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As the title says really - can you recommend any good websites to buy toys - preferably wooden?
I have bought from myriad in the past, but am finding them pretty expensive at the moment.
Specifically I’m looking for a big bus suitable for a 2 year old and a till for my 5 year old.
No sites in particular, but would wholeheartedly recommend Plan Toys for their hard-wearing-ness and beauty of design - really lovely!
thanks - off to check them out now
myriad! I think most of our toy room is from there, but we also have a few pieces from the USA.
I think Myriad is very overpriced - can’t really imagine being able to afford to buy a lot from there! we also like Plan Toys and John Crane which are both ethical companies and use rubberwood which is one of the greenest woods. The design of Plan in particular is lovely - the pieces are tactile and beautiful to hold. The last lot of Plan toys that I bought I got from Babipur - once you are a regular customer you often get 10% off there as well. Sorry not sure about a bus, but Plan has a huge range so you might be luckly.
I don’t feel like Myriad is overpriced, i think the price matches the quality of the toys.The toys are made from natural materials, they are made in an environmentally and socially responsible way. For example, they stock alot of the Camphill stuff which is made in the UK by adults with special needs. I’m not personally a fan of Plan toys at all, they look too commercial for my taste…like plastic toys but just made from wood. Alot of the things from Myriad have an heirloom quality to them.
We have slowly collected our toys by asking family to contribute to one special toy for either christmas or birthday. I strongly believe in simplicity and in quality over quantity.
Here is a bus from Myriad:
http://www.myriadonline.co.uk/products.php?id=2886&name=Red Passenger Bus
Often I see Plan Toys (which we like too) in TKMaxx at really great prices, have picked up some lovely things there for dd in the past. Although lovely things, I think Myriad are overpriced, but that’s just my opinion.
There was a thread some time back with lots of companies listed and recommended -
here is the cash register:
not sure who it is made by, I know the passenger bus is Ostheimer.
I think the actual items from Myriad are worth the money, but my BIG bugbear with them is the postage, which is reasonable if you can afford to go spend a hundred pounds in there, but if you are buying things one by one by one there is NO WAY I can pay £5 each time! And the felt, for example, is lovely - but I can’t buy in bulk enough to make the postage something I could consider. Myriad, basically, is clearly geared at people who are going to buy all of it, not just selectively the bare minimum. This makes me sad, and makes me feel that they are offputting to a lot of people who are onboard with the overall philosophy of their designs. :(
For what it’s worth, I really didn’t “get” Myriad for a long time. When Morgan was born and we ditched all the plastic, I thought that open-ended toys were great, but mostly I bought wooden toys that were cheaper because I had no money! And I got things that were more single use. And most of them, we ended up reselling. The toys that have stood the test of time aren’t things that they wanted intensely for a period, they are the ones that were more formless and simple and invited them to make their own game. I’m not at all claiming that you too will think as I do if only you are enlightened but I am suggesting that you be open to the idea that you may one day decide that you “get” Myriad. Or you may not. Your journey is your journey.
I don’t think it is necessary to be snobbish about ONE kind of “perfect” toy.
And many things on Myriad can be gotten cheaper if you shop about, at a similar level of quality. For example, the wood of the Myriad till is slightly heavier than the Plantoys one we picked up for a friend in TKMaxx. SLIGHTLY. There is very little real difference in play value, eco credentials (since Plantoys are made from rubberwood - a waste product remember!) but the price difference is huge. It’s just daft to not understand the difference between £5 and £35 is huge when the actual product is so similar. For what it’s worth, we waited and saved and bought the Myriad till when we could afford to place a larger order including birthday, Easter, and Christmas gifts for the whole year. It is gorgeous. But I won’t criticise the choice to get something slightly smaller and less perfect-Waldorf-ethos.
However I think the best way to get the most from toy shops in general is to get the best quality you can afford, and to think very carefully about multiple play uses. We bought vehicles and have mostly ended up selling them on - my children love to play with vehicles but what they choose over and over and over (and far above the expensive Myriad vehicles) is a cheap TKMaxx find, a plain simple wooden car with a lift-up lid and seating inside for dolls.
It’s also worth considering how much cheaper you can get the same things if you attempt to make your own (which is more in line with Waldorf philosophy anyhow!) or find someone who can (and there are a lot of toymakers around forums like this). This doesn’t help with the till and bus dilemma, but it really might if you were looking for a doll, playsilks, or baskets, or tree blocks, or any number of other things that I know mamas on here make and sell. Basically, for the same kind of quality and open-ended-ness, and lack of caricature, that I used to love about Myriad, I now buy from mamas I know, and small cottage industries - Etsy, Folksy, Misi and Zibbet. It is possible to have a very Waldorf-inspired home, and still think Myriad is not perfect. Just for the record.
This seems to be the best bus I can find, and though I hate the little people in it it might be just what you are looking for. http://www.habitat.co.uk/fcp/product/-/wc_browse_kids_toys/Kids’-wooden-toy/974810?colour=Multi-coloured&source=aw&awc=2807_1285357565_6ebe06b76e726eb57583a24035c722f6 And I have to say not that much cheaper than the disputed Myriad till but this is one of my favorite tills of all the ones I’ve seen. So so lovely, and age appropriate for a wide range - though perhaps your dc might find it a bit babyish? http://baby-shower.co.uk/habawoodentill.htm
ETA this shop is one that generally sells interesting bits and pieces http://www.bigjigs.co.uk/acatalog/index.html and very good value for money.
