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Nontoxic inflatable toy materials take center stage

More inflatable toy manufacturers are switching to chemically safe and "green" plastic.

China suppliers of inflatable toys are adopting nonhazardous materials amid heightened overseas restrictions for phthalate-containing PVC, which is predominantly employed in the line.

Inflatable toy

This pair of inflatable toy boxing gloves from P&D comes in 0.18mm-thick 7P PVC.

After the EU and the US began regulating the use of the substance, countries such as Canada, Japan, Malaysia and Argentina followed suit. Both the 2009/48/EC and CPSIA limit DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP and DNOP content to below 1,000ppm.

More manufacturers are therefore utilizing 6P PVC even for designs catering to less stringent markets. This way, businesses can ensure and sustain product quality across all export destinations. Just a few makers continue to adopt 3P and conventional variants for lower-priced models, and only on request.

Phthalate-free PVC is widely processed using acetyl tributyl citrate plasticizers. Apart from being chemically safer, ATBC is biodegradable, decomposing in soil within merely two days. The substance also heightens durability and prevents yellowing after UV exposure.

EVA, PE and TPU are the other nontoxic material options. The last is the most popular choice next to PVC as it withstands oil, mildew, corrosion and dents, and boasts anti-bacterial and -oxidant qualities. Further, TPU can decay in three to five years when put under natural ecological conditions.

Inflatable toys from China are available in a range of styles, including balls and swim rings. There are also ride-on models in animal, cartoon, automobile, plane, boat or lounger designs.

Releases shorter than 0.5m are generally considered small. Medium products measure between 0.6 and 0.8m, and larger ones can reach 1 to 1.5m.

The thickness of the material used depends on the dimensions and intended function of the toy. To illustrate, 0.18 to 0.25mm plastic sheets are usually for small swim rings and loungers. Bigger models employ 0.4 to 1mm film, which boasts better durability. These are typical for large beach toys.

Prices are mainly determined by the material utilized. Given similar sizes, items made of 6P PVC or PE are 10 to 20 percent more expensive than those in regular or 3P PVC. EVA releases are 50 percent higher, while TPU versions are double the value of 6P variants.

Product dimensions also influence quotes in terms of input consumption. Toys smaller than 0.5m are $0.10 to $2, with intermediate types at $0.55 to $1. Models between 0.5 and 2m start at $2 and can exceed $8. Larger variants are generally more than $10.

Quotes increased 7 to 10 percent in recent months amid rising material costs. In particular, 6P PVC sheet rates climbed from $1,923 per ton to $2,460 YoY.

Products & prices

China’s selection of automotive switches includes open, sealed and flux-resistant constructions. Designs in rectangular and round housings are available, the latter having emerged together with the release of the Volkswagen Santana 2000.

Models have up to six contact points made of silver alloy or another metal. For the housing or insulating material, black nylon 6 and 66 top raw material options. White nylon is also popular, usually featuring anti-reflective coating. LED indicators are integrated into several designs for visibility.

Units can typically be used for up to 50,000 on/off cycles. Some releases, however, can last 50,000 operations.

For relays, the range in China comprises single and combination types. Open-vent or through-hole versions are common.

The maximum continuous current of units reaches 30A, while coil wire insulation is up to class H or 180 C. Ambient temperature ranges from -40 to 125 C.

Products conform to various standards, including C/FMVSS 302, RoHS, ELV, UL, TÜV, CSA and CQC.

Prices of China-made switches start at $0.50. Quotes for water-resistant properties begin at $3, while VSRs are at least $10 each.

Product gallery

Inflatable toys price guide

Boxing gloves

Product gallery

P&D Plastic Manufacture Co. Ltd

Model: Inflatable Boxing Gloves
MOQ: 5,000 pairs
Delivery: 40 days
Description: Boxing gloves; 0.18mm-thick 7P PVC; 19in; EN 71, CE

Rolling pool toy

P&D Plastic Manufacture Co. Ltd

Model: Inflatable Roller
MOQ: 3,000 pieces
Delivery: 40 days
Description: Rolling pool toy; 0.25mm-thick 7P PVC; 48in; EN 71, CE


P&D Plastic Manufacture Co. Ltd

Model: Inflatable Teeter Toddler
MOQ: 3,000 pieces
Delivery: 40 days
Description: Seesaw; 0.25mm-thick 7P PVC; 48in; EN 71, CE

Flying disc

Rui Feng Da Toys

Model: RFD091031079
MOQ: 3,000 pieces
Delivery: 35 days
Description: Flying disc; nylon; aluminum frame; UFO design

Rabbit head

Rui Feng Da Toys

Model: RFD110425027
MOQ: 3,000 pieces
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Rabbit head; nylon; 22x28in; custom logos

Ride-on toy whale

Yifeng Imp. & Exp. Trading Co. Ltd

Model: 1102Z074
MOQ: 5 cartons
Delivery: 40 days
Description: Ride-on toy whale; 6P PVC; 46cm

Hop ball

Yifeng Imp. & Exp. Trading Co. Ltd

Model: 1104S351
MOQ: 5 cartons
Delivery: 40 days
Description: Hop ball; 3 or 6P PVC; with handle; 46cm

Beach ball

Yiwu Tuozhan Plastic Toys Co. Ltd

Model: TZ-01
MOQ: 5,000 pieces
Delivery: 40 days
Description: Beach ball; 6P PVC; custom logos, OEM orders accepted

Pool ring

Yiwu Tuozhan Plastic Toys Co. Ltd

Model: TZ-02
MOQ: 5,000 pieces
Delivery: 40 days
Description: Pool ring; 6P PVC; allover print; custom logos, OEM orders accepted

Note: This article "Nontoxic inflatable toy materials take center stage" 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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