Toy Associations in the UK
The UK is one of the biggest toy markets in the world so it is only right that we have established UK toy associations looking after and guaranteeing safety and fairness. Not only does this benefit to consumers, and ultimately our children playing with those toys, but it also protects the toy industry and businesses that depend upon it.
As the leading trade body within the play sector, The Association of Play Industries (API) promote best practices and quality in the design, construction and installation of children's play equipment (both indoor and outdoor) and play area surfacing. With steering groups and committees the API promote good practice and maintain the standards of organisations operating within the play industry.
The Baby Products Association (BPA) promotes and supports the industry behind baby, nursery and childcare products, and actively developing product standards that promote their safe use. With their industry experts and specialists they produce a BPA Code of Practice and work with various groups and committees in both the UK and Europe, including BSI and CEN.
BACTA is the biggest trade association when it comes to gaming (think amusement arcades, pool tables, juke boxes etc). So far, it is the only association of its kind to represent the interests of the gaming and amusement industry in the UK.
90% of UK toy manufacturers and suppliers are members of The British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA). Through the BTHA Code of Practice the association raise standards within the industry by promoting best practice and excellence in all aspects from product design through to marketing. Representing the interests of the toy industry on a national and an international level, the BTHA organise an annual Toy Fair, the only dedicated toy, game and hobby exhibition in the UK, with awards for best new toys as an early prediction of what toys will be big that year.
The British Toymakers Guild is a traditional guild supporting the skilful art of traditional toy making, bringing back playability into children’s toys. Full members are usually craft persons and toy designers while associate members and friends of BTG are those working with or simply fans of traditional toys. With a quarterly journal, Annual Directory and various meetings, The British Toymakers Guilds represent toymakers, encouraging high standards of craftsmanship and design for the making of imaginative, high quality, handmade toys.
Equitoy is the third significant trade association in the industry predominantly for toy importers, but also manufacturers, retailers and distributors, offering guidance, support and representation on product safety and legislative requirements at National and European levels.
Actively promoting and encouraging the traditional craft of Making Rocking Horses through its members and friends. Whether a maker (amateur or professional), restorer, collector or enthusiast, you can join the guild and keep alive the great tradition of this craft, sharing ideas and exploring new developments.
For retailers of toys, games, pastimes and leisure pursuits, The Toy Retailers Association (TRA) are a watchdog and persuader that ensure fair play for toy retailers. The TRA is controlled by its members who all conform to its Code of Practice as well as observe and be bound to the rules of the association. With close links to the British Toy & Hobby Association, they run various industry events and awards as well as the media initiative of announcing the “must have” Dream Toys for Christmas, as decided by a panel or retailers.