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Our Interview with Green Toys

Our Interview with Green Toys

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to attend the annual Toy Fair in Melbourne - the convention hall was packed to the rafters with the latest and greatest toys that would soon be hitting the shelves of toy stores all across Australia! Literally thousands upon thousands of toys were on display from over 180 exhibitors, but few were as exciting as what Green Toys had to offer. 

green toys display toy fair Melbourne 2019 entropy
Just a part of Green Toys' Display at Melbourne Toy Fair 2019.

If you're unfamiliar with Green Toys, let me excitedly tell you all about them!

Green Toys are a manufacturer based in California who make a wide range of toys using 100% recycled materials. Down to the packaging, absolutely everything is recycled and recyclable.

Speaking of the packaging, when you pick up a Green Toys toy it's immediately obvious how clever the packaging is, for instance, the cardboard folds around the product in such a way that it eliminates the need for cable ties. 

All of this was immediately impressive, but I wanted to learn more - where does Green Toys source their recycled materials from? What are the limitations to this manufacturing process? And what about the actual quality of the toys? To help me with these questions and more, I spoke to Nicole Hamilton, Director of Sales for Green Toys, who was in attendance at Melbourne Toy Fair.

Can you tell me a bit more about where the recycled materials come from?

Nicole: Absolutely. Most of our toys are made from plastic collected from discarded milk jugs.

Me: Really? How does Green Toys collect them?

Nicole: We partner with a collection facility in California - and it's not just us who do so, the plastic also gets used to make lots of other things too, like park benches for the city.

Me: Wow. So there's no real big secret to this process, any one could do it.

Nicole: Yep! Anyone could do it!

Me: Why don't they? What's preventing more companies from doing what you're doing?

Nicole: It comes down to price [of manufacturing with these materials, and in the US] but we'd rather do things this way.

Me: So how many milk jugs has Green Toys used?

Nicole: We've helped prevent over 75 million milk jugs from going into the landfill, and counting!

Me: Seventy-five million?

Nicole: Yes! It can around 8 or 9 jugs per toy.

Each Green Toys Rescue Boat and Helicopter saves nearly 9 milk jugs from going into the landfill.Each Green Toys Rescue Boat and Helicopter saves
nearly 9 large milk jugs from ending up in the landfill.

Me: Wow. But then, when people learn that your toys are made from recycled plastic, do they ever seem concerned about the actual quality of them?

Nicole: No, not really. All of our toys are very durable, plus all of the plastic toys are dishwasher safe too.

Me: This all sounds so easy. Was it?

Nicole: It was hard! It was a slow process, we weren't successful right away, it was slow. But the internet helped. It helped spread our message and we found people who were just as passionate as us about what we are doing.

Me: And what about now? What's new with Green Toys?

Nicole: Well we have a new product here, the OceanBound Tide Pool Set. It's made from plastic materials we help prevent from entering the world's oceans.

Me: And it's a lovely message that this is a beach toy!

Nicole: Exactly!

Me: (Picks up a Green Toys truck) All of your toys also seem to have nice and intricate details on them.

Nicole: Thanks! And you'll notice that all of our vehicles have our signature 8-Track player built into them!

Me: Old school!... Could another brand, let's say Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, make action figures using the same sort of manufacturing process? With complex moving parts, arms and legs, or would that be too complicated?

Nicole: Maybe... for now we're limited to using single solid colours for each piece of the toy, so an action figure would have its hurdles. But figurines, for sure it can be done.

Me: Are there any toys that Green Toys won't make?

Nicole: ...I'd say war toys. I don't think we'd ever do something like that.

Me: No tanks?

Nicole: (Laughs) No, probably not.

Me: Ok, one last fun question... If Disney Pixar called you to offer one Green Toys toy to be in Toy Story 5, which toy would you choose?

Nicole: Ooh! Good question. I think the Tug Boat!

Me: A bath toy!

Nicole: Yeah, let's go with the Tug Boat!

Me: Thank you so much Nicole! This has been really helpful!

Nicole: A pleasure!

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Check out our all new stock of Green Toys at Entropy!

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