After several weeks of calling on members to rally round and help provide much needed equipment and repurposing initiatives to help fight Coronavirus, the BTHA is highlighting how some member companies have reacted and what they are doing to help. We are aware of initiatives from other members who have also supported but are doing so anonymously.
Asmodee has launched a dedicated website for Print & Play games available here:We know that not everyone has access to games at the moment, so we made some of our bestselling games available as print and play versions for free, for people to enjoy them safely at home. We have found that during the lockdown, the demand for games has massively increased as people look for entertaining ways to spend time with their families during lockdown.We have a good range of titles up already, with more being added as our studios continue to adapt some of their games to this format.After one week of being live, we had more than 10 million page views and tens of thousands of downloads for each title. As well as games, there are other branded resources available, such as activity sheets to keep young minds stimulated while not being able to go to school. More are being added all the time; we now have 13 games available for download, and more will be added.
David Westnedge Ltd
David Westnedge have made a small donation of games etc. to H.M. Wandsworth Prison and also to Home-Start, a charity in Wandsworth, South West London.
Kate Gibson, Managing director of Gibson Games, reports;
All of the profits from sales of its Piecing Together range during lockdown (initially April, May and June) will be donated to charity. It is finalising details but the charity is most likely to be The Samaritans.
Gibsons has donated jigsaw puzzles to AGE UK which is distributing them to older and vulnerable people in the community.
On a local level, it has donated puzzles to causes such as the East Surrey Live at Home Scheme.
Gibsons is also encouraging people to #passiton to a neighbour or someone you know who would benefit from a jigsaw puzzle or game. Its own team has done so, passing jigsaw puzzles to their elderly neighbours.
Golden Bear Products
We at Golden Bear sourced some masks from China and delivered them to our local hospital the Princess Royal in Telford.
As millions of families worldwide adjust to staying home Hasbro. launched a website dedicated to keeping kids entertained. The website is part of Hasbro’s “Bring Home the Fun” initiative, where parents and caregivers will be able to explore family-focused resources, including tips for family playtime, activity challenges to keep kids occupied, and ideas for using games and toys to stimulate kids’ brains. In addition to play-based tips and tools the website has information to help families cope with stress that might be heightened among kids at this time including mindfulness videos.
Hasbro has also joined with Save the Children and No Kid Hungry in their efforts to address the most urgent needs of children, including providing nutritious meals and distributing books and learning resources to those children and families most in need in the US.
The firm has three sources in China all of whom can supply PPE at very short notice, including disposable face masks, certified face masks, disposable gloves, face shields, protective suits, and one supplier with Covid 19 testing kits. It has offered its services to the NHS to help source product.
K-Play International Ltd
The firm has two companies which it works with in China who are offering hand sanitiser and KN95 face masks. It has offered its services to the NHS to help source products.
The company, with its manufacturing contacts in China, can source a variety of items of PPE including masks, goggle, face shields & gowns and has offered its services to the NHS.
The company has also created free worksheets and activity books to help parents with home learning. The material is all free, there is no paywall or subscription and consumers can download as many as they want. The Learning Resources team has translated many of the worksheets into several European languages including French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Czech and Italian to support their international distributors, retailers, and their customers.
The LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation have launched two specific initiatives to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 among families across the globe. The first is a donation of $50 million to support the continuous learning of children even during this time of emergency, and second is its #LetsBuildTogether initiative.
The latter aims to alleviate some of the strain and stress brought about by being confined at home while keeping children actively engaged and creative. It’s also a way of staying connected with each other through social media by encouraging builders to share their creation online and adding #LetsBuildTogether. LEGO has launched a webpage that offers some brick-building activities that families can do in the confines of their homes.
One of Magformers factories based in Belgium has developed a product to help in the battle against Covid-19 and help reduce cross contamination. Called “handeez” this is a clip on handle which the public can use on shopping trolleys and on certain hand rails on public transport or even in hospitals.
Handeez are made from 100% recycled plastic and will come with 2 in a bag to be clip on and then off, taken home, cleaned, and re-used. It has offered its product to the NHS.
In addition, Magformers have been providing lesson plans, worksheets and home schooling videos all completely free of charge for families to use and share, accessed from the following link:
The company has a portal on its website highlighting the importance of play during the lockdown. The firm has published a list of activities for kids and tips for parents and caregivers.
“Now, more than ever, taking time to play is not just OK, it’s essential. Our kids need it and so do we. It relaxes and reassures us; it connects us and it’s fun. As we shift to work and play from home, the ability to focus and manage our time is more challenging than ever. That’s why we’re building the Mattel Playroom. A virtual, singular source of play and hope for parents and caregivers. Activities, expert advice, games and content from all of our amazing brands will now be available in one place. Stay connected, keep laughing and #KeepPlaying.”
With schools shut and no way to socialise and communicate with friends, the UK’s younger generation is being exposed to feelings of separation due to lack of interaction with their friends – probably even more than adults.To help combat those feelings, L.O.L. Surprise! launched a national BFF Pen Pal campaign, encouraging children who are social distancing at home to find alternative ways to stay in touch with their friends as well as offering parents a fun activity to keep children occupied. The campaign will teach children how to stay in touch with their friends and family the old fashioned way, by sending postcards to each other. By participating, kids are able to take a break from screens with the campaign encouraging little ones to bring back the fun of writing by exchanging letters with their friends. There are a range of postcards available to download from the toy brand’s social pages – both Facebook and Instagram – with various designs from their popular collectable ranges – Lights, O.M.G. Fashion Dolls, Boys and #Hairvibes.
