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Cognitive learning drives R&D for infant toys

Recent baby toys help teach basic reading, counting and problem solving.

China infant toy manufacturers are incorporating intelligence-enhancing features to differentiate models.

Baby rattle and bell toy set

Shantou Chenghai Xiuhong's model 8108 baby rattle and bell toy set is made of ABS and housed in a character-shaped container.

Many companies are now tapping into cognitive learning because most releases already develop hand-and-eye coordination, grip, crawling and walking, and stimulate the sense of sight, hearing and smell.

Recently launched wooden blocks are inlayed with numbers and letters to initiate basic counting and reading. Simple jigsaw or matching-type puzzles encourage problem solving.

Meanwhile, Shantou Chenglee Plastic Co. Ltd’s 20-piece free-form building set aids in strengthening the creativity of babies up to 24 months old.

To enhance the educational aspect further, more makers are incorporating electronic functions. Books in this category are fitted with audio ICs that boost recognition of different animals and objects.

The range of infant toys from China includes soft toys, mobiles, rattles, and bath and developmental releases. The first represents the largest subcategory.

Soft playthings are generally 5 to 12in. Models come in cotton or polyester velour, microfiber, velvet, flannel or terry. They are priced between $1 and $8, with midrange items at $3.50 to $5.

Environment-friendly materials such as bamboo rayon and organic cotton are available in the high end. But since the fibers are 30 to 50 percent costlier than regular variants, finished products can be 30 percent more expensive.

Mobiles consist of two to four bar frames in plastic, solid wood or bamboo. Fabric attachments may be offered. The toys are available in nonmotorized and battery-powered versions, with the first including wind-up configurations.

Nonelectronic variants are quoted at $2 to $5, while their counterparts are $4 to $10. Prices of the latter are dependent on the number of hanging components and additional functions such as music playing, voice recording, volume control and lighting.

Infant toy quotes are anticipated to increase in coming months as suppliers conform to the recently implemented 2009/48/EC. Manufacturers must invest particularly in costlier compliant materials and extra testing fees.

Currently, very few mainland China providers are capable of turning out certified inputs, forcing companies to source abroad. As it is, factories are procuring 50 percent of their requirement from Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Germany, with share expected to increase during the year. Expenses are also projected to climb 30 to 50 percent.

As for product inspection, suppliers are spending more for re-examinations given the number of restricted heavy metals increased from eight to 19. Small and midsize infant toy makers are struggling to keep operating costs to a minimum, but price augmentations may be unavoidable

Product gallery

Bath toys price guide

Soft toys price guide

Mobiles price guide

Baby rattle, bell toy set

Product gallery

Shantou Chenghai Xiuhong Plastic Toys Fty

Model: 8108
MOQ: 500 sets
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Baby rattle, bell toy set; ABS; character-shaped container

Baby water toy

Shantou Chenghai Xiuhong Plastic Toys Fty

Model: 8735
MOQ: 500 pieces
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Baby water toy; ABS; spurts three water columns; auto-rotating function; whale design; 48 pieces per 54x40x80cm carton

Baby mobile

Shantou Chenghai Xiuhong Plastic Toys Fty

Model: 8809
MOQ: 500 sets
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Baby mobile; ABS; plays classical music; rotating function; hen, chick motif; 12 sets per 57.5x49.5x66.5cm carton

Baby building set

Shantou Chenglee Plastic Co. Ltd

Model: 7206
MOQ: 50 sets
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Baby building set; ABS; 20 pieces; for below 3 years old; 62x34x62cm

Baby building set

Shantou Chenglee Plastic Co. Ltd

Model: 7312
MOQ: 50 sets
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Baby building set; ABS; 15 pieces; for below 3 years old; 62x34x62cm

Baby soft toy

ZhengQi Toys Fty

Model: KT001-KT006
MOQ: 1,000 pieces
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Baby soft toy; polyester plush; PP cotton filling; music function; 8 to 30cm

Note: This article "Cognitive learning drives R&D for infant toys" was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.

All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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