I agree, I *do* think that the Myriad postage price is high if you just want a couple of things. I wish they had the option to post at cost for if you want something small. My MIL lives five minutes from them so has picked up stuff for us in the past so it is not an issue for us.
I know what arwen_tiw means about ‘getting’ Myriad. When i first looked at the website I was like OMG that is so expensive but then realised why the price is what it is. The quality, alot of the stuff is made by artisans and so I can support smaller companies rather then large commercial companies. Etsy is definately a step further in being able to do this in comparison to Myriad! So I guess I wouldn’t want people to instantly dismiss Myriad I suppose. I would much rather my girls had one beautiful toy rather then five average toys.
arwen_tiw please, I’m not being snobbish about this , but I strongly believe in simplicity when it comes to toys and I do think the toys from Myriad are beautifully made. Just because I like and choose what I feel to be beautiful toys doesn’t make me a snob. And now i feel like you think I have a snobbish atttitude to toys
I guess just how some people feel critical towards Myriad for being overpriced, i feel critical towards Plan Toys because even though they are eco-friendly by being made from rubberwood, they are hardly supporting smaller family companies or individuals and I don’t find them pleasing to look at, but that is just my opinion.
For the record the playsilks from Myriad are terrible quality and I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone. I would get them from Beneath The Rowntree on Etsy. They are just beautiful. So I don’t think Myriad is perfect. Just for the record
Of course you can have a Waldorf inspired home without Myriad…or any on-line toy shops for that matter!
If anyone has a local Waldorf school, it might be worth checking if they have a shop on the grounds, alot of the Myriad stuff can be found at our local Waldorf school so postage isn’t a problem. So look around.
laughing bear toys and ptolemy are a little cheaper than Myriad, and I think they (or at least, laughing bear) do postage at cost for one or two items too.
I do love toys from myriad, but they are quite expensive (some things are definitely worth it for the craftmanship etc…. some of the Treeblock structures seem a little overpriced though for example. And others, while I think they are ‘worth’ it, I couldn’t justify spending so much on a toy, which could possibly get damaged/broken or the child[ren] lose interest in it). I have bought lovely wooden toys from ELC in the past, although they don’t seem as well made and most have been damaged or had parts broken over the years.
I also really like Etsy and have picked up some lovely items from there (my current most favourite is a wooden paddington bear, he’s gorgeous!) Unfortunately I got stung with customs this week and need to pay nearly £18!!! to get my package :( (I ordered some very nice wooden fruit and veg, and a leaf lift out puzzle from one seller; I assume it is that).
HE’ing, formerly co-sleeping, BF’ing, BWing, BLWing & Cloth-nappying wannabe eco-warrior, organic-eating, mostly vegan mum to K (16/11/06) and M (26/04/04) and squish due 5/7/16 :D.
Also 2 dogs, 6 cats, and 6 hens.
I buy from mulberrybush.co.uk. They have a wooden school bus for £18.99. x
I do like Myriad, I like it a lot more than I used to when I first saw their catalogue and said, “How much????” I have bought a few things from their catalogue - treeblocks and wooden stacking toys, a little cot for Minnie’s birthday, bendy dolls for the children to make dolls from etc - and I really liked the quality. A year ago, I splashed out on the cooker which seemed very expensive compared to all the other wooden cookers on the market, but it is so lovely and solid and pleasing to touch and will stay in the family for ever and gets used a lot and weathers it very well. Some things I think are very expensive for what they are - the paints and paintbrushes for example. They may be very eco-friendly, but they cost waaayyy more than the paints and brushes that I use as an adult and at the rate that my children get through art equipment, they would have to be for ‘special drawings’ only, which defies the whole point of art as a creative thing. Overall though, I do like Myriad a lot and the things I’ve bought from there will be kept and passed down.
My older children are harder to buy for in an eco-friendly way. The boys just LOVE Lego and there is no way that you’ll find that in any natural toy shop! All I can say in defence of Lego is that I doubt you find much of it in land-fill sites. It seems to get played with a lot and the second hand market is strong on ebay.
Mostly, I use Myriad for the supplies I need to make my little dolls as I can’t find the lovely, soft cotton velour anywhere else (apart from USA where the postage is huge).
My little DD has asked for ‘a plastic till’ for her birthday. I’m not sure about where she got the ‘plastic’ bit from, as I don’t think she’s seen any in shops. The links to other toy sites will be useful for choosing the right one. I love the Myriad one, but I’m not sure if my DD wants one that has jump-up buttons or a calculator or a ping-open drawer. So many decisions!! If she definitely wants a plastic one, I think I will get a second hand (vintage) one from ebay, like the kind I had in the 70s. I recently bought an old Fisher Price wind-up record player from ebay and the children love it! Memory Lane for me too!
Home educating Mammy to DD aged 13, DS aged 12, DS aged 10, DD aged 7, DD aged 3 and DS aged 2 weeks!!
MY ETSY SHOP!
Ive found the following website this week while doing some christmas shopping - they stock lots of plan toys, john crane etc and there is no postage! Have orderd a couple of bits for them but only yesterday so cant report back on speed of delivery etc yet, but still worth a look I think…