The International Toy Fair in Nuremberg is just around the corner – like every year, this is a real highlight in my diary. We’ve been present at the world’s largest toy fair for years, and I’m always delighted to be part of the ToyAward jury.The ToyAwards are handed out for innovative children’s toys. It is a great way to start the fair.
You’re probably wondering: TÜV Rheinland and the Toy Fair – how does that go together? It’s quite simple: TÜV Rheinland in Nuremberg has the largest toy testing laboratory in Europe. From wooden toys to cuddly toys and smart toys, everything that is designed to be used by our children is put through its paces at the lab. Swallowable small parts, hazardous substances or easily inflammable materials don’t stand a chance in our toy tests. The safety of our children comes first.
Toy test 1: Are eyes and noses firmly attached?
The so-called tensile test examines whether swallowable small parts of cuddly toys come loose or not. Our panda is fixed into the tension testing machine for this purpose. For ten seconds, the device pulls the eye or plastic nose with a power of 90 Newtons – and neither the eyes nor the nose must come loose. Only then has the first test been passed and parents can be certain that their children will not inadvertently swallow the small parts while playing.
Toy test 2: Flammability test
We also make sure in the toy testing laboratory that cuddly toys like our panda cannot catch fire immediately. The toys tested must be able to withstand a flame for three seconds and then must not suddenly be on fire.
Toy test 3: Is the material free of harmful substances?
Flammability and swallowable parts – these are probably the first hazards that come to mind when we think about safe toys. But what about harmful substances in the material? We usually only notice this when the toy we buy has an unpleasant smell. At the toy testing laboratory in Nuremberg, we test every toy and cuddly toy for harmful substances before it comes onto the market. For this purpose, material samples are taken and examined.
Singing cuddly toys and talking dolls
If the cuddly toys play a children’s song at the push of a button, the toy must also pass the test in the EMC laboratory. EMC stands for electromagnetic compatibility. In the EMC test, we check whether the toy sends interference signals to make sure that a child does not accidentally interrupt Grandpa’s pacemaker while playing in its room. You really don’t want to image the potential consequences this could have if it goes unnoticed.
Another current trend is the so-called smart toys (toys that can be connected to the Internet), such as the talking dolls we know from media reports. These can be programmed by mom and dad, even if they are not in the children’s room. But hackers can easily do what parents can do – which is why TÜV Rheinland also checks smart toys for data protection to prevent strangers from influencing our children via the Internet. This is a new but nevertheless very important safety aspect in our children’s rooms.
Tips for buying safe toys
Now you’re probably wondering how you can recognize safe toys when you buy them. I wrote about this here in the blog last year. All tips can be found here (available in German only).
Toy Fair meets toy test
The team from the Toy Fair recently visited us during our toy tests. Check out the video for what they learned there:
We look forward to your visit
Visit us at our booth at the International Toy Fair from 30 January 3 February 2019 in Nuremberg.
More information at: tuv.com/spielwarenmesse