The Good Toy Guide was founded by child development expert Dr Amanda Gummer in 2012. Created to provide an independent, expert accreditation service for children’s products, the ‘Good Guides’ series is now expanding to include The Good Baby Guide. Amanda explains more about the background:
“It started with the Good Toy Guide in 2012; I was doing research for a range of toy companies who were asking for a quick ‘light touch’ review of their products as well as parents asking for toy recommendations which wouldn’t end up in landfill after 5 minutes. Before 2010 there was a printed Good Toy Guide from Play Matters – the umbrella body for toy libraries; we took it over with their blessing and have worked hard to preserve the legacy of independent product reviews to help people make informed buying decisions. However, it quickly grew beyond that and the Good App Guide soon followed. Over the years we’ve expanded the support we offer parents to help them feel good about family life and to help them thrive through play.”
What has prompted you to launch the Good Baby Guide – and what’s the principle behind it?
“At the beginning of lockdown we created a whole learning hub that has now evolved into the Good Learning Guide and we are launching two new Guides next year – the Good Baby Guide, focusing on baby products, and the Good Activities Guide, helping parents check out the wealth of extracurricular activities that are on offer. We already have a variety of baby toys in the Guide and several clients wanted to submit products that were not exactly toys but which promote play. This, coupled with our belief that a happy, confident parent is one of the best things a child can have, prompted us to create this one stop guide to help parents feel more confident in their buying decisions.”
Will the Good Baby Guide follow the same testing principles – ie every product tested by babies and observed by professionals?
“Yes – although we know babies can’t give feedback themselves, but testing products in real world situations and layering on an expert opinion is, in our view, the most robust way of providing valuable, independent reviews.”
Who is The Good Baby Guide intended to help?
“It’s designed to help parents, manufacturers and retailers. Parents can access independent advice and product reviews, manufacturers get cost effective feedback on their products and access to a range of PR and marketing services from the Good Play Guide – these services are exclusively available to support products/brands in the Guides.
Meanwhile, retailers get a free buying guide that helps them with product selection and also in helping advise their customers to find the right product, and thus building customer loyalty.”
What difference will The Good Baby Guide make to parents?
“I hope it will take some of the guess work out of product selection and help parents feel more confident and happier with their role.”
How do you decide which products make it into the Guide?
“We scout for products but anyone is welcome to submit their products for review. All products submitted must have passed the relevant safety standards and be sufficiently easy to use. Then the different product categories will have different criteria – it’s not helpful to try and compare a teether with a buggy so it’s more about providing the information that is relevant to parents. There should also be something that makes the product different from just a normal, run of the mill version of the product type.”
How can retailers get involved?
“We’re always keen to support retailers and we can provide staff training, window displays and POS collateral. Retailers can sign up to be notified each month of the new products in the guide and we can send the stamp for use on e-commerce listings.”