Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Threat of Lead Paint in Toys Inspires New Approach with EcoTruck

Danbury, CT -- In 2008, the founders of Luke's Toy Factory became troubled by recent reports of toy recalls due to the presence of lead paint. Recognizing that toys should simply be a fun and carefree part of childhood, they started to brainstorm how they could do things differently in the industry.

Over the past few years, the two father-son duos that make up Luke's Toy Factory have been researching materials and production processes in an effort to find a better way to make toys in the USA that are recycled, safe and sustainable. These efforts have lead to a prototype toy called the EcoTruck, created with composites which incorporate organic materials and plastic.

With the EcoTruck, the company hopes to inspire a revolution in toy making through the following features:
  • "A super premium quality toy intended to last for generations. We designed this toy to have the look and feel of classic wooden toys that go back to an earlier era, when handmade toys were affordable and made locally.
  • This toy will sell at comparable prices to toys currently on the market. With our innovative materials and manufacturing process, and no overseas shipping costs, we can make a higher quality toy and pass the savings on to you.
  • At least 30% of the plastic will be replaced with organic fibers. We will use a new type of material that is a hybrid between wood and plastic. While it will have the look and feel of wood, it will also be injection moldable like plastics.
  • Completely paint free - no surface coatings to flake off. Every parent knows that kids put things in their mouth. You will never have to worry about lead paint or other chemicals flaking off of the toy. The color is molded in.
  • This toy is tough! Our toys are made with a 300% heavier gauge material than other comparable toys. It's more durable, and we think it's the only way to go."
After developing over 20 different toy designs, Luke's Toy Factory is hoping to launch its first toy in the series, a firetruck, through the help of a Kickstarter funding campaign. The image below highlights the main features of the innovative product:

Sustainable toys lead-free made in USA

More About Luke's Toy Factory
We are a well rounded team. Luke designs the toys, using computer aided design software. His designs are simple, yet realistic, aimed at the child just outgrowing simple block style toys, but not ready for complex building toys. Mitch designs the packaging, logos and graphics, with an emphasis on sustainable packaging to complement the toys. Evan takes care of marketing and social media, building awareness of our goals. Using his business background, he also helps plan strategies to keep us moving forward. Jim has become an expert at the myriad details involved in the injection molding and plastic composites field. His pioneering work on this project earned him an invitation to deliver the keynote speech at an industry conference devoted to new composite materials and their applications.

The Dangers of Lead Paint
Exposure to lead has severe health risks in children and adults. Children exposed to even very low levels of lead can experience drops in average intelligence and social and behavioral problems. Lead poisoning has even been found to lead to criminal behavior. Due to these health and educational risks associated with lead, it is estimated that lead exposure costs the world $977 in GDP a year.