18 November 2012

Step Down Sunday - Sprig Dump Truck

One of the problems with eco-shopping is that you do much of it blind. So few bricks and mortar shops stock eco-friendly products, that you are forced to search the internet for suitable alternatives. Unfortunately a bit of clever lighting an a talented photographer can disguise poor products.

I'm afraid the Sprig Dumper Truck is one of these products. Sprig is an American company that makes toys from Sprigwood* which is a bio-composite of recycled wood and reclaimed plastic. It sounds similar to the material used in our Beco cat litter tray, so we had a reasonably good idea of what to expect.
We love many of Sprig's toy designs, but had never seen them in person. So when I spotted the Sprig Dumper Truck in my reward catalogue, it was an obvious choice. Unfortunately I was quite disappointed.

As soon as I lifted it from the box, I knew it wasn't what we expected. These bio-composites often feel quite brittle, like cheap plastic that would immediately crack under pressure rather than flexing. So we were surprised to find the Sprigwood so thin, we expected it would be thicker and chunkier and thus more durable. It's possible the plastic could be more durable than it appears (I didn't actually try to break the toy), but there are other concerns like fairly rough edges where the manufacturing moulds didn't meet properly. I also wasn't impressed by the wheels, the axle attachments are quite basic and this affects the movement. In general the product quality felt like something you'd get for under £5, which isn't what you expect when the Sprig Dump Truck generally retails for £15.

I'm hoping the Dumper Truck is just an exception in the Sprig toy range as some of their other products look really interesting and engaging. But if you're looking for eco-friendly toys this Christmas, I'd give the Sprig Dumper Truck a miss.


Step Down Sunday
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