Le Toy Van is a passionate dynasty of luxury toy makers, and with over 25 years’ experience, is a trusted partner in the toy industry. Our multi award winning toys are available in over 50 different countries and since 1995 we have won over 65 awards.
Reviving and Recreating Classic Toys
Our toys are inspired by the legacy of the traditional toy maker, nature, travel, and other creative sources – we produce high quality and innovative toy collections which breathe new life into the traditional and nostalgic world of wooden toys. Traditional wooden toys remain popular for numerous reasons, including their educational value, durability, and sensory qualities. They also challenge fast fashion plastic toys which can accelerate the boredom threshold and diminish the fulfilment a toy can give.
Back in 1995, engineer Georges Le Van designed and built the company’s first dolls house in his garden, his inspiration was born out of a desire to provide his own children with traditional high quality wooden toys with an extra something special about them. Georges went onto design other unique toys which he tested on his children; his son Steven became chief tester and later dedicated his time to learning about the family business from the factory floor up.
In 2008 Steven took over the business and went onto further build his father’s legacy, bringing together an extended family of passionate toy makers, to include his French born wife, Marie Le Van, a creative and highly talented toy maker. Marie has created a world class team of designers and creative collaborators, allowing us to create toys based on a blend of French style combined with British craft and design mastery. The extended Le Toy Van multi-generational family is a long-term team - Sophie has been with the organisation for nearly 25 years, and collectively the team has over 150 years of combined experience in the industry, with the shared common belief that all children have the right to experience and enjoy the magic of play.
The Importance of Play
Play is a child’s main occupation and is paramount to a healthy upbringing – it is through play that children learn about the world around them but also have a safe space to explore their imaginations and allow their creative sides to blossom. A happy childhood of play is essential to a solid foundation in adulthood and an opportunity to allow children to enjoy being children, through the provision of tactile pleasure as well as physical activity, learning, socialising and engagement.
Our toys encourage creative and long-lasting play, transforming them into much loved family favourites. They are designed to support the developmental milestones and other learning approaches such as Montessori – a style of learning based on theoretical values which advocate that children have the greatest capacity for learning within the first 6 years of their lives. By selecting the most appropriate toys for any given age range, children are supported in their development of key skills. The Le Toy Van collection of toys offers stimulating toys and activities which refine the senses as well as encouraging creativity and problem solving.
The design process of our toys is rigorous – redesigning and testing can take up to 18 months for each product to ensure that the toy meets not only safety and durability requirements but also offers sufficient developmental value appropriate for the targeted age range. All of our toys comply with rigorous EN-71 ASTM Safety Standards and have the ICTI and ISO 9001 seal of approval, their robustness means they can be passed down and enjoyed by future generations of family to come.
Wood is a timeless, durable, natural, and biodegradable product which offers unique qualities. Our toys are ethically produced using repurposed legal Indonesian wood, a by-product of rubber trees. Once these sustainably produced rubber trees reach the natural end of their rubber producing life cycle, they are upcycled and crafted into superior quality wooden toys. We also use FSC certified wood for our products - FSC is a worldwide known certificate designed to ensure that all sourced wood meets the highest ethical and social standards whilst helping to combat illegal deforestation and the illegal sale of wood. By using repurposed wood, we pay homage to the legacy of traditional toy makers whilst bringing the benefits of modern craft techniques.
Wood is also a highly tactile material which adds to the sensory learning experience, making our toys a true investment in play. Products bring multiple learning dimensions, with differing weights, shapes, sizes textures colours and are hand painted with non-toxic paints, safe for young children and kind to the environment.
Plastic Free Ambition
We have already removed plastic windows and inserts from a large percentage of the packaging and are moving towards recyclable and compostable cardboard boxes - by the end of 2021 we will have removed 60% of our long term and single use plastic from all of our products and packaging and aim to have plastic free packaging for all our toys by 2023.
This family run business benefits from some of the best toy making talent in the world and we are dedicated to bringing happiness and developmental value to the lives of children across the world. For more information on our products and practices, get in touch today.