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Question from Toy Shopper

Hi Debra,

Do you believe die-cast metal toy vehicles are safe for children? I saw this SIKU brand and am wondering if it might be better than some of the others, since it is designed in Germany, where standards seem to be higher. Here is some info from their site.

“SIKU toy models contain no PVC and meet German and international standards and guidelines for the safety of toys. SIKU toy models comply with the European Spielzeugrichtlinie 88/378/EWG, which is based on the CE code and other standardized norms (toy safety in accordance with EN 71 und EN 62115). In addition to our compliance with high quality standards for all materials and the manufacture of our products, we are also committed to the protection of all employees working for us.” – from:

That page also says: “The development, construction, sales, administration and production divisions are located at the company headquarters in Lüdenscheid. In addition, Sieper group has other production sites in Poland and China as well as its own sales subsidiaries in France and Hong Kong.”

And this page has info about their production process:

Debra’s Answer

This is a really excellent example of how every company should show their production process. Lot’s of information here!

But unfortunately not a lot of toxics information.

To summarize:

  • The body is made from cast zinc and plastic (but they don’t say what type of plastic)
  • The body is then lacquered with a powder that is melted on to the metal (but doesn’t say if there are heavy metals in the lacquer or not)
  • Printing of design details doesn’t say if the ink contains heavy metals (other printed products have been shown by testing to contain heavy metals)

Toys I list on the toys page of Debra’s List will often say things like “paint contains no heavy metals” and other such statements that indicate awareness of where toxics are in the materials. I don’t see that here.

I need more information to evaluate this.

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