Times are changing — and with them, so are the habits and preferences of parents and families.
One major concern, particularly raised by younger parents, is the impact that toys and their packaging can have on the environment. Over the past few years, many toymakers have begun addressing those concerns in various ways and we’re now starting to see a change in the toy aisles. Mega Bloks First Builders Plant-Based Blocks is one of the first new product lines to reflect a major change in a popular existing toy brand.
The first three sets — Polar Friends, Safari Friends, and Woodland Friends — are derived from bio-based resins and come in Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified packaging that is fully recyclable. Having raised two daughters who played with traditional Mega Bloks during their earliest years, I’ve handled plenty of the chunky blocks. Now, having had the opportunity to go hands-on with the new plant-based sets, I’m impressed. It’s virtually impossible to tell the difference between the blocks made with traditional, petroleum-based plastics, and the new ones derived from plants. They have the same fit and feel as the blocks that kids are used to.
All three sets feature the vibrant colors and distinctive shapes that have made Mega Bloks so successful over the past three decades. Characters printed in plant-based inks are mix-and-match so that little ones can pair a penguin head with a bear body to create fun new species of their own.
One difference that parents may notice is that the sustainable packaging has a slightly different feel to the cardboard and that there is absolutely zero waste. These sets come with blocks in a box and that’s it; there are no additional packaging materials, plastic bags, or any other “trash” involved.
The new sets are affordably priced, which addresses a long-standing concern that “sustainable” equals “expensive.” Mega Bloks First Builders Plant-Based Blocks prove that doesn’t have to be the case. Looking ahead, Mega Bloks First Builders Plant-Based Blocks are one piece of a much larger sustainability initiative from MEGA Brands’ parent company, Mattel. The new sets carry co-branding from another Mattel division, Fisher-Price, which is also going sustainable this year with a new collection of toys derived from sugarcane.