Toys are an incredibly important part of our lives, and we’ve got so many great choices for them.
They’re a huge part of the toy experience and their importance is well-understood.
In fact, according to a survey, 90% of toy manufacturers believe toy makers are ‘important to their brand’ – but what about those who don’t like the company?
And do you think toy makers should have a say in what toys go on your shelves?
We spoke to Polly Pocket and Tracey Smith, who have the power to decide what goes on your toy shelves, and find out what you need to know about the role of toys in your childrens’ lives.
First, a little history of toys and the toys that make them Polly Pocket’s mission was born in 2007 when she and her partner were living in London with their two-year-old daughter, Olivia.
‘She was constantly asking me questions about toys, and I’d get really frustrated,’ Polly recalls.
‘I thought, “You know, why is this so difficult for me to understand?
She needs toys, but she’s never really asked for them.”‘
And so I decided to go out and buy some toys and see what they were like.’
‘I was always looking for something new.
I found a really good-looking doll, a really cool Lego, but then I saw a little toy called the Barbie doll.
And I thought, why isn’t there a Barbie doll?
What makes Barbie different?
And I bought a bunch of her dolls.’
After buying all of the dolls, Polly was amazed at the quality of them.
‘We bought them all in one go,’ she says.
‘One of the first ones I bought was a really big, black Barbie doll, and it was perfect for her, and she loved it.’
So Polly decided to get involved with toy makers.
‘My mum was so supportive, so we were both just doing it.
I just bought my first Barbie doll and started making her dolls, and then I started making Barbie dolls for other girls.
And so my mum was like, “Well, this is the best thing ever.
You should do it, you should do this, you’re doing it, I’m your mum.”‘
It was really easy, I really just made dolls for my daughter.’
After that Polly’s interest in toys continued to grow.
‘It’s like a little obsession for me, and there’s a lot of fun things you can do with them.
I think we just wanted to do something with her, just play with her.
We wanted to build her something, just make her something,’ Polly explains.
‘So that was the inspiration for me.’
She started selling dolls online in 2008, and now Polly Pocket is the largest toy company in the UK with a retail store in Kensington and Chelsea.
In 2015, Polly’s business began expanding further into the toy world, with the launch of her online store.
‘Toys are such a big part of my life, and to see the toys on the shelves is something that’s very special to me, I love it.
They have so much personality and they have such a different way of being, so I wanted to create a world where they could just go wherever I wanted them,’ Polly says.
But what about children’s toys?
Polly has a long history of supporting toys for children, from toys for kids to toys for older children.
‘At a very young age, we had a toy for every age.
I had a little box full of toys for the first five years of my child’s life,’ Polly shares.
‘As I got older, I started to find that more and more children were starting to play with toys that were for older kids, and that’s when we decided to expand our store.’
At the moment, we have a little bit of a range of toys, mainly for children with special needs.
But as a company, we’re all about children.
We believe that children should be able to get the best toys for them, so that’s why we support them with toys.
‘Children should also have fun with toys, so they can see their favourite things, see what’s in them.
And if they’re bored, they can just take their toys home, and play with them in their own little sandbox.
And that’s how we’ve been doing it for the last three years.’
Polly has always been passionate about supporting children’s toy brands.
‘The best thing about toys is that they’re a great investment for the child’s future, and they’re very affordable.
And we believe in the idea that children have the right to make their own choices, and toys should have that same freedom,’ she explains.
Polly Pocket also believes that toys should be available to children for a variety of ages.
‘A lot of toys have an adult version, and you can see