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EDUCATIONALMARKETINGSOCIALTOY Blog

Recycling toys in a social perspective

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A few weeks ago I visited London and, as my partner was busy with a volunteering experience, I decided to explore toy-related places in London. And I found this: a toy store that actually does recycling toys in a social perspective. The TOY Project is an eye-catching toy shop, with an incredibly rich showcase, organizing and funding social initiatives for the neighborhood community and not only.

All started in 2013 thanks to Jane Garfield and Angela Donovan. I am going to quote the history from the website as it is so well told.

Jane could see how some children had more toys than others and how schools needed resources but had little funds for sourcing them”. She “began collecting unwanted toys that she could then distribute to those most in need. Angela wanted to provide toys and resources for bereaved children through supporting play therapists with toys to use in their sessions with children who had lost a parent, a sibling or a close friend.

The TOY Project started life as a part-time operation run out of Jane’s living room, but it soon outgrew the space and was moved to a small storage room in a community centre in Finsbury Park. In 2016 we opened a pop-up shop on Junction Road, Archway to raise money to keep the charity going. At the shop, local children and families could now donate their ‘old’ toys and buy ‘new’ ones.

Our shop was a big success, and we decided to make the ‘pop-up’ shop into a permanent feature of Archway. We thrived in our new home but quickly outgrew the space and a year later, we moved a few doors down into our new home at 81 Junction Road in Archway.

Jane Garfield, co-founder of The TOY Project

The larger shop provides more retail space and dedicated areas for sorting and storing toys, such as all the Lego required for our weekly Lego workshops we run at a community centre around the corner. We also rent a small warehouse nearby to store new toys we give as gifts for Christmas and birthday presents.”

Meeting this place and this people, in particular Jane, who welcomed me warmly, although without an appointment and in the middle of a constant work of sorting, displaying and managing the daily activity required to run the shop, was a breath for the hearth and changed my vision on recycling toys in a social perspective. It made me realize how toy waste has great social potential, beside its environmental impact, also very important.

Jane was so nice to tell me all the many pros and cons of managing successfully a place like that, with rent, electricity and employee costs. First of all passion has to be there, she told me “you could never run a place like this unless you are going to be here all the time”. I was in the shop for about half an hour in a morning of a week day and so much was happening: people coming with children to play and then to buy, other people coming and delivering a cardboard box full of (almost) new toys, talking to curious people like me, do the payments, etc, etc…. there were many things happening and all the time there was this sense of community flying around the shop.

Part of the toy turnover happens also thanks to the Amazon Wishlist and from receiving returns from toy companies, giving them the possibility to found the shop with brand new toys that can be re-sold for presents and birthdays, raising more money. Jane is an institution rather than a sole shop owner, it made me think at the role that the toy industry could play in promoting this reuse-reduce-recycle philosophy or circular economy. We have already talked about similar initiatives, for example the Mattel’s Playback program which has the big difference of actually recycling the plastic for the manufacturing of new toys, rather than managing the reuse. Jane told us that they have also been part of that program but somehow it didn’t work in the end. I guess recycling (Mattel’s) and reusing (the TOY Project) are quite different approaches and probably have diverging interests.

DESIGNEDUCATIONALSOCIALTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

RECLAIM AND RECYCLE – A SUSTAINABLE TOY DESIGN SERVICE

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Toy Designers and Toy Brands empower the next generation to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential. But, future generations also need to inherit an environment that is full of promise. Most of the time, children outgrow toys or discard them due to wear and tear, and then these toys end up in landfills. By working together to reclaim and recycle materials, we can make sure the toys of the present do not become the waste challenges of tomorrow.

DESIGNEDUCATIONALOPEN TOYSOCIALTOY Blog

A right toy for your kid’s changing age

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Growth is a part of life where one develops different set of skills at every stage. As we have seen previously, how unstructured play and six bricks created activities and helped kids grow and learn with many playful toys. But, the question is how to choose a toy for proper development? Today, we are going to read about how to choose a right toy for your kid’s changing age.

For the first age category, 0-12 months. Till the age of 3 months, baby’s vision is still blurry and all they see is patches of colors. Later, they start interacting with things and surroundings that helps them engage their other senses. That is why toys for the little ones should be Bright in color, make Squeaky and crinkling noises, have different Textures on them with big bold shapes and finally they should provide different softness.

DESIGNEDUCATIONALMARKETINGSOCIALTOY Blog

A board game to teach Compassion and Care

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We have seen previously how important it is to openly talk and teach about Sexual health to young generation with the help if IT KIT (enter link). Today, we are going to talk about THE PERIOD GAME, A board game to teach Compassion and Care and destigmatize the Period Education. This game teaches about menstruation in a fun, engaging way. Games are for 2-5 players and take approx. 20-30 minutes to play.

DESIGNHERITAGESOCIALTOY Blog

A game played and evolved by many generations in the history

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Ludo is a game played and evolved by many generations in the history. The first ever version known as “Pachisi” was created in India in the 6th century. The earliest evidence of this game’s evolution in India is the depiction of boards on the caves of Ellora. The original also referred as “Chaupar”, is very famous to be played in Mahabharat where Pandavas lost all their wealth when they lost in game.

“Ludo”

a game that teaches us, to deal with our luck.

DESIGNEDUCATIONALMARKETINGSOCIALTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

How pandemic has affected toy trends and toy market?

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Since past two years our lives have changed massively in terms of lifestyle, health, earning, vacations, basic needs, livelihood, travel, etc. all the sectors and markets have been affected. And so has the Toy Industry. Today, we are going to read a little about how pandemic has affected toy trends and toy market. To understand this we will also have a brief look at the consumer behavior.

ARTDESIGNEDUCATIONALMARKETINGSOCIALTECHNOLOGYTOY Blog

A new way of Education with Experiential Learning

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In today’s world full of technology and advancement, only theory based knowledge isn’t enough. Narmada Bal Ghar is an NGO that works on providing a new way of education with experiential learning by empowering 850+ schools with Classroom Labs, Providing resources to 1100+ teachers and reaching more than 250K students all over the world. They believe in making kids Future ready by developing entrepreneurial skills.

TOY BlogDESIGNSOCIAL

A SUSTAINABLE SERVICE IN THE TOY MARKET

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Nothing is created, nothing is destroyed, everything is transformed according to the law of conservation of mass, but this principle does not only concern chemical reactions. In fact, it seems that the world of toys is experiencing a phase of change, or rather of adaptation to the new demands of the market, such as greater environmental sustainability throughout the entire life cycle of the product, but also of lighter and more efficient business models in line with a rapidly growing society. In this article we return to talk about this topic (if you missed the last article, you can find it here) and we present you a sustainable service in the toy market.