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In 1987, we started T.O.T.S; The Original Toy Store, as a tiny store that made sustainability its foundation and good design its cornerstone.
Only the best toys from award-winning brands the world over, were painstakingly sourced and presented in a one-of-a-kind experiential shop environment.
In 2004, to better communicate our brand, we renamed ourselves The Better Toy Store because, in a nutshell, our toys are simply, better.
To this day, only Educational, Beautiful, Safe and Environment-friendly Toys are chosen.
Our numerous award-winning toys attest to their strong play value. These toys are not only engaging for an age-appropriate child but are often open-ended, allowing a different facet of play as the child grows and evolves in ability and interest.
Open-ended toys with little suggestion to method or purpose of play encourage free exploration and creative expression; ensuring best play value over time. Blocks, Paint, Dough, Puppets, Pretend and Water Play toys are some excellent choices.
Less is sometimes more.
We believe a child exposed to Beauty will in turn appreciate and respond to all things beautiful. Learning to appreciate Beauty (and not just in toys) is fundamental to a gentler, nobler and kinder existence. Our toys, in addition to functional qualities, must also be beautiful. Captivating colours, interesting textures and pleasing form are qualities in a toy that must first be satisfied before they can pass muster. Toys that stimulate the child’s innate sense of symmetry and aesthetics are also the ones that are most likely to be picked up and played with. Classic toys that have withstood the test of time are our favourites.
A thing of beauty is indeed a joy forever.
Our toys must be safe – safe for the child and safe for the environment. Our selections not only conform to the European EN71 and the US ASTM standards of safety, many of them exceed the stringent safety standards recommended.
Our international brands readily submit their toys to independent testing centres like TŰV or have been Öko-tested with the best possible results.
Steiff publishes and conforms to their Purity Law, PlanToys have Zero-Formaldehyde (preservative-free) and E-zero glue policies, Haba Baby toys are GS- certified, SES craft products are gluten-free – the list goes on.
Natural materials like wood, paper and cotton are preferred. Paints, dyes or varnish must be organic or water-based and non-toxic. Construction must be sturdy and free of sharp edges.
Quality in Design and Manufacture keeps children safe.
Wherever possible, wood is chosen over plastic. Not only are most plastics made from non-renewable petrochemicals, most are non-biodegradable. More and more, plastics have been linked to adverse long-term effects on human and animal health. As such, we avoid plastic toys unless its use necessitates the material like water play toys or high detail figurines. Even then, all our plastic toys must be certified phthalate-free.
Our toy makers use wood from 2 main sources: One is from rubber trees that have exhausted their latex. Ordinarily these trees are burnt, but now they are recycled in the manufacture of toys and furniture. The other is from managed forests in Europe where there is strong tradition of sustainable forestry. These European manufacturers only use wood that is PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified.
Aside from being firm supporters of reforestation projects; many of these manufacturers make use of alternative fuel; biomass from leftover wood chips for their heating and electrical needs. Packaging is kept minimal (sometimes none!) and many use recycled paper for their boxes and soy ink for print.
Caring for the Environment IS Caring for our Children.
"We believe children have a right to good health, adequate education, and a clean environment. While nothing can be perfect, we believe it should not be for the want of trying."