Bigjigs Toys

Award winning collection of educational toys trusted by parents worldwide

If you want to give your child an amazing playtime experience, then look no further than Bigjigs Toys! With everything from roleplay toys to early learning games, we have something for everyone at every age group. So if you're looking for great value without compromising on quality or design then look no further than Bigjigs Toys today!

Bigjigs Toys - High-Quality Imaginative Play

Bigjigs Toys is a great UK family run business supplying a wide range of wooden toys and educational games.  They have the best toys which include everything from the bestseller Bigjigs wooden train sets to role-play toys to early educational toys. Our Bigjigs Toys collection also includes rag dolls, dollhouses, kids gardening tools and outdoor toys. Whether you're looking for toys for early learning or little toys for stocking fillers, we have everything your children need for a fun and exciting playtime.

All toys from Bigjigs Toys are designed in the UK, made from responsibly sourced materials and finished with non-toxic water-based dyes, paints and stains. These toys also passed rigorous quality checks and conform to current European and international safety standards on kids toys.

Affordable Products - Perfect Gift Price Category

Big jigs wooden toys always deliver quality toys at great price ranges, to suit everyone. We also offer free uk delivery on orders over £40. The business was started in Peter Ireland's garden shed and is still run by the Ireland family. The toys are designed in the uk and responsibly sourced from around the world. Most are now FSC labelled.

Where are Bigjigs Toys Made & Are Bigjigs Toys Sustainable?

Bigjigs is a UK based toy manufacturer, based in Folkestone Kent. Run by the Ireland family Big jigs Toys have been in business for over 20 years!

They are best known for their wooden toys, and someone asked me in the shop, Where are Bigjigs Toys Made & Are They Sustainable?

Where are Bigjigs Toys Made?

Let’s push this straight out there, like most wooden toys worldwide, Bigjigs toys are mainly made in China. They do have a few pieces made in Europe, but the bulk of the toys they sell under the Bigjigs brand are manufactured in several factories in China.

Bigjigs also now own the Tidlo wooden toy brand. Tidlo toys were about 80% made in China with the rest made in wooden toy factories in Europe.

Both of these brands are now mainly made in China in sustainable, ethical factories. 

If you're interested in sustainable toys, read below, or check out some of our range of wooden tea set for toddlers or other wooden toys we have on this site.

Are Bigjigs Toys Sustainable?

Generally speaking, wooden toys are going to be a lot more sustainable than plastic toys. However delving deeper we need to consider more than just the core material. A wooden toy is not very sustainable if it comes wrapped in plastic, that kind of defeats the purpose!

Bigjigs Packaging

Bigjigs are making huge strides in recent years to fix any excess packaging and remove plastic packaging from their toy portfolio. At the date of writing this article, they had moved to over 80% of their range packaged in recyclable materials. Further of those, 90% were recycled material. All of their packaging is printed using soy inks.

Bigjigs Material

Most of the wood they use in their toys is made from rubberwood. Rubberwood is a byproduct of rubber or latex production. Once the tree has ended it's useful economic life as a rubber tree, it is felled and used in manufacturing. This is using a waste product. Further all of the trees are in managed forests so are replenished more than they are felled.

Bigjigs Design

Bigjigs have now put environmental sustainability at the forefront of their design. It's been really interesting to see how they have made great strides in this in the last few years. They are now actively designing products to use less packaging, less plastic parts and have less components.

Office & Warehouse

Rather than just be corporate brandwashing, it's fantastic to see that Bigjigs have brought sustainability into all of their business. Their office and warehouse are powered by 216 solar panels (I have major solar panel envy) which have been expertly fitted to generate the most solar power and they are net contributors of electricity to the national grid. 

All of their lighting in their offices and warehouses is now LED energy efficient lighting. All packaging used to send out deliveries is recycled boxes. They now also don’t send any paper statements, everything is emailed out.
So overall, yes Bigjigs toys are sustainable and I look forward to working with them for another 15 years! (though I am waiting for them to redesign their train packaging which they promise me is being done in quarter 1 2020)

Who are Bigjigs? - The Story Behind the Iconic British Toy Brand

In a nutshell, the Ireland family are Bigjigs! Started in 1985 by Peter & his wife Liz. Pete used to handmade wooden jigsaws at the bottom of his garden in the shed, and this started Big jigs Toys!

Liz & Peter were both teachers so were always interested in educational toys, and this has always been a strong feature in all Bigjigs toys, strong child development is at the forefront of all design. Pete decided to upskill himself and become a Craft Design teacher so went back to University. Out of term time he put the skills he was learning into making toys for friends children and soon the idea of forming a business for his toys, which were proving very popular began.

Their first toys were puzzles made from floorboards, they started the trend in upcycling for toys! These were sold by Liz at craft fairs in the UK. During one school term holiday they just made the decision to give up teaching and go full time into the toys business, and booom Bigjigs was started.

In 2017 their two sons Sam & Tom joined the business, making it one of the oldest UK based toy brand still in the original family hands.

Bigjigs Growth

From those floorboard puzzles they soon branched into toys for newborn to 7 year olds, and this is still their focus today. In the 1980s they launched their first mail order catalogue, remember this was pre internet days! So this was an ideal way for them to continue to sell to the people they met at the craft fairs. Their orders came in the post with cheques, yes paper cheques!

The mail order catalogue meant their business grew. Rather than just be restricted to local craft fairs in Southern England, they could now reach all of the UK with their catalogue. This led to a boom in sales. At the height, they were printing and dispatching over 500,000 catalogues annually.

The next step was supplying other toy shops and soon the opportunity came to acquire another toy company which already distributed to other shops. This was the perfect fit fo them and soon trade business was their main income.

Never shying away from purchasing opportunities, Bigjigs purchased Tidlo Toys from John Crane Ltd in about 2018. Tidlo toys was another UK wooden toy manufacturer, originally started by John Crane (who’d have thunk it..) and Anthony King. At Baba Me, we have a long history with John Crane, and first started buying from them in 2004, just as a revival of wooden toys was beginning to happen. They were the original distributors for plan toys, then Pin Toys. Branching into their own brand they started Branching Out toys which later morphed into the Brand tidlo toys. This was then sold to Bigjigs so the two stalwarts of British wooden toys for kids were all under the one roof.

They now employ just under 40 people in the UK and have a mahoosive warehouse in Kent with rumours of a 2nd one opening in Holland post Brexit. Their UK warehouse is powered by 219 solar panels making it one of the most sustainable warehouses in the UK. They were one of the first online toy companies in the UK, and the rest, as they say, is history!

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