We have found a great line of trucks by Bruder for our toddler. We have the Bruder Caterpillar Track Type Tractor (bulldozer), the Bruder Caterpillar Skid Steer Loader, the Roller and the Roadmax Excavator. Our son has absolutely loved every one and is continually playing with them!
Bruder toys are made in Germany and they carry a Roadmax line of toys that are made for younger children (age 2+). Per the Bruder website, they use only plastics of the highest quality – some of which are also used in the car industry. They collect the scrap plastics, recycle them and re-introduce them to the material flow in an effort to save resources and protect the environment.
Bruder trucks are made of high-impact ABS plastic. In researching exactly what ABS plastic was made of, I found a great article on the Soft Landing “Is Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) Plastic Toxic?”. Their research shows that ABS is a stable resin that doesn’t leach toxic chemicals into food, water or toddler mouths for that matter!
As children get older, more and more of the toys that they will be exposed to are plastic. We as parents can try to make the best choices possible in our selection of plastic toys with the information that we have at hand. A good overview of plastics to avoid can be found in the “Be Wise With Plastics” article at Healthy Child Healthy World. In the case of the Bruder line of toys, I do recommend them since they are made in Germany and have safety and quality checks. Check out Bruder Trucks on Amazon.com!
For the 3 and up crowd, Magna-Tiles are a great, creative toy! The different shaped pieces each have magnets built in to attract on their edges so the construction possibilities are endless! They are manufactured in China but are free of toxic chemicals. Per the Magna-Tiles website, they do not contain any BPA, phthalates, PVC, latex or toxic materials. Magna-Tiles Solid Colors use HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene) plastic and Magna-Tiles Clear Colors use ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) as outlined above.
We chose the clear color 100 piece set and they are a hit! Based on the size of the set we purchased, I wouldn’t suggest going with the smallest set (32 piece) as I don’t think it will allow for as much creativity. The sets are pricey but I do think that the mid-sized sets of 60 pieces or the large set are they way to go to get the most out of the toy! Check Out Magna-Tiles on Amazon.com!
Playmobil & BPA
Wanted to bring awareness to the fact that a number of Playmobil toys were tested in 2011 and found to contain BPA. When I contacted Playmobil in May of 2013 to inquire as to whether or not their products still contained BPA, I received the following response:
We are aware that a report has identified PLAYMOBIL toys as containing BPA (or bisphenol A), a chemical currently limited in children’s products such as plastic baby bottles, sippy cups and other food storage items. PLAYMOBIL can assure our customers that the health and safety of children is our first priority, which is why all our toys undergo intense testing and analysis. The production material, colors as well as the final PLAYMOBIL products themselves are tested according to both US federal toy safety guidelines and European international toy safety rules. PLAYMOBIL toys fulfill, and wherever possible exceed, all existing safety regulations. Playing with PLAYMOBIL toys is not only fun, but safe for children.
Their response does not indicate that they have replaced BPA so please check the testing conducted by Ecology Center to know which items to avoid!