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Third Party Testing for Children’s Games

Amazon just started requiring third party testing. In the US, a “children’s game” is anything not marked as ages 13+ (or or 14+ for the EU). Also, anything that subjectively looks like it would appeal to children based on the art may be considered a “children’s toy” by the CPSC.

If you are a Small Batch Manufacturer of a “children’s game”, there’s a bit of confusion out there as to what kinds of product safety testing this prevents you from needing. I’m going to clear that up:

The myth is the SMB registry exempts you from *all* third party testing. The truth is you still need to do Group A tests.

For SHEEPLE, because I am on the SMB registry, only the “lead in paint (16 CFR 1303)” test was needed. If this is you, let me refer you the company TTL Laboratories. They were able to do all 3rd party testing for SHEEPLE for only $140! This is a steal! Some companies were quoting me $1,000.

If you are not SMB registered, here are the typical types of tests needed for a board game:

In the US, for toys, you must comply with the following rules (where applicable):

·         CPSIA Lead in substrates and paints/surface coatings

·         CPSIA Phthalates: applies to surface coatings & plastics

·         ASTM F963-17 Soluble Heavy Metals: applies to all surface coatings & substrate materials (applies to substrates if the product is age graded under 6+; otherwise, surface coatings only apply)

·         ASTM F963-17 Flammability: applies to all toy components which are an inch or more in length (3rd-party testing is not required by law, but must still comply with the requirements. Also, some retailers require this testing, as part of their test protocols)

·         ASTM F963-17 Physical/Mechanical Testing: (includes Use & Abuse, Safety Testing (Small Parts, Sharp Edges, Sharp Points) & labeling assessments, including CPSIA Tracking)

Here are some good people to contact:

  • Ben Miranda <bmiranda@ttl-labs.com> – TTL Labs
  • “Ombudsman, Small Business” <SBO@cpsc.gov> – The CPSC hotline for small business questions

You will also need to make a Children’s Product Certificate.

And… I might have just saved you a week’s worth of research. Best of luck!

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