Time for toy treat

By Myanthi Peiris and Nishika Fonseka, Pix by Berty Mendis

If shopping for Barbie dolls and Game Boys has left you imaginatively and financially bankrupt, here’s a chance to pick up new, innovative toys ranging from exclusive dolls houses, farm sets and Noah’s arks to double decker buses, taxies and fire engines, all at reasonable prices.

The Toy Exporters’ Association’s annual sale to be held on November 29 at the Women’s International hall gives you the opportunity to indulge in your childhood fantasies while shopping for affordable toys for the approaching Christmas season.

Held for the first time in 2003 to sell surplus stocks, the toy fair, now an annual fixture will be held for the sixth consecutive year with ten companies – Wood 4 Kidz, Asian Toy Company (Pvt) Ltd, Simplex International (Pvt) Ltd, DSL Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, Excell Toys, Edna Exports (Pvt) Ltd, Timberlina, Orchid Collection, Gospel House Handicrafts-Ralla and Jeeva Graphics, all of which have been in the business for over 10 years, taking part.

This year due to the high demand for educational toys a large number of puzzles, alphabet sets, number sets etc, will also be on sale.

“There is a lot of emphasis on educational toys. The days of just buying toys are gone,” says Luan Vancuylenburg of the Toy Exporters Association. International safety standards are maintained for all the toys, flat, round-headed screws and non-toxic paint being used, he added.

Toys apart, some companies also manufacture a variety of furniture items decorated with cartoon characters and can even furnish entire rooms with custom made beds, tables, chairs, clothes racks etc.
These companies pride themselves on unique long-lasting toys which cater to the now increasingly cost - conscious public. Most of the toys on sale are exported to the European and Scandinavian market. Assembled in the outskirts of Colombo, Down South and other rural areas, on a ‘cottage industry’ basis, these companies provide employment to many.

A recent addition to the association is Gospel House Handicrafts- Ralla, a handloom company that was inspired by the idea of providing employment for victims of the tsunami.

Encouraged by last year’s enthusiastic response, the Toy Exporters Association urges all those interested to come as early as possible as stocks are limited. The toy fair will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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