The ease of machining MDF into shapes, both simple and more complicated, has provided an opportunity for designers and craftsmen to create a wide range of toys and playthings which are pleasing in appearance, inherently safe and with sufficient durability to stand up to all the hazards of use including abrasion, knocks and occasional wetting.
The smooth surfaces and well compacted edges of MDF can easily be painted in bright colours or finished with tinted lacquer to enhance the natural appearance of the MDF and provide an adequate protection for the surfaces. Designs can be enhanced by applying silk screen prints of playland characters or other motifs directly to the fine sanded MDF surfaces or to surfaces which have been painted with a contrasting base colour. All finishing materials should be free from lead or other harmful metals according to the requirements of EN71 "Safety of toys".
Safety in use can easily be incorporated in the design of toys manufactured from MDF by rounding corners and bullnosing edges to take away any sharpness. MDF is not likely to splinter even when exposed edges are heavily knocked.
The relatively high strength of standard MDF provides a good assurance of durability in respect of the demanding requirements of childrens play activities. The higher strength of high density MDF and particularly its high resistance to impact may be advantageous for some applications involving small section components which are likely to be stressed in use. Moisture resistant grades can be considered for toys or playthings which may be used outside.
Examples of toys and playthings manufactured completely or mainly from MDF include:
- Baby walkers
- Trucks and trolleys
- Dolls houses and small scale furniture
- Play chairs and tables
- Castles and garages
- Wendy Houses
- Pull along toys
- Blackboards and painting easels.
- Jigsaw puzzles