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What is a durable toy?

Disposable plastics invaded the toy department a long time ago. Sometimes in a visible way (like with Kinder toys) or in a less obvious way (with all cheap toys)
As parents we tend to assess a toy by its apparent capacity to resist all our children’s tests of solidity… But beware, material as such is rarely a sufficient criteria.

How do you pick a durable toy?
Which criteria should you consider as priorities to make a good choice for your children and the planet?

• What is a durable toy? • audelemaitre photographe fabulabox 237

Solidity is quality

Many parents ask us about the solidity of our toys since it is mainly made of cardboard. Indeed we tend to think cardboard is a fragile material, while we believe wood or plastics are not. Truth is a material type is not enough information to judge the quality behind the toy. Design and choice of qualitative materials are.

Thin plastic = brittle If your construction game is 2 times cheaper than a Lego, it might be because its plastic components are too thin and irregular to be resistant. Thin plastic elements or junctions will break very easily during use and make it impossible to play. This is why all our assembly plugs are made of a very strong bioplastic material with a regular thickness that ensures their durability.

Wood vs agglomerated woodWood based material is not as strong as real wood. Agglomerated wood for instance an quickly crack and warp because of humidity. The type of wood is rarely mentioned on the toy packaging, but the geographic origin and price are 2 factors to look for. In default of knowing what type of wood is used (rarely mentioned on the packaging), the geographic origin of the wood is already a good indicator since all countries don’t have the same forest regulations. As wood is a noble material, hard to print: a fair price should also give you a good sign.

Carboard and paper: all about density Thickness is not enough, what matters is fiber density! Traditional paper is a very light weight paper: repeted use and humidity will damage its visual aspect. But thick grey carton is also very fragile on its edges and won’t resist a folding.

For all our Fabulabox frontages and packagings, we only use a thin but very dense fiber cardboard (480g / 3 times more dense that drawing paper) which is both flexible and resistant to use. Thus, it will twist easily, come back to its shape, but not break.

Finally, corrugated/alveolar carton will be more resistant with small and tightened alveolus (such as in our Fabulabox gameboards). The more matter, the more resistance. Price is again a good clue on the expected solidity.


Solidity is the result of a committed design which selects really resistant materials for our dear (and unruly) child. That’s the all purpose of ou commitments in Fabulabox: check out our commitments


The country of origine is a guarantee
We are fortunate to live in a country which is largely protective in the world of toys, both on health standards and custom. But no supervisory bodiy can check 100% of the imported production. A local toy it is not only a better sanitary guarantee but also a good way to be sure the transport has been less polluting. So yes, for the toys too, buy local !

You are Fabulous

A brand who commits and proves it, is a better choice than any green like branding.  Beyond staging, materials, production ways and final products shall all be aligned with a brand commitment. That’s a major process involving all the steps of our work in Fabulabox. If a brand emphasizes the marketing of only one locally manufactured toy… it means the others are not. My final advice would be: if the toy has no real branding, the manufacturer does not engage itself. The product might look attractive and cheap on the packaging, and will turn out to be totally disposable. So a word to the wise…