Unbound Edition. Meaningful conversations about brand, from Davis Brand Capital.

Even Toys are Going Green

On the eve of Earth Day, the world’s largest toy and baby retail company is producing eco-friendly children’s items that encourage consumers to “Recycle, Reuse, Renew and RE-THINK.”

The new Toys ’R’ Us private brand, appropriately set to launch this week, promotes “Good Green Fun” and features three specific lines with dolls, wooden toys and stuffed animals. The organic cotton dolls have blonde hair and blue dresses colored with natural or water based dyes, while the alphabet blocks and wooden trucks are decorated using an environmentally safe wood burning technique.

I also searched for “organic” on the Toys ’R’ Us Web site and found plush, 100 percent natural cotton monkeys , lambs and other cuddly friends from the award-winning miYim toys company. In addition, Toys ’R’ Us sells Mattel’s new, limited-edition Barbie “BCause” line of accessories. Purses , diaries, pillows and many other items all feature the same girly patchwork quilt design, made of leftover fabrics that would otherwise be discarded. Plus, they feature a bright pink Barbie logo for the stylish young lady.

Toys ’R’ Us is not the first toy company to go green. Green Toys Inc. is dedicated to the production and selling of toys made from recycled plastic milk jugs. The toys are manufactured in California, lowering travel costs, and packaged in 100 percent recyclable materials. The products are available on Amazon.com and other sites . The simple tea and dining sets remind me of days spent in my Fisher Price kitchen, grilling up plastic hamburgers that I now know caused carbon emissions in the manufacturing process.

Put a toy in front of any child and they will play until their attention span runs out. They are not concerned about recycled packaging or the potential dangers of lead-tainted toys. Children simply want to be engaged. Therefore, I am eager to see how the “Good Green Fun” sector of Toys ’R’ Us and Green Toys, Inc., will fare in an industry that focuses on high-technology learning and entertainment. Just think of these little 100 percent cotton dolls tucked between the thousands of brightly colored, plastic toys in the aisles.

What do you think? Will parents purchase organic, plush dolls, or will they stick to the sights and sounds of the Leapfrog ThinkPad? Toys ’R’ Us sells all of these products, so where does the company’s position really stand?


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