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Wooden toys for European markets

Wooden toys for European markets

One Thai company has built a solid reputation with wooden toys and fine workmanship, different from mass-produced Chinese plastic toys.

No playing around with quality, Thai maker and exporter of wooden toys continues to find a market for its classic style with no need for bells and whistles by Nanchanok Wongsamuth

Amid stiff competition and the steady growth of new innovative and electronic toys, Pin International Co Ltd, a popular Thai manufacturer and exporter of wooden toys, remains confident in its classic style and premium quality.

Mr Dudsadee says China is the leader in plastic toys, which need a lot of machinery “as opposed to workmanship, which is what we excel at.”

Managing director Dudsadee Laoticharoen said that while more toys are going high-tech with sounds, lights and electronic gadgetry, wooden toys likewise need to innovate to some degree but must also maintain their originality

The Pintoy brand covers a wide range of children’s products – toys, baby products, games, gift items and furniture

Products are manufactured in Thailand using rubberwood from latex plantations and combining attractiveness, educational value, enjoyment, safety, functionality and durability.

Starting out as an original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) for other companies, the 24-year-old toymaker now also produces its own brand.

Pin International is one of only a handful of Thai companies whose products meet the EN 71 European toy safety standard assuring consumers of physical and mechanical safety along with freedom from hazardous lead and heavy metal migration.

Some 70% of output is the company’s Pintoy brand, while the rest is still OEM work, with client companies assisting with technical know-how.

With annual growth of 5-10%, Pin International is confident of maintaining a market presence with the help of its exclusive distributors in 24 countries.

Mr Dudsadee said competition in the global toy market is intense, dominated by China with a 70% share.

Plastic toys account for half of global toy output, followed by cloth-based toys at 30% and wooden products at less than 10%.

Thailand exports 9 billion baht worth of toys each year, with fewer than 20 factories making premium-grade wooden products. Pin International ships 70% of its products to Western European countries such as the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and Portugal.

Mr Dudsadee said wooden toys were more popular in Europe than in Asia.

Pin International’s toys made from rubberwood have gained a solid reputation for attractiveness, educational value, enjoyment, safety, functionality and durability.

“As for the US, its premium market is focused more on plastic toys, while its wooden toys are low-grade. We’ll have to wait a while for the economy there to recover,” said Mr Dudsadee.


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