This was a question I had to ask myself when I first started making the PlayBags to sell. It is a bit of a grey area because if it is classed as a bag, there are less hoops to jump through in getting it onto the market. As a toy, it needs to go through a series of tests to ensure that it conforms to British Safety Standards. To me, the cool thing about the PlayBag is that it is both, so I decided to play safe and go through CE testing. As the PlayBag Mini is poised ready to go into production, I thought I’d share with you what the PlayBag actually goes through between initial design and reaching the web shop.
Peter testing the four new prototypes!
The Play Test
I am forever playing with designs and creating random prototypes. Not all of them make it to the shelves. The first test they have to undergo is the all-important “Play Test”. This is undertaken by my very own Peter. He is not afraid to tell me what works and what could be improved! He does get very excited by most of the new designs, but not all of them pass the Play Test. If he gives up on them after a couple of outings then they end up on the reject pile and it’s back to the drawing board for me! If they pass this essential step, they move on to the practicality test…..
This is the important step from a parental point of view! One of the key things with the PlayBag mini, is that it is smaller, the straps are shorter and in theory much easier for little ones to manage themselves! So… did Peter carry the PlayBag mini himself…… most of the time! Also, does it survive the washing machine? The PlayBag was created to be used in a wide range of circumstances, from gym floors to parks – it NEEDS to be washable!!
The visual test.
Onto the serious testing stage. First of all does it all work correctly? All the poppers are checked to make sure they are securely fastened on and in the correct order! No “sewing the teeth on the back of the neck” moments! See blog. As I do all the making myself, I also like to get a second pair of eyes to look over the bags at certain stages to make sure there is no faulty stitching or other errors in the workwomanship that I may have missed!
The PlayBag Mini wtih 8kg weights suspended from the closure!
To be able to use the CE mark, the PlayBag has to undergo a series of tests to ensure that it is conforms to the Toy Safety Standards. For example does it pose any threats such as parts being swallowed? Can it stand being pulled and twisted and weights suspended from any perceived weak points? It also has to pass a flammability test as well as ensuring that the quality and standard of the materials used are free from chemicals etc.
The actual making of the PlayBags has to undergo rigorous testing to ensure that the quality of workmanship is maintained. They are checked at various stages of the making process. The individual exteriors and interiors are checked, then the complete unit is checked again, and finally the poppers and handles and checked. All good to go!!
For more information on CE marking check out the Conformance website.
The four new designs available soon!
I hope you like the new designs. Leave us a comment and let us know what you think about the new Mini range.