In addition, MGA are undertaking Operation Pacman, a non-profit organisation to help fight the global spread of the coronavirus, kick-started with $5m of funding from MGA’s L.O.L Surprise!, the organisation is asking for donations from individuals and companies – all of which will be matched by Isaac Larian – to help purchase medical supplies in the US – although it is hoped that an international roll-out will follow. In addition, the designers and engineers at MGAE and Little Tikes have invented a prototype ventilator that is undergoing testing at UCLA.
Orchard Toys has been helping to take the pressure out of home schooling with their free, downloadable activity sheets. In a specially designated ‘Things to Do’ section on their website parents can download a range of free resources, from crafts and recipes to educational activities, colouring sheets and more.The activity sheets are emailed to customers on Orchard Toys’ mailing list and then posted on social media channels the next day.The collection of worksheets cover a range of key educational skills in addition to arts and crafts, recipes and colouring and downloadable sheets for different events including Easter, Christmas and Mother’s Day. The activities can be used independently or as a collaborative effort between parents and children.The ‘Things to Do’ collection is available here: https://www.orchardtoys.com/thingstodo
Ravensburger is supporting the ToyAid industry initiative which aims to raise funds to support people in crisis across the UK. In addition, the company is supporting a number of local charities, as well as donating puzzles and games to a range of organisations and charities providing help to vulnerable people during self-isolation. Ravensburger has also launched a dedicated ‘At Home with Ravensburger’ hub on their website, featuring free activities and games for families.
Playmobil has produced a series of special charity figures for £3.99 which highlight the role of key workers – including a cashier, nurse and an emergency paediatrician. Proceeds of the sales will go to the NHS – Charities Together campaign.
Playmobil is also helping to explain Coronavirus to children with a YouTube video featuring one of its characters, ROBert.
“The whole world is talking about the coronavirus. Daycares and schools have closed, and children are asking a lot of questions. Our movie uses PLAYMOBIL to help explain in a way that children can understand what is happening right now, what we can all do to ease the situation, and why it so important to avoid contact with other children and adults. ➡ Instagram: www.instagram.com/playmobil ➡ Facebook: www.facebook.com/Playmobil/”
One of our best-selling toys is the game Hedbanz – a game of “who am I” where “your character” is placed into a slot on a head band that each player wears.
Our clever designers have adapted the head band to create a face shield, using foam from our Marshmallow range of children’s sofas for head cushioning (attached and below) – and we are now able to manufacture 10,000 units per day in our plant in Mexico.To date we have distributed 107,700 units to 30 healthcare facilities in Toronto, New York and Mexico with plans to send to other locations including California, the UK, France and Israel. In the UK, working with Andrew Laughton, we have the following healthcare facilities signed up to receive between 3k and 7k masks each.
- The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich
- The John Radcliffe Trust, Oxford
- Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield
- Kettering General Hospital
- Thames Valley Air Ambulance, RAF BensonMilton Keynes University Hospital were also approached, but they confirmed they have enough face shields on hand
We are so thrilled to be able to support these healthcare services globally, and particularly here in the UK – to do “our bit” for the country.
As an established UK-based manufacturer of cosmetics with ISO9001, ISO14001 and SMETA accreditation Zimpli Kids decided to switch manufacture to a high quality, 70% alcohol hand sanitiser. They have 30ml, 60ml, 100ml, 568ml and 5 Litre bottles available now. They have also been supplying NHS Foundation Trusts, offering NHS discounts.
Due to Covid-19, and with most countries around the world undertaking mandatory self-isolation processes, Zuru took action to support its teams in all territories. From its headquarters in Hong Kong, the business has been supporting its staff around the world with Coronavirus care packages. Thousands of masks arrive in houses and offices on a weekly basis to support employees and their families.
In addition, Zuru has been able to quickly switch its manufacturing processes to the vitally needed mass production of masks, gowns, visors and sanitiser for frontline health workers and essential businesses in New Zealand and Australia. In addition, Zuru is working with the NZ Salvation Army Food Bank Project to help provide food boxes to vulnerable families. For each food pack donated by the public, Zuru will match it.
The team is also working around the clock to scale up operations and provide PPE support to other governments and businesses around the world, where needed.
With children in lockdown the BTHA has increased activity on its Make Time 2 Play® campaign. Adverts have been placed with The Sun, Mirror and Mail online, ITV and Sky and the campaign has been supported by a number of influencers. The campaign has highlighted the resources available from social media, the website and free app with hundreds of play ideas to keep children entertained during lockdown. Make Time 2 Play has also been reposting members play ideas and adding the ideas (with permission given) to the Make Time 2 Play app (credited to the company).
Other non-members also helping:
Joker Ltd is a Swiss-based manufacturer of compounds in the field of toys, as well as many other fields, and has been in the business for 40 years. It operates its own research laboratory with 5 qualified chemists. It manufactures for member companies, such as Hasbro, Moose, Mattel and others and is also a partner of Character Options. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it has added a production line for high quality hand sanitisers made based on its own formulation.