OPINION: Playing it safe – Awareness is growing around the hygienic protection of toys

As the country continues to tackle a raging new strain of the Coronavirus, and the world continues its fight against the pandemic, it’s little surprise that company priorities have shifted towards heightened health and safety measures, not only in their practices but in the services and products they offer.

Trunki has been one of the first in the toy space to adopt new hygiene measures in ensuring its products remain safe from microbial and bacterial contamination through a new partnership with the performance additive specialist, Addmaster.

Here, Addmaster’s founder Paul Morris explains why there is a growing appetite from toy manufacturers to offer a new level of hygienic protection for their products.

Toys are such an important part of our children’s lives, both in terms of learning and development, and plain, good old-fashioned fun. 

They are designed to be touched, shared, and played with. But with this comes genuine concerns about the possibility of passing on viruses, especially in settings where there are a  number of children in one place.

Covid-19 shook the world to its core and has thrust hygiene to the front and centre of everyone’s thoughts. So it stands to reason that, already, major toy manufacturers are responding to this by taking measures to address the new consumer focus.

My company, Addmaster, has received thousands of additional enquiries since the Covid-19 crisis began and has a large number of projects in the process of being rolled out with some of the biggest retail brands. 

Trunki – the original ride-on luggage for children – has become the first in the toy arena to work with us on the development of its antimicrobial new product, Abbie the Ambulance, yet there are many other large brands currently evaluating the use of Biomaster in their products. Non-disclosure agreements currently in place stop me from revealing who they are, for now, so the big reveal will have to wait until a future article.

“The main priority of toy manufacturers is to help improve protection for the child and parents who engage with their toys.”

What we do through our Biomaster brand is develop antimicrobial additives that can be added to paint, paper, plastic, and textiles. These can be added during the manufacturing process, or through a special coating we can apply towards the end of the process. 

The technology itself guarantees a fast, effective antimicrobial protection for the lifetime of the product and helps to keep toy surfaces clean while reducing the risk of cross-contamination.

Importantly, we have just completed independent testing and can reveal that using Biomaster on a toy can reduce SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19) by 99 per cent in just 15 minutes of it being applied, as opposed to three or four days for the natural die-off of the virus. 

As you can all probably imagine, this is a major breakthrough, and it is generating significant interest. But don’t forget, there are also the antibacterial benefits of removing pathogens and bacteria, which can degrade products or cause them to smell. 

The main priority of toy manufacturers is to help improve protection for the child and parents who engage with their toys, but there is also a sense of it becoming a new competitive advantage and one that might affect consumer purchasing decisions going forward.

Paul Morris is the founder of Addmaster, a specialist in performance additives for plastics, paints, textiles, paints and more. 

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, Licensing.biz. He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@bizmedia.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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