Our toy experts explain some of the issues surrounding the following frequently asked questions:


EN 71-1 includes a soaking test when testing for small parts. What kind of toys should this test be applied to?

Wooden kid toy train with blue and yellow background

The EN 71-1 soaking test (clause 8.9) is intended to assess the effect of saliva. The soaking is applied to glued wooden toys as it is known that glue intended for wood may be water based. In addition, glued-on plastic decals are also subject to the soaking test. The requirements are applicable only for toys intended for children under 3 years of age and are performed prior to use and abuse testing, like torque, tension, drop, impact and compression.

Are broken seams on plush toys a failure according to EN 71-1?

Soft-filled toys with simple features intended for holding and cuddling and with fibrous filling are subject to the seam tension test. If, after performing the seam tension test, a 12 mm diameter probe can be inserted by more than 6 mm the fibrous filling is regarded to be accessible. Access to fibrous filling is not acceptable. Although there is uncertainty about the hazard presented by fibrous filling, the CEN standardization committee has found it prudent to require compliance to the seam tension test.

Age grading for toy figurines can be difficult as the information provided in ISO 8124-8 is limited. What can be done to achieve better age grading?

 Wooden toy and a boy playing dinosaurs 749px

Toy figure < 3 years (left), toy figure > 3 years (right)

For age determination of toys, guidance document ISO 8124-8:2016 can be used. However, in some cases the guidance document can be limited. For instance, for toy figurines, ISO 8124-8 states that from the age of 2 years children show interest in “Miniatures of simple characters, like animals, small soldiers, characters made of plastic such as zoo park, super-heroes, fantasy/fictional characters, and historical themes”. If ISO 8124-8 is too limited one should use the CPSC age determination guidelines. The CPSC age determination guidelines are more detailed and explain aspects like complexity and realistic design that may be suitable for older children.

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