Press releases

Playsafe 2013 winners announced

Isabel Packman scoops a prize in national toy design competition

The clever creativity of a student from Highsted Grammar School at Sittingbourne in Kent, has been awarded with a prize in a national competition to design toys which are fun - but also safe.

Isabel aged 14, designed Olly the Spinning, Splashing Octopus, a toy suitable for outdoor play.

The design was chosen as overall winner in the Playsafe competition at the Trading Standards Institute’s Conference in Brighton this week, beating off hundreds of entries from all over the UK.

Isabel wins a £100 voucher for herself and a £100 voucher for her school along with a £1000 cheque.

Isabel's design incorporates many safety features and safeguards including "If plugging in a hosepipe, be sure to warn your child/ren not to trip over the pipe. The ground may also become slippery and muddy. Do not expose to extremeness of temperature or weather." 

The entry also contained a warning that "this toy contains small parts".

 It also included the CE mark, which signifies that the toy should meet European standards.

The design carried the British Lion Mark - membership of the British Toy & Hobby Association shows the member’s commitment to adhere to the BTHA Code of Practice, which includes rules covering ethical and safe manufacture of toys, toy safety, a ban on counterfeit goods, an assurance to market responsibly, a commitment to improving sustainability and a desire to promote the value of all play through support of the Make Time 2 Play campaign. 

“This is excellent news, Isabel has put a lot of work into her toy design. The school is very proud of her and the work submitted by all our year 9 students. The consumer and design issues raised by this competition provide an excellent preparation for our G.C.S.E. Product Design Course.” said Graham Peter Head of Design and Technology from Highsted Grammar School.

TSI’s chief executive Leon Livermore said: “This competition is a great way to engage children and young people in a fun way while raising awareness about the importance of safety features in the design of toys. The key elements the judges are looking for in the entries are a fun and different design and clear attention to the safety of it in use.   

“Seeing all these inventive designs at Conference every year adds a real touch of fun and we are grateful for the support we have received from the British Toy and Hobby Association for more than 20 years in making this competition happen.”

Roland Earl, director general of British Toy and Hobby Association, said: “Yet again we received some fantastically inventive entries – as ever, selecting a winner was very difficult for the judges!

“As the winner Isabel said about the toy – 'it's so much fun'. I agree, this is a lovely design of a fun outdoor toy, an octopus companion for your paddling pool. The design was beautifully drawn with very helpful advice and necessary warnings. All in all a very worthy winner."

The winner in the 12-17 age category and overall winner of the competition is Isabel Packman from Highsted Grammar School with Olly the Spinning, Splashing Octopus. The runner-up in the 12-17 age category is HoverBattles by Oliver Lea, age 12, from St George's Roman Catholic School in Worsley, Manchester.

The winner of the 6-11 age group is William Harding, age 10, from Hade Edge J & I School, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire with his DJ and Family Zombies toy.

The runner-up in this category is Harry Crooks, age 10, from Hade Edge J & I School, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire with his Remote Control Submarine design.

Hade Edge J & I school are the first to take both the winner and runner-up prizes in the same category and therefore special recognition is made to Mrs Seddon who is the class teacher for William and Harry. 




Notes for Editors:

For further information, to arrange an interview or to obtain photographs please contact the Trading Standards Institute press officer Irja Howie on 0845 6089430 or 07780675815 or by email at


Playsafe is a unique competition for children to design a safe toy. Entries take the form of pictures of the design and these are put on display at the annual Trading Standards Conference. Judging by the British Toy and Hobby Association and representatives of the trading standards institute took place on Tuesday 18 June with the winners announced on Wednesday 19 June. The Playsafe award was created by the Trading Standards Institute and the British Toy and Hobby Association to encourage a greater awareness of safety features in toy design. It is part of TSI’s Young Consumers of the Year initiative. The competition is run in schools and is open to students aged 6-17 with three entry categories: ages 6-11, ages 12-17 and special schools.

Trading Standards Institute (TSI)

TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally.  We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities.

TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses.  We are also supporting the delivery of initiatives such as the advice services Citizens Advice, UK ECC and UK ECCS.

The Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference 2013

The Trading Standards Institute’s annual trading standards and consumer affairs Conference and Exhibition is the leading consumer affairs and trading standards event in Europe. The 2013 Conference was at Brighton Centre from Tuesday 18 June to Thursday 20 June. 

Some 1,500 people attended the conference, including representatives from local and central government and those interested in fair trading, representatives of business and commerce, together with consumer organisations. 

For more information please visit and follow the #TSIConf13 stream on our @TSI_uk Twitter account.

DATE: 19 June 2013