British Made Toys and Games
Squidge & Pip intend to sell British made sensory teething toys. Launching in March 2016, they are one of my twitter followers. Trade only. their website is now up and running and on there they say “Squidge & Pip are proudly and reassuringly MADE IN BRITAIN from the safest medical grade silicone, which is rigorously tested to high British standards – http://www.squidgeandpip.com
“Stickibox offers a range of cardboard box craft kits to unlock a childs creativity and to use their imaginations while at play. Made in the UK” – quoting from their twitter tagline – http://www.stickibox.com
House of Marbles sell marbles, games, toys, and puzzles. Most products are made in China, however their Teign Valley Glass products are made in Britain. They say on their website “all of our Teign Valley Glass products are made in the UK. Most other products are made in China…” Teign Valley Glass products available at the House of Marbles website include Marbles, Banister Balls (like a huge marble for stair banisters and balconies) , Glass Robins (robin bird-shaped paperweights) and Single Stem Vases. If you search for ‘Teign Valley’ on the House of Marbles website you can filter to just UK Made Teign Valley products. The glassworks was set up in Teignmouth, Devon, England in 1981 to make specialist handmade marbles for House of Marbles and have since diversified into other glassware – https://www.houseofmarbles.com – http://teignvalleyglass.com
Hornby / Airfix / Humbrol Paints / Tri-ang / Meccano / Dinky Toys / Scalextric / Corgi Toys – Lines Bros Ltd / Rovex Plastics Ltd were once all manufactured in the UK and most of their products were made in the UK until 1999 when they shipped production out to China. From 2012 they have tried to some extent to move some production back to the UK. I understand Airfix Quickbuild kits are made at the Plastech factory in Sussex now – Plastech have a factory in the UK and use another in China, but most Airfix products are Chinese made still. British Family write (in February 2016) about how the company is near to collapse. The Rovex works in Margate ceased production in late 1998. Airfix say on their website that “the whole QUICK BUILD range is manufactured here in the UK and features some of the most iconic vehicles ever constructed!” – other Airfix products are still made in China. “In 2012 Humbrol moved over 60% of its manufacturing back to the UK from China to improve supply, and ensure high quality standards continue to be met. Humbrol’s well-established and most popular range of enamel paint as well as their new acrylic sprays are now produced in London and Manchester” according to their website. Humbrol enamel paints and finishing products are now made by Cricklewood-based Rustins, established in 1924. Humbrol’s acrylic spray paints are made in Manchester but I don’t know by whom. Humbrol’s adhesives are made in India and other Humbrol products are foreign made. Humbrol’s Hull factory closed in around 2006. Hornby trains, Corgi toy cars, Scalextric and Hornby’s other brands remain made in China. Airfix closed Meccano Ltd’s flagship Binns Road factory in Liverpool in November 1979 and today the Meccano brand is owned by Canadian company Spin Master and does not manufacture in the UK. Dinky Toys was a brand name for die-cast miniature vehicles produced by Meccano Ltd and were made in England and France. The Dinky trade-name eventually became part of Matchbox International Ltd in the late 1980s. Matchbox went bankrupt in 1982 and the brand name has had various owners since then and is now part of US company Mattel and Matchbox no longer makes anything in the UK. Corgi was the name of a range of die-cast toy vehicles produced by Mettoy Playcraft Ltd, with production taking place in Northampton, Swansea and Leicester. Corgi went bankrupt in 1983 and was re-launched in 1984 and in 1989 became part of US company Mattel. Corgi now belongs to AIrfix / Hornby and no longer makes anything in the UK – http://www.airfix.com – https://www.humbrol.com
It’s not exactly toys, but collectors model cars: Brooklin Models and Lansdowne Models are whitemetal models that are available in specialised retailers that cater for model collectors all over the world. As far as I can gather they are all made in Bath, England, but you should check before buying. Specialising in models of American cars these model cars were originally made in America but now seem to be made in England and since 1993 they have also produced some models of British cars. Also available via the companies online shop and other stockists are listed on their website – http://www.brooklinmodels.co.uk/brooklin_custom
Gibsons Games, founded in 1919, make traditional board games, jigsaw puzzles and playing cards, for adults and children. Their puzzle artwork is printed in the UK and some of their puzzles are made in the UK. Their games are mostly, if not all, made in the Far East. Gibsons is also a distributor for the Austrian games manufacturer ‘Piatnik’ so some of their games, being Piatnik games, are made there and this includes their playing cards which are all foreign made. They told me this information in a email in October 2015. They do give country of origin information about their products on their website and they do not always put country of origin on the boxes, so you will need to ask them where a particular product is made. However, products that are made in the UK are clearly labelled as so on the boxes. Mostly their products are foreign made, despite the wording “British since 1919” on the bottom on their website front page and on their actual products. There’s a review of some Gibsons games and jigsaw puzzles here – http://gibsonsgames.co.uk
The House of Puzzles used to make their jigsaw puzzles in the UK, like the one pictured below. I have no idea if they still manufacture in the UK as they do not bother to give country of origin information on their website, suggesting perhaps they are now foreign made.
Orchard Toys. Made in the UK for kids aged 18mths to 12 yrs. Fun and educational.
