Press releases

Students Playsafe to Win


The clever creativity of students from Maltby Academy, Rotherham has been rewarded with a prize in a national competition to design toys which are fun - but also safe.


Martha Gregory, Leigh Roberts, Casey Turner and Darcie Lacey aged 15, designed the Trickii Twistd Pod which incorporates a spinner and a marble maze winning £1,000 for their school and a £100 voucher each for themselves.


The design came top in the 12-17 age group and was also chosen as the overall winner in the Playsafe competition at the Trading Standards Institute’s Conference in Manchester, beating hundreds of entries from all over the UK.


The team decided to design a game for young adults with disabilities and tackled the project with great dedication visiting a local school to talk to students before starting on their design.


“I’m very proud of them,” said Reg Howard, design technology teacher at Maltby Academy. “They were keen to do something for the community and worked hard at lunchtimes and after school.”


Although the competition entry only required a design on paper the students actually made the game and tested it at two local schools where the response was very enthusiastic.


“Safety was a key element of the design and the students made sure that the interchangeable pods locked in securely, the marbles were secure and all edges were rounded,” said Mr Howard.


TSI’s chief executive Ron Gainsford 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 creative 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.”


The competition was judged by Mike Drewry, TSI Vice President with Natasha Crookes, Keith Lister, Jerry Burnie and Eric Edmonds representing the British Toy and Hobby Association. 


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!


“The Trickii Twisted Pod is a worthy winner, it encapsulates perfectly the spirit of the competition, in a toy design that reflects the required safety warnings well, whilst creating a fun and imaginative toy.”


The runner-up in the 12-17 category is Iona Easton from Highsted Grammar School in Sittingbourne, Kent with her design Write with Elsie


The winner of the 6-11 age group is Lloyd Cox from St George’s RC High School, Worsley, Manchester with his entry Ray Extreme. The runner-up in this category is Darragh Boyd from Trewirgie Junior School, Redruth, Cornwall with his entry Catcha Bug.


The winner in the special schools category is Mitch Rook from Grove Park Sixth Form Special School in Crowborough, East Sussex with his design for Tommy the Truck.