As I sat down to write the latest installment of our A to Z brands series for Plan Toys, I started browsing through the two-hundred-some products we carry and it got me thinking…  Sure, we offer everything from the smallest piece of wooden play food to the grandest wooden dollhouse and everything in between, but what exactly is behind the Plan Toys name and why does it continue to be a leader in quality, imagination-inspiring wooden toys?

Plan Toys has been around since 1981, when they opened a small factory in Thailand, making toys exclusively out of sustainable rubberwood.  Since then, their commitment to creating toys that foster imaginative play and educational growth – while being environmentally and socially responsible – has not faltered.  Today, their high-quality wooden toys are available in 59 countries and the company is as dedicated to its mission of “creating innovative toys for the development of every child” as it was when it opened its doors over 30 years ago.

So what’s the big deal about rubberwood anyway?   Well, in the simplest of terms, it’s one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable (not to mention high-quality) woods available for use in the manufacturing of consumer products.  It comes from rubber trees, which are the world’s primary sources of rubber.  Once a tree stops providing the latex sap necessary for rubber, the tree is of no use and is typically cut down and burned then replanted.  Plan Toys saw this as a sustainable opportunity and chose to use the otherwise-discarded natural rubberwood as their primary building material.  The result is a very strong and durable wood, perfect for all sorts of wooden toys.

And so what makes Plan Toys such a strong and durable brand?  I think it comes down to a few simple key things: innovation, awareness and quality.  (I might even liken Plan Toys position in the natural toy industry to that of Apple in the consumer electronics world.)

The Plan Toys catalog of products is constantly evolving.  We’ve recently seen the departure of a large portion of their offerings, many of which seemed to be Plan Toys mainstays, only to be replaced by newer, more smartly designed wooden toys that are sure to become the new standby’s of the company.  These new designs meet changing times and have adapted to the way kids learn and what’s beneficial for their physical, intellectual, and social development.

The awareness label can be described two-fold.  On one hand, Plan Toys is extremely socially aware.  On top of the wide range of baby, toddler, and children’s toys in their product line, they also have developed adaptive toys for children with special needs.  The Build-A-Robot was designed specifically for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, helping to identify emotions, while incorporating sensory elements.  Along with this social awareness, comes an underlying commitment to environmental stewardship. Plan Toys is environmentally conscious in everything they do.  From the natural, non-toxic materials that goes into every one of their wooden toys and the recycled and recyclable material they use in their efficient packaging to the solar energy and biomass that helps run their plant, they truly do operate under a “green mind.”

And, lastly, Plan Toys means quality.  The company is veryserious about having their toys adhere to worldwide safety standards.  Plan Toys’ own standards for quality are evident in their products.  Their wooden toys are not going to chipor break after a few play encounters. They are not going to leach harmful chemicals or have their paint ruboff.  Instead, you’ll have aquality toy that child after child can play with.

So whether you’re looking for that perfect natural baby gift or a wooden version of a classic … Or if you’ve got roads and rails on your mind… Or maybe you’ve got that little one who loves to whip up a delicious meal in their kid-sized pots & pans … Or for those days when you want to mix fun with learning, try the A-Z cards.

I guess what I’m getting at is… If you can think of it, Plan Toys probably offers it and it’s gonna be good!

For more information about this incredible company, visit the Plan Toys website, then come check out our wide selection at Hazelnut Kids.

~ Shannon – Hazelnut Kids Customer Service, Contributing Blogger, and Mother to Holden and Quinn


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