Shannon Games create, design and manufacture original board and gift games. Everything they produce is designed and manufactured in the United Kingdom. Their board games are available on their website and they also offer bespoke board games and will manufacture a board game you want made – http://www.shannongames.com
Brian Clegg manufacturers a range of trikes, scooters and other metal toys for the educational market and has done so for over 35 years. They come assembled and ready for play and are made in England. Wholesale only. Brian Clegg also make arts and craft products, the bulk of which are made in the UK. You’ll need to ask if the art products you want are UK made before buying – http://www.brianclegg.co.uk
For Arts and Crafts materials please see https://ukmade.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/are-the-office-supplies-and-stationery-in-your-workplace-made-in-the-uk/
Also please click here for British made sports balls.
For teddy bears, please see https://ukmade.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/merrythought-handmade-teddy-bears-made-in-england-british-bears/
Redwood Green Playing Cards by Richard Edward Limited are made in the UK. Richard Edward specialise in the manufacture of games cards, trading cards and playing cards. Richard Edward are now based in Canvey Island, Essex and are now owned by Belgian company Cartamundi. Since the takeover it appears that the Richard Edwards and Redwood Cards website and twitter have not been updated.
Richard Edward also make (or at least used to make) some of the Waddington playing cards but some Waddingtons playing cards are also made overseas and Waddington playing cards no longer state country of origin on the packets, stopping you from making informed decisions about whether to purchase in light of provenance and sustainability. Waddingtons are now owned by Winning Moves. Winning moves tell me they used to be made in the UK, but that they have moved production over to a factory in Austria.
WHSmith have a long British heritage but everything I have seen recently in WHS has been expensive and made abroad (even some of their books!). WHSmith now no longer label their own brand products with their country of origin which means they are are NOT made in the UK anymore. Below is a picture of an old pack of British made cards from WHSmith.
Trakke sell a pack of playing cards which they label as “British made”. They say of these playing cards on their website “This British made poker deck is printed on heavy, plastic-coated card and features a contour motif from the Ben Nevis area on the reverse. ” Trakke are better known for their British bags and rucksacks but if these playing cards really are UK made that would be great – http://trakke.co.uk
Wicksteed Playgrounds is the leading manufacturer & supplier of playground equipment in the UK. Wicksteed has been designing; manufacturing; installing; landscaping and maintaining playgrounds since 1918. Additionally they make outdoor fitness equipment, multi use games areas and impact absorbing surfaces; as well as outdoor furniture and fencing. They supply to local authorities; architects; schools; builders; holiday and leisure parks and the community. They also own Fawns playgrounds. Fawns supply and install outdoor play equipment, specialising in round log play equipment. Wicksteed’s factory is in Kettering. Fawns Recreational Services Ltd are based Farnborough and I get the impression they have a factory there. Please check, but possibly most or even all of their products are made in the UK – http://www.wicksteed.co.uk – http://www.fawns.co.uk
Escor Toys manufacture a range of branded wooden toys aimed at the pre-school to under eights market. Dorset Enterprises and Escor Toys form Bournemouth Borough council’s workshop employing people with disabilities. Everything they produce is made at their factory in Bournemouth.
Update 28.4.13 – Both Escor Toys and Deckchairs UK are likely to close shortly (and indeed may have already closed) because Bournemouth Council are withdrawing their support. How sad.
Further update, both Escor Toys and Deckchairs UK ceased trading on 31st March 2013.
Escor wooden Pullalong toy. Made in England.
Urofoam (ukstressballs) in Cheshire, founded in 1988, make stressballs in England. Not just stress balls but stress balls in a wide variety of custom shapes. They sell these as a promotional items to companies for marketing campaigns. Urofoam say they are “the leading manufacturer and distributer of stressballs and foam balls in the western world…” Urofoam make foam footballs, indoor and outdoor foam sports balls, footbeds for shoes, car components, operating theatre equipment, medical furniture, playground equipment, baby changing mats, branded bar furniture, wheelchair cushions, mobile phone holders and specialised foam mouldings. At one point they also made shoes (as Softwalker Ltd from 2001 to closing the operation down in 2010). They say they “…produce everything in-house..”. They say that they are the only manufacturer of stress balls in Europe and they say “our stressballs are manufactured completely in the UK for maximum quality.”. Their factory is in Askam-in-Furness in Cumbria. They are also the maker of the gripsta mobile phone holder or stand, which they say is “completely UK manufactured”. They describe this as a fun and squidgy phone accessory that fits iPhone, HTC, Blackberry, Samsung, LG, Nokia and all other leading smartphone models. The Gripsta is a stand for your iPhone, other mobile phone or iPod made of foam (the same foam you’d find in a stress ball.). I should imagine it is great for watching films, as a mobile phone shoulder rest, and as a soft grip mobile phone holder, for use at home or in the office. In bright colours, Gripsta could also be used as a car mobile phone holder I think. It measures approximately 100mm x 70mm x 55mm and I imagine it would fit over any bumper and screen protector you might be using. On their website they say “Gripsta is a new gadget made in our own factory here in the UK” – http://ukstressballs.co.uk – http://gripsta.co.uk
Can anyone help me to add more UK toy and game manufacturers here please?