a few exceptions however as a general rule this means that I have to fully test my products to ensure they are suitable for babies up to older children.
I wanted to add a few elements of difference to my ‘Dress Up Dinkie Dollies’ that my other more basic dollies didn’t have making them more appealing to slightly older children. One of the main elements was the introduction of safety eyes, rather than the embroidered one’s my other dolls have.
Firstly I had to find a supplier of safety eyes which already complied to the EN71 toy safety standards. Once this had been achieved and I had gained the appropriate certification from the manufacturer I then had to make up a complete doll so that I could test the safety eyes themselves once attached to my products. My dolls eyes have felt which is appliqued onto the dolls skin fabric and then the safety eye is placed through both fabrics and secured at the back with a plastic washer.
To test the safety eyes I had to find a way of attaching the the test weight to hang from them. Using thin, very strong picture wire I found that I could wrap the wire around and underneath the front of the eye and then attach this to my weights bag underneath. As my eyes are very small less than 6mm in diameter, I would need to use a 5kg weight added over 5 seconds and suspended over 10 seconds.
The picture at the top of this post was taken during suspension with a 7kg weight (I like to use a weight a few kg heavier just to be extra sure) and thankfully didn’t budge at all so my safety eyes on my ‘dinkie dollies’ have successfully passed the tests to be suitable from birth upwards! YIPPPEEEEEE!!! Please Note: Eye’s or components larger than 6mm need to have a 9kg weight applied to them.
I have performed a whole range of toy safety tests on my ‘dinkie dollies’ over the last few months and I will have to continue do intermittent test on these dolls alongside all of my soxlets to ensure they are continually safe for our little one’s and they can proudly hold their CE mark.
Please note: I am no expert on this subject, I only have personal experience from going through the process myself since early 2011. This blog post is intended to help other artisans find out further information regarding CE marking, please ensure you seek advice from your local Trading Standards to find out exactly how the new toy directive effects your handmade creations. ‘Odds & Soxlets’ takes no legal responsibility for the content.