I remember vividly the chaos of Christmas morning in 2005, with wrapping paper and presents scattered everywhere. Plastic toys, plastic trains, plastic blocks, plastic trucks - it was all plastic, and as a mother of two boys, I knew from experience that those toys wouldn't last very long. In fact, I found myself replacing them more often than not, and soon enough, what was once a large pile of 'Christmas' became a large pile of 'rubbish'.
That's when I decided that I wanted better for my kids, and it all started with making better purchasing decisions. I had an innate desire to create a range of natural toys that would last the test of time - something I would be proud to give my children and something that we could pass on to others. Instead of discarding the toy when our journey with it ended, it could bring joy to someone else's day.
As I researched the use of chemicals in plastic toys, I grew increasingly concerned for my kids. A study published in January 2021 stated that "a relevant amount of chemicals used in plastic toy materials may pose a non-negligible health risk to children, calling for more refined investigations and more human- and eco-friendly alternatives." Knowing that babies and toddlers spend more time putting toys in their mouths than playing with them, I knew that I had to ditch plastic for good and create a safer, more sustainable solution that was interactive enough for my boys.
And that's how Anamalz was born in 2006 - a range of sustainable, ethical, tactile, and unique toys made from traditional materials like wood, plush fabric, and rope, all featuring moveable limbs.
The reception to Anamalz was amazing, and by 2008, we had sold over 1 million toys in over 30 countries and won 15 Industry Toy Awards, including an Australian International Design Award. I am incredibly proud of what we've accomplished with Anamalz.
In a world that is growing increasingly complicated, I love to strip things back to what's important - nature, simplicity, friends, and fun. We want to create little moments that become big memories and capture the natural character of life.
At Anamalz, we haven't selected just any type of wood - we use plantation beech wood, which is sustainable thanks to the carbon sequestration of living beech trees and the low transportation footprint with widely available local sources. The annual volume of beech harvested is currently lower than new growth, making it more sustainable than woods with a decreasing population.
Unlike most non-plastic toys, we offer a mixture of both wood and plush. What sets Anamalz apart is that we offer a lifetime guarantee, we are Australian owned and designed, hand-made in Vietnam by a Japanese-owned factory, and we carefully select sustainably sourced materials. Our wood is legally logged beech wood, our fabric is AZO dye-free, our paint is water-based, and our glue is Japan's F4 Star. We use an eco-alternative to plastic, Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR), and meet all required International Toy Testing Standards & Regulations.
Most importantly, our natural appearance means that we're not an eye-sore to your home décor. Woodn't you know it - we make 'em like they used to!