Where can I get advice about making toys?

I’m afraid I don't have the time or expertise to help with enquiries on toy safety legislation but here are some pointers.  If you would like more advice, please head for the websites and resources listed below.

Little Brown Dog Workshop sells unpainted wooden peg dolls and shapes as craft parts and not as toys, but as lots of customers want to use wooden parts to make toys, we have testing done on some of our products to help you choose the one that is right for you. EN71 compliance testing is expensive, so we are focusing on larger parts that will be suitable for making toys for all but the youngest children. If there's no test, it doesn't mean the part is not suitable for toy makers, it just means we haven't done the first stage of testing for you. 

You can be sure our parts that are EN71 compliant are suitable for making toys, but that doesn't mean they are a finished toy or can be CE marked. For the shapes to become toys they need to be decorated and finished, and it is this completed toy and its packaging that needs to demonstrate compliance and be CE marked. CE marking is a declaration of conformity with all the legal requirements to achieve CE marking https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ce-marking

What the parts are decorated / dressed / painted and sealed with is just as important as the shape itself and the maker of the finished toy needs to demonstrate that all these elements, and the product packaging, complies with toy safety legislation. There's a detailed process of testing, reporting, demonstrating conformity and marking to be dealt with before that completed item can be called a toy. Part of demonstrating compliance is keeping records to show what you have used, how you have put it together, and how you have tested it. You need to keep batch records as well, as you continue to make repeats of your items.

For testing, you are showing that your product is compliant with the EU Toy Safety Directive. In the UK this is mainly done using tests under British Standard EN71 parts 1, 2 and 3 but other standards may apply depending on your product.

With careful sourcing of compliant parts and compliant paints and finishes, some toy makers complete the remaining tests themselves and self-certify their compliance. People making large quantities and selling to retailers usually move from self-certification to getting their own laboratory testing done on the final product. Either way, products that have passed the tests and comply with the requirements then need to be CE marked as compliant before they can be sold as toys.

 

A bit more detail and some websites to help you:

After doing some preliminary research you might find it helpful to talk to your local Trading Standards office for advice.

Government website for toy manufacturers https://www.gov.uk/guidance/toy-manufacturers-and-their-responsibilities

The EU Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC – brace yourself if you’re going to read this one. https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/toys/safety/legislation_en

EN71 - the British Standard sets out the tests that toys must go through and pass for the safety criteria set out the EU Toy Safety Directive. Maddeningly this is not directly available online except at great expense from the British Standards Institute. There is a copy available online thanks to an action group called Law Resource, but I can’t be certain it is complete, or fully up to date.

 

You might like to join the CE Marking Handmade Toys Collective. If you are a member you can pay to download a pack that has further information on testing and working on your toy compliance.

The collective has a main group on Facebook but there is a subgroup specifically for people involved with wooden toys 

 

Conformance produce packs to help with self-certification of toys but I don’t know if they cover testing https://www.conformance.co.uk/