In this video, we talk with the owner of Pin Toys, a company that makes wooden toys.
Sam Norman: Toys are widely important part of child it stimulating with physical skills and the development of creative imagination. And your house is probably bursting and it seems with them but now thanks to companies like pin toys then I'll not only effectively pleasing but environmentally friendly too, So I would like to welcome Anthony King co founder of John Crane limited a company based in North Hampton, which distributes pin toys and baby products, Anthony welcome to the studio how did pin toys come about. Anthony King: Well, pin toys was established in Thailand, I think the company is probably about 25 years old, we John met them first of all when he was on the trip out there, and it was when we realize that -- a couple of who were selling toys in bulk in containers to there is larger customers in UK, we went at last very long because those companies were sending their in buyers up to far east, so we were looking for needs to concentrate in and we had some experience with wood already, and pin toys very much foot at the bill and had some lovely product, and Sam Norman: What's behind it, they look -- white pin toys why woods? Anthony King: Well, woods are lovely natural product, If you go back little far enough I think all children played with wooden toys or toys of their own creation, and this always been a demand for it, its fold in a way with introduce introduction of plastic, but its back to nature that the product are made from environmentally friendly, with an environmentally friendly product and rubber wood which starts life as a rubber tree, oozing latex which then goes off to the rubber industries of the world after about 25 years the tree looses it's capacity to yield the right rate so they use to be just felt and burned, but if they are dried carefully and treated properly they make much wonderful raw material for kitchen product and especially toys. Sam Norman: And these are from sustain replenishable forest something Anthony King: Oh yes, absolutely yes yeah, I mean that the big plantation people are have a contour growing program the whole time and when a plantation is fell disease replant it. Sam Norman: Are you more expensive than other companies? Anthony King: Yes, well the products are when we you know when we like to think that just about the best wooden products available in the UK, so we are slightly more expensive, we concentrate on an each market, a lots of our ideas will probably end up being sold in what we called main stream toys in the big history names, but some we cant live with that so we will drop that and we will move on John and his Wife are particularly strong in the innovation and looking for a new toys or variation on a thing, and so we keep introducing new product and so that's new and fresh and people move on to that, Sam Norman: And John is your business partner. Anthony King: Yeah John is the Managing Director of the Company, John Crane, that's right, yeah. Sam Norman: Now let's have a look I mean they are very beautiful these toys and they would look its absolutely fantastic, and so I mean this is a very traditional sort of toys isn't. Anthony King: Yes, this is an activity train, basically you got 3 connective in 2 coaches we add a little bit of play value switch that attach bar toggle this is got a little mirror, and its Velcro catch and when out the toy to have pull it -- Sam Norman: You have been big for these I think. Anthony King: And then you have also got this little bead frames and bead characters which you have it in that side. Sam Norman: Very cute, and this sort of thing you wouldn't mind having around the house outside. Anthony King: That absolutely I mean, decoratively its very -- Sam Norman: Exactly yeah. Anthony King: In this lots of play value in children put it away and they can come back to it, if you look at this little rattle on this side, I gave on these to my grandson and it was very definitely his favorite toy he get to get this little fingers around, and when it began it made a noise he could suck it, and then as he grow older and more like a little boy it became a mess all. Sam Norman: So which his mommy was pleased. Anthony King: And like wise these little hand rattles that's something for the child prefer to and it's sound and color which appears to the children. Sam Norman: Is there any scientific proof that wood is better, for development than plastic. Anthony King: No I don't think so I think its mis static its a personal choice and I think because wood is not mainstream known it must to be different, so people buy wooden toys. Sam Norman: But are we going back to that is that not I would. Anthony King: And there I think that wood is enjoying a -- at the moment absolutely but who knows in to five, six years time there may be a new, new raw material and people will move on to that, but they will also be a demand for wooden toys, if you get in to a what we call miniature play things like dolls houses, and well a boys toys also get fast station when the trains set or something like that, is the capabilities of the that the toys are very similar to those. Sam Norman: And you do those as well, you do the dolls houses. Anthony King: We do dolls houses we do, fire stations very popular one, we do a long life range, which is a jungle lodge with about 7 or 8 different pairs of animals and trees and everything in it and that's very good. Sam Norman: Even I would like one of those, they were in wood, Anthony King: In wood yes, and the giraffes and well