Game Features: How Parents Can Tell if Toys Are Safe

What toy labels say:

Almost all products carry a label today, but very few consumers know what they mean. A wide variety of features can also be found in toys. To know what they represent, we want to explain the most common ones here.

First, there are features that confirm the safety of a product. These characters are not limited to the realm of toys.

The CE mark actually means nothing other than the European Community ("Communauté Européenne") and indicates that the corresponding product complies with the European Community's guidelines regarding safety and health. This concerns mechanical, chemical, and electrical safety issues, as well as, for example, the risk of fire, etc. All products for which such guidelines exist must bear the CE mark. However, each manufacturer can make this marking at their own risk, as there is no obligation to test. Production was checked only by an official body if the product also had an identification number.

There are specific European directives for toys, EN 71.

Accordingly, toys must withstand a drop test on a steel plate and must not break when a large weight falls on them (impact test). Toys for babies and toddlers are subject to particularly strict standards. For example, they must not contain loose small parts that fit into a standardized test tube - called a "test throat" - and if they contain small parts, these must be so securely attached to the toy that they cannot be detached even under high tensile loads (tensile test). Finally, toys are tested in a special test to determine if their surfaces are impervious to sweat and saliva.

The GS mark means "tested safety." Manufacturers can voluntarily use this mark if they have a model of their products tested by an approved body, and this organization certifies that the product complies with German equipment safety law. The manufacturer must pay for the verification.

Approved testing centers - TÜV LGA Bayern, DEKRA, VDE

Approved testing centers for toys are TÜV, LGA Bayern, DEKRA, and VDE. Many manufacturers voluntarily apply and pay for this safety check of their products in order to confirm the safety of their products and to be able to appropriately mark them.

The "spiel gut" seal is definitely the label with the strongest statement for toys.

Toys that bear the open red spiel gut label are explicitly recommended by the non-profit consumer advisory center "spiel gut" after being tested by an interdisciplinary, independent review committee and by children. In this test, all aspects are considered: from safety, functionality, material, processing, and design, to the play value, even the environmental compatibility of the products and the avoidance of waste in the packaging. About 500 new toys are tested each year.

You can obtain an updated list of all awarded toys and books at

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