Kinderfeets Kinderboards has captured the imagination of Australian retailers and consumers in 2017.
Distributor Artiwood Australia reported sales far in excess of its most optimistic forecasts from the moment stock began arriving in the country.
“Kinderfeets thought we’d made a typo when we increased our Christmas order more than 400 per cent,” Andrew McGregor, Artiwood Australia joint managing director, told Toy & Hobby Retailer.
“Unbeknownst to us at the time, we’d placed the largest international order by a considerable margin.”
Kinderboards are a Dutch design and recreate a concept originally developed for use in Waldorf (Steiner) early childhood classrooms. However, even Waldorf drew its inspiration from a similar toy enjoyed by Dutch children for generations.
Each board is skilfully crafted from highly engineered FSC-certified, sustainably sourced German Beech wood, and finished with a translucent, water-based lacquer.
Kinderboards are excellent for stimulating a child’s development – both physical and mental – and offer open-ended play opportunities for toddlers and children of all ages.
These sturdy boards help children develop a sense of balance, stimulate their vestibular system, and gain a deeper awareness of their body. They also keep energetic children engaged in creative play for hours. One minute the board is a slide, the next it’s a tunnel, a ramp, and finally a see-saw.
McGregor says that even adults are getting in on the fun. Personal trainers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and even the occasional yoga instructor have all expressed interest, boosted even further by the announcement that a Kinderboard’s certified weight limit has been tested to an impressive 220kg.
Artiwood has worked closely with Kinderfeets to bring the product to market. McGregor says this approach reflects the company’s commitment to sourcing and delivering quality, eco-friendly products. Very early on, Artiwood leadership encouraged Kinderfeets to secure Australian standards safety testing, and then worked with Kinderfeets to fund increased production in time for Christmas.
“We prefer to visit our suppliers and their factories to appraise the operations ourselves, rather than simply relying on international certification,” McGregor said. “This includes reviewing local working practices, evaluating quality assurance programs and assessing raw materials used in the toys we import.
McGregor agrees that Kinderboards are deceptively simple, and says they are also a timely reminder that engaging toys don’t always come with batteries included. He has also hinted of some exciting new concepts coming for the Kinderboard product family this year, early production samples of which will be on show at the 2018 Toy Hobby & Licensing Fair.