6cm tall rounded peg doll figures
Why are the 6cm rounded body dolls not suitable for children 0-36 months?
As far as we know these shapes are the same as those used by some fairly major makers of simple, imaginative play toys for youngsters and those makers say the shape is suitable for ages 1+. (**In fact one of those makers has recently introduced taller, 6.4cm figures)
At the Little Brown Dog Workshop we think the 6cm shapes are not suitable under 36 months - here's why.
Amongst the extensive legal requirements for testing toy parts, there are two tests that are especially about the size and shape of toys and loose parts for children of 0-36 months. Both tests apply to our wooden figures and shapes. The first is the Small Parts Cylinder, and the second is the Play Figures test.
(1) the Small Parts Cylinder: All loose small components must be tested with something called a Small Parts Cylinder (also known as a choke tester). Anything that fits entirely within the small part tester is too small for a child under 36 months to play with because it could be a choking hazard.
(2) The Play Figures Test: the second test is for 'play figure' shapes under 6.4cm long. It is part of a suite of tests looking at shapes that could block a child's airway. The Play Figures test is a special test that applies to cylindrical shapes with a head, neck and body. Any peg doll that is longer than 6.4cm is OK and passes this test. That's because if a child had a toy bigger than 6.4cm long in their mouth, there would be enough toy sticking out for you to grip the toy with your fingers and remove it.
Any 'play figures' parts that are shorter than 6.4cm need to be tested and they fail the test if they fit through a hole in a special Play Figures template. This hole is much bigger than the hole in the small parts tester so parts that would pass the Small Parts Cylinder test can fail the Play Figures test. 6cm shapes are obviously shorter than 6.4cm so we believe they should all to be tested with both the Small Parts Cylinder and the Play Figures tests.
Our cylindrical 6cm boy shapes protrude from the small parts cylinder, but fit through the play figures template. Because they pass the first test but fail the second test, they are not suitable for children under 36 months (although they are fine for children who are older).
The lovely 6cm tall, 3cm (max) wide rounded body shapes do exactly the same. They protrude from the small parts cylinder and pass the first test, but fit through the play figures template. They ought to fail the second test, shouldn't they? Well, we think so and that's the advice of the lab that tests our shapes too, which is why we say suitable for children over 36months only.
So why do they 'officially' pass the second test? The letter of the law defines a play figure as a cylinder. A cylinder is a mathematical definition for a figure with straight, parallel sides. The rounded body shape is not a cylinder because it has sides that flare out. So, the rounded body figure passes the play figures test purely on a technicality.
We'd much rather be sure that children were safe than dance around with weasel words and definitions, and we believe the law was never really intended to restrict the test to 'cylinders' so we sell our 6cm tall boy peg dolls and rounded body peg dolls as suitable for over 36 months only. They are absolutely beautiful shapes for older children and for adults alike.
And for all the little 1+ folks out there? We are commissioning bespoke figures that are 6.5cm tall - they should be in stock in mid-May. Whether the sides are straight or rounded, shapes this size are long enough to fish out of a youngster's mouth if they have it in there. They pass both tests and that sounds like common sense to us.