The business began in Peter Ireland’s garden shed in Kent, England in 1985. Peter hand crafted wooden jigsaws which he and wife Liz sold at craft fairs all over the UK. Liz and Peter were both teachers by profession and so have always had child development and education at the heart of what they do.
Keeping it in the family
The business has grown enormously since then but remains family run, with Liz and Peter’s two son’s, Sam and Tom also becoming Directors in 2017. Grandchildren Arthur and Edith even get involved with testing the toys! It really is a family affair.
It just keeps on growing
The company operates from a large warehouse in Folkestone, Kent and distributes toys worldwide to 93 countries. We currently employ 39 people in the UK and continue to go from strength to strength.
Our mission: To deliver quality, safe and affordable products which are responsibly sourced and complement childhood development through fun, exploration and learning.
Our ethical responsibility
We work closely with a number of production facilities in the Far East who are regularly visited by our Managing Director Liz. Liz takes great care to ensure that the facilities are operating ethically and are committed to the quality that we expect.
Right from the source
Our directors visit the sites where our wood is sourced to ensure environmental criteria are being met. The majority of our products are manufactured using Rubberwood. Rubberwood is a byproduct of the latex production process. Rather than the wood being discarded at the end of its useful life, it is harvested from replenishable forests and used in our toy production. It is a solid hardwood, perfect for producing quality, hard wearing toys.
Our distribution brands
Our partner brands are selected based, amongst other things, on similar environmental and social credentials. Green Toys, for example, are made solely from recycled spent milk bottles in the US and Rubbabu products are produced from 100% natural rubber latex.
Safe, quality toys
Independent safety testing
Each toy in our range has been safety tested by an independent lab to ensure that it meets the standards required to be sold in Europe (EN71 regulations) and/or North America (ASTM regulations). This testing process includes rigorous durability testing, chemical and paint analysis and consideration for age appropriate guidelines.
Learning through play
Our toys are designed at our HQ in Folkestone by our creative team. Each product is designed to encourage key skills and is graded according to age appropriate guidelines. We firmly believe in the importance of learning through play and our products support some aspect of child development. From rhythm to number recognition, from manual dexterity to gross motor skills, we love to encourage children to play, explore and learn.
Child friendly paints, stains & lacquers
Young children often explore textures with their mouths. During this stage, you need to be sure that no damaging chemicals will be ingested from the surface of the toy. You can be assured that all of our products use child friendly paints, stains and lacquers and pass stringent safety testing guidelines regarding surface coverings.