D&L develops material for Hatchimals
They have become the “it” toy of the recent holiday season but behind the popularity of toy sensation Hatchimals is a Filipino company which developed a key material for the makers of these toys.
D&L Polymer and Colours (DLPC), a unit of publicly listed D&L Industries Inc., announced on Tuesday the development of a key ingredient customized for TradeWalker Ltd., a Hong Kong based solution provider for the toy manufacturing industry.
Lester Lao, managing director of DLPC, said the award winning Hatchimal toy was composed of a plastic egg containing DLPC’s specially developed material that allows it to hatch without splintering.
The hatching process gradually reveals an interactive furry toy that can walk, speak and sing through three different life stages: baby, toddler and adult. As a unique concept delivering a nurturing experience to children, Hatchimals quickly became the must-have toy for 2016 since its initial launch last October.
Lao said the main challenge for DLPC was producing something that was both durable and delicate at the same time.
“The Hatchimals project had very specific requirements. Essentially, we were trying to replicate the structure and texture of an eggshell. That’s where our special material comes in. It makes the egg strong enough to withstand shipping and handling but also fragile and breakable enough to hatch open. During the development process, the concept had to be kept under wraps and since our customer couldn’t disclose the end use, we just had to keep adapting the formulation,” Lao said.
Lao also added that since the material would be used in a children’s toy, safety was a primary concern during the development phase.
“Not only did it need to be non-toxic, but the egg had to break without leaving sharp edges. It also needed to be designed so that it would hatch within a specified time frame.”
Lao reiterated that developing customized materials is in line with the company’s long-term strategy. “Our goal is to maintain our focus on innovation,” Lao said. “Our R&D (research and development) work is an important reason why clients continue to rely on us to come up with solutions, just like what we did for the Hatchimals toy.”
Established in March 2006, DPLC provides the plastics industry with custom-designed and formulated dry colorants, colour masterbatches, additives and engineered polymers for a wide range of applications.
The toy’s creator Spin Masters announced in November that demand for Hatchimals had exceeded expectations. For sometime in October, this brand was the single biggest-selling toy at Amazon and Walmart in any category.
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