all the animals have little fabric jackets, so we make it to winter, but you gets the cold out of here they have the jackets on there but again its an extra Sam Norman: A coat is yeah exactly. Anthony King: Value as far as place concern they can be taken off raw material, Sam Norman: And this is for Pre School. Anthony King: Yes, you know we the wooden toys we start well if with these rattles its more or less from birth but we don't have that many rattles and teethers so we thus a bit of the gap between birth and up to about 2-3 years, I mean anything to do with dolls house or we can even have small pups, so you got a parental supervision and that's were the plastic range of we do the toddler toys, comes in to so there is also. Sam Norman: Some plastic Anthony King: And we do that and we start to doing some plastic at last year it's the toddler range which is very popular and it's a high quality range. Sam Norman: Now I can see that. Anthony King: And it's got some very nice product and they do plastic amplug. Sam Norman: And very colorful Anthony King: Very, very colorful yes Sam Norman: And that little chain thing on the floor that's cute. Anthony King: Well, actually that one I got awarded this year's good toy awards watch which I was awarded back 2 months ago, and there is, this is a little bit of electronic involved. Sam Norman: And let me see Anthony King: And you press down the drivers head and it lights up and it start vibrate then it will travel away from the child for about a meter, meter and a half. Sam Norman: Yeah Anthony King: And correctly child will crawl up to it and then. Sam Norman: And start to lay it again and drive as -- Anthony King: And then it stops. Sam Norman: Do you have an, oh wow a kid Anthony King: And I never know whether it's run over taken that's all in child laughing. Sam Norman: Yes exactly, do you have good feed back from the parents? Anthony King: Oh yes, we get a lots of letters and complementing us on the toys, sometimes making suggestions for improvement which we always welcome, and yes its very nice to get a feed back and then every now and again I'm afraid it is, it's the world we live in I don't like this because such and such fell affords cut cracked in it and going back to the wood if you are dealing with wooden products its I'm afraid, a possibility can happen, but we are up righted very consumer friendly replacement policy and. Sam Norman: And you've won a of awards haven't you? Anthony King: Yes, we do we have well, we like to think that with pin toys and with toddler we have got to very innovative companies we help particularly with pin and we have a wish list which we get them every year and we actually do and provide some designers in the UK and we will fly them out of the factory and they can work with the factory there, but they have a very active development, and on the company act department there is all. Sam Norman: And presumably they are very stringed and develop health and safety I mean so hall mark so. Anthony King: Absolutely wrong, you know I mean old toys that com in to Europe have to confirm to the European safety regulations and we carry adults here, at Thailand all the products that come in we have test certificates and any customer buys from us as putting time for ask for this, absolutely and then pin toys on top of that, have received an award from the toy Government for their contribution to the environmental friendliness of their activities, and that there is a logo on all their boxes which signifies that's been order to them. Sam Norman: Which is your particular favorite? Anthony King: Well, because I'm slightly bigger than the baby market, I just love the fire station and the fire engine and then the fire fighters and so on. Sam Norman: It's a shame we have when its bring one in, and never mind. Anthony King: But you know that, there is offered children are suppose to babies. Sam Norman: And what are the best sellers? Anthony King: Well, very basic things like the hammer bench, If you take this hammer bench and here we go. Sam Norman: What's that is fallen down. Anthony King: That's the clock that is fallen down but it hammering thing, all children love hammering in that, and then If you just then don't come after this which because they got a gasket in them If you turn them over and then they can go back the other way, and you can tell which one certain colors which one to move back first so there is always an educational element and thing. Sam Norman: And what about the future where you are going to go with this to think? Anthony King: Well we have got kick and if you want, if you want to stay life we got to keep designing new toys or a variations on all themes, we look for new markets a lot of these wooden toys are now because as a scientist changing and you got day care nursery's and things like that, a lots of these end up as a intake in nursery's and so the educational market as we quote it are always looking for opportunities there and a lot of these toys are in educational catalogs and being offered to those day care centers and nursery's etcetera, etcetera. Sam Norman: As this be must be a very rarefy market mustn't it there's a lot of hand me downs and. Anthony King: Yes well you know I think a lot of these toys having high degree of longevity. Sam Norman: Well exactly shooting shells on the foot on you making them. Anthony King: In a way yes, that's why we have to keep designing new ones. Sam Norman: Best of luck for the future, thank you very much, and I think they are very beautiful. Anthony King: Thank you very much good.