You can ship nearly anything these days. Funko pop figures, jewelry pieces, even cheese. So, it’s not a surprise that toys—and anything related to that catch-all term—are a thriving part of the e-commerce world. And, though their packaging needs aren’t all that different from most other products, there are extra packaging tactics you can use to ensure their components and little details stay intact during their delivery trips. Here’s the 5 supplies (and potential substitutions) you’ll need for shipping toys.
What You’ll Need
Scissors and Tape
Optional: Custom Tissue Paper
Some toy packaging is easy to protect, like a giant, graphics-wrapped cardboard cube that can survive a drop down a long flight of stairs. And then there’s the packaging made of odd angles and interesting die-cuts that render them vulnerable to bending during shipping. Knowing where to shore up weaknesses with extra padding will help those interesting yet vulnerable pieces reach their destination intact. And don’t forget, sealing your customer orders with quality packing tape is just as essential as the void fill used inside it.
If you’re shipping toys that require batteries, make sure you do 2 things:
- Remove the batteries from the toy and wrap them snugly (but not tightly) in non-conductive material. You’ll reduce the risk of them heating up, suffering damage, or merely being drained during their journey.
- Research how delivery companies and other countries view the act of shipping batteries. Some will deliver the toy if its batteries are removed and properly packed in the shipping carton, some will insist on the batteries being removed and thrown away before shipping, and still others will refuse delivery outright.
Board & Card Games
Whereas most packaging for toys is designed to be recycled, packaging for board and card games is almost always an integral part of the product. Whether it holds all the components together or is used in the actual playing of a game, it’s something to be protected. Bubble cushion offers great padding and protection as always, but consider first wrapping a foam sheet around the cardboard to protect it from any marring or scratching (especially if it’s got interesting details, like foil lettering or graphics).
As you’re often dealing with products that are small, flat or narrow, you can consider mailer envelopes and boxes to help reduce your shipping costs. Provided the game fits snugly (but not tightly), and has the void fill padding and protection it deserves (since no one likes crumpled board game box corners), they’ll work just as nicely as larger corrugated boxes.
Anyone who receives a cuddly bear or other stuffed creature wants it clean and fresh right out of the box, right? Take that into account when protecting and packing these soft and furry little beasts. Foam sheets, especially of the anti-static variety, will reduce any shocking moments upon unpacking. Keep anything with adhesive away from the stuffed treasure to avoid damaging or matting the hair.
You can create a fun and memorable unboxing experience by using colour tissue paper to cradle stuffed animals on their trips. And if you really want to make that unboxing feel personal and extra special, custom printed tissue paper can carry your branding or some special messaging.
Much like board and card games, vintage toys tend to have features or details you want to preserve and keep safe. Whether it’s the original hand-painted colours, or the actual decades-old box, you’ll need to survey the toy and decide what needs the most attention and protection during shipping. Clean packing paper will help prevent colours from rubbing or bleeding off the toy, foam sheets will help prevent marring, and bubble cushion will add padding to prevent moving or sliding around. Commit to being careful, gentle, and thorough, and shipping toys of the vintage variety will be easy and profitable for you.
No matter what you’re shipping, be sure to take a step back and plan your steps. Remember the excitement of receiving an awesome toy as a kid? And the disappointment of receiving a broken one? Let those memories guide your packaging choices and your packaging strategy, and we know you’ll be shipping toys with expertise and ease in no time.