D&L Polymer and Colours (“DLPC”), a wholly owned subsidiary of D&L Industries Inc. (“DNL”), has developed a key raw material used in the Hatchimals toy sensation.
The award winning product is composed of a plastic egg, containing DLPC’s specially developed material that allows it to hatch without splintering. This material is manufactured by DLPC for TradeWalker Limited, a Hong Kong based solution provider for the toy manufacturing industry.
The hatching process gradually reveals an interactive furry toy that can walk, speak and sing through three different life stages: baby, toddler and adult. As a unique concept delivering a nurturing experience to children, Hatchimals quickly became the must-have toy for 2016 since its initial launch last October.
Lester Lao, DLPC’s managing director, mentioned that the main challenge was producing something that was both durable and delicate at the same time.
“The Hatchimals project had very specific requirements. Essentially, we were trying to replicate the structure and texture of an eggshell. That’s where our special material comes in. It makes the egg strong enough to withstand shipping and handling but also fragile and breakable enough to hatch open. During the development process, the concept had to be kept under wraps and since our customer couldn’t disclose the end use, we just had to keep adapting the formulation.”
Lao also added that since the material would be used in a children’s toy, the primary concern was safety.
“Not only did it need to be non-toxic, but the egg had to break without leaving sharp edges. It also needed to be
designed so that it would hatch within a specified time frame.”
Lao reiterated that developing customized materials is in line with the company’s long-term strategy. “Our goal is to maintain our focus on innovation,” Lao said. “Our R&D work is an important reason why clients continue to rely on us to come up with solutions, just like what we did for the Hatchimals toy.”