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Issue 02/2018

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Toys A box full of

Toys A box full of creativity By: Benedikt Schürholz, Commercial Director Loick Biowertstoff GmbH Dorsten-Lembeck, Germany PlayMais ® is a creative craft activity for children based on corn starch (maize) that – bucking the international trend in toy manufacturing - proudly bears the label Made in Germany. A claim few toys sold today on the market can make. Simple and round, Playmais modeling pieces are an integral part of the cycle of nature in the entire value-added chain. Truly environmentally friendly, Playmais sets new standards in the intelligent use of our planet’s resources. Developed in the 1990s on a traditional farm in the German town of Dorsten-Lembeck, Playmais is a modelling material for children made of corn starch coloured with food colourants. Today, almost 20 years later, Playmais is exported to more than 40 countries worldwide, delighting children aged 3 up to around 12 everywhere in the world. The maize (corn) used for Playmais is grown on land that is not needed for food and feed production. Playmais is biodegradable and toxicologically completely harmless. Particularly suitable for children aged three and up, this modelling material was presented to the public for the first time at the Nuremberg Toy Fair in 2001. That proved the start of Playmais’ triumphal march into children’s playrooms around the globe. In Europe, America, Australia or Asia, children everywhere enjoy playing with the creative craft material. Playmais is fun to play with because... • the pieces need only to be moistened with water to stick together • the pieces can be shaped easily with the fingers • playing with it promotes motor skills, creativity and the development of the child • it is educational and • it is a natural product that is environmentally friendly. Playmais can be reshaped, pressed, cut and much more. The pieces adhere to each other when moistened with water, but also stick to many different surfaces. They can be stuck to paper and cardboard, for example to decorate paintings. Or to glass, to make window pictures, or even to flower pots. Cocktail sticks and thread can also be used to connect the Playmais pieces together or, for example, to make axles or mobiles. Crafting with Playmais is simple, making it easy for every child to achieve rapid success - an aspect especially appreciated by teachers and educators alike. Thanks to the infinite design possibilities, there are no limits to fun and imagination. The modelling pieces encourage creativity and stimulate the crafting of fantastic artworks. Without any glue, all that is needed is some water and imagination. There is no end to what can be made with these colourful starch chips. Playmais is a product that stands for naturalness and creativity; it is instructive, trains motor skills and promotes social behaviour in all age groups. These little, coloured pieces of modelling material can be used for many different activities, such as for threedimensional models, the design of maps or the creation of huge murals. Playmais is a great material for the youngest children to learn shapes and colours but is equally suitable for helping older kids with their letters, numbers, measurements, biology and science. Appropriate products for every area of expertise can be found in the Playmais range. Interdisciplinary competences such as language, imagination, creativity, logical thinking or classification are also encouraged. By using Playmais, children learn about shapes and colours, develop their powers of observation, concentration, fine motor skills and team spirit. In addition to a wide range of products for retailers, Playmais also offers specially developed collections for kindergartens and schools. With the products from the Eduline series, hours of developmental play are guaranteed, while at the same time social behaviour in the group is promoted. 26 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/18] Vol. 13

Toys The Playmais products are characterised by a very broad product and price segmentation. The range offers something for everyone, boys and girls, whatever their interest, with individual products that have been developed specifically for a child’s creative development. Pricewise, the product offers great value for money. The starting price for a tub of modelling material offering a play value of 70 minutes is €2.99. The most expensive sets retail for € 19.99, with a host of products In between, to fit every need and budget. All in all, Playmais is very well-positioned and wellrepresented in the international toy market with its range of price categories and the various themes. Over the course of its first 20 years on the market, Playmais has successfully carved out a solid position among the leading brands of creative toys. In short, Playmais is anything but a shortterm trend. And, contributing to its success is the Made in Germany label it carries, signifying robust quality. It will, however, be intriguing to see how well Playmais can and will be able to face the current developments on the international toy market. The market is a highly dynamic one, in which fast-moving trends and digitization play a major role. Analog and digital game worlds are increasingly merging. In addition, more and more toy sales are made online. The topic of social media is an important one for Playmais as a German brand manufacturer, just as it is for all other market participants. Just a few years ago, the impact of social media was negligible, while an online presence in the form of a webstore was relatively unknown. Today, both have become an integral part of the marketing activities. Playmais has been active online for about two years now, and views this as a way to bind (the youngest) children in particular, as well as the mothers – who, after all, are responsible for purchasing the product, even if children today are increasingly digitally informed and independent. In the future, Playmais will continue to offer products that respond to this trend of increasing digitization, by merging the analogue and digital worlds. An example is the development of an interactive app that allows children to record their artwork on a smartphone and integrate them into a digital world, or to put together their own desired box using an app. These are just a few examples of the kind of products the makers of Playmais are likely to be introducing in the future. | Playmais classic Playmais mosaic bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/18] Vol. 13 27

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