Bannor Toys: Inspired Toys for Inspired Kids Review

It’s been a couple of years since I 1st did a review of Bannor Toys: Inspired Toys for Inspired Kids from my neighbors to the East in Iowa. At that time they had a pretty small, basic line, they were just getting started & sent me a couple of cars to review which you can read about below. Recently Stacy Bannor reached out to me to see if I’d like to update my review which of course I was thrilled to take her up on. She gave me a very generous gift certificate so I could pick out my own goodies which is always fun! They have added a LOT in the last couple of years, you can find these categories: rattles, plush gift sets, wooden toys, teethers, puzzles, matching games, learning tiles, blocks & Easter toys. I just love the assortment & of course that they’re wooden, battery-free, leaving your child to use their imagination to no end!

Since it was just a couple weeks before my Son’s 5th Birthday as well as Easter I headed for their Easter category 1st. I picked out 4 personalized bunny wands for my kiddos as well as my niece & nephew. They’re adorable & my kiddos needed some wands to go with their superhero capes they love to chase each other around in. The Easter matching toy is a fun game for my 3 year old, it has several different Eastery designs to match up. To make it more challenging you can flip them upside down to make it into a memory game.

PUZZLES are one of my absolute all-time favorite toys. We have a variety of them & I was so happy to pick up a few more to add to our collection. I love that these are 2-sided, so you get 2 puzzles in 1! We have the fairy tale as well as the monkey & lion, for $14 ea, I think these are steals!  Thankfully there’s a tile included to show you what they’re supposed to look like, as I was struggling myself, since they’re 2-sided they really aren’t easy, which is great for your kiddo who is a bit older. They’re fun, challenging, entertaining, all you want in a toy! I got the alphabet learning tiles which are perfect for my year old working on learning her alphabet. Each tile has the letter in upper & lower case one one side, and the flip has a photo of an object beginning with that letter, these are $28. I got the sight words matching game for my Son as well as my Niece. I’m working on reading skills with my 5 year old, these are great- $26. Half of the round tiles have photos, the other half words so you work to match them up. We have a basket full of our cloth bags from Bannor Toys with these puzzles & matching games inside, and we grab one, sit down & work on them together.

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Single tile next to & above puzzles shows what’s on the flip side. I couldn’t find the Easter matching game when I took the above photo, of course just as soon as I packed the above up, I found the Easter matching tiles, they are below:

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I’ve followed Bannor Toys Facebook page for a couple of years now, and have witnessed both their family & their business grow. Especially at Holiday time, a crazy time of year for all retailers, you really get an impression of what it’s like to be a small, truly family-run business. You’ll see pics of their kiddos at work with them, playing in a play area of the shop while Mom and/or Dad sand down or cut some toys. You’ll see posts from midnight by Stacy, after her kiddos are in bed & she’s working on filling orders. There’s something very special to me about knowing where & whom my dollars are going to support. I work hard for my money, and I know they do too so I feel great about purchasing from them, and recommending them to you!

Here are some facts from their website:

Where are your Toys Made? 

All of our wooden toys are 100% made here in the United States.  Our workshop is in our hometown of Des Moines, Iowa.  All of our lumber is sourced from Iowa and the Midwest.  The few parts that we do not make ourselves such as wood rings are made by a company in Texas, Illinois, South Dakota, and Maine.

 

Are your Toys Really Organic?

Yes, our wood is natural, we do not stain it.  We use Maple, Cherry, and Walnut woods and their natural colors.  Our finish is an organic beeswax and flaxseed oil mixture that is all natural and nontoxic so it is the perfect finish for baby’s mouth.  The oil brings out the color and the beeswax provides durability.  Our glue and paint are organic as well made from a company in the United States.  They are 100% safe, lead free, no VOC’s, and non-toxic. Our teethers are left “naked”, there is no finish on them.

 

What about Shipping Costs? 

Shipping is based on the weight of your order, for both domestic and international orders. For a domestic order, fill your cart up with as many toys as you want, your shipping will never go above $6.99 (excludes the purchase of large/oversized items like the toy boxs).  There is free US shipping on orders of $75 or more.  Shipping outside of the US is charged at cost, we know shipping is expensive overseas, we try hard to keep it low and will refund you if there is an overage of more than $2 for international shipping.  We have international shipping set up to Canada, Australia, and the UK.  If you are anywhere else please email us so we can set up a custom listing with the correct shipping.

How is Bannor Toys Eco-Friendly or Green? 

When we say we are eco-conscious we mean it.  Our number one raw material is wood.  We order our lumber from a company that provides FSC certified wood which means the wood is responsibly harvested and replanted.  We also have a zero waste policy with our wood.  We use every bit that we can for our toys and we use the small left over scraps to heat the workshop in the winter.  We even use the saw dust in our compost pile.  That’s right, we have a huge compost pile and a large family garden with rain barrels growing right outside the west side of the workshop.  In addition to using wood to heat the shop, we have fully insulated the shop to cut down on utilities and we also installed an insulated shop door this year as well.  We use energy efficient lighting and other systems in the shop where possible as well.  Besides the wood, we use environmentally friendly finishes, adhesives, and supplies as well.

 

Please follow this link to see some photos of them and read a great letter from each of them. Really, truly, your money is going family-to-family when you purchase from them: http://bannortoys.com/pages/about-us.

I hope you’ll take a look at their website to view their lovely products, and there’s a tab to sign up for their newsletter where you’ll be the 1st to learn of new products, sales, etc. I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts on this great family making toys in the Midwest of our great country. When I started my mission to find made in USA products 4 years ago, this was exactly what I had in mind!

My original review from wow, May 3 2013, 3 years ago to the very day, I had no idea!!!

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Bannor Toys is  one of the toy companies on my Made in the USA safe toy list. One thing I really like about doing reviews is it gives me an opportunity to learn more about the business and the products they make. Here’s a little bit about their family-owned & operated business located in my neighboring state of Iowa.

Bannor Toys is a small family-owned company that believes in education and development through quality, safe, and fun toys. Where do they get their wood: “All of our products are made in IowaAll of our wood is bought from two local lumber yards.  Both of the companies we buy from offer FSC certified domestic hardwoods (maple, walnut, oak, cherry, etc.)  We do buy a small amount of exotic wood (purple heart, yellow heart, etc.) for our “Woods of the World” building blocks and a few other toys.  We buy our exotic wood from the same two local companies that we buy the domestic wood from.  Most of our exotic wood is grown in forests in Central and South America.  We have been assured it is harvested and replanted responsibly. None of our products are made in China, me and my wife personally build every single item we sell here in Des Moines, Iowa.  None of our wood comes from China, and 95% of the toys we build use domestic woods grown and responsibly harvested in the U.S. All of our wood is hand-picked one board at a time to ensure quality and all of our finishes and paints are non-toxic and safe to be handled by children. Every product is inspected for safety. We believe that wooden toys are not only beautiful in any home; they also stimulate a child’s imagination. Their fabric rattle balls are handmade with a variety of fabrics including vintage chenile, broadcloth, flannel, minky and other textures that babies and kids love.

As with several other small family-run businesses I’ve done reviews for, these generous entrepreneurs donate a portion of every, single purchase to children’s charities such as Toys for Tots, and the Make a Wish Foundation! I love the spirit of giving back that I’ve encountered!

They sent me the 2 super cute cars that you can see in the attached photo, which arrived in a very cute fabric bag that can be used for storage or travel. My toddler (who recently turned 2) has had lots of fun pushing these cars around the house, and now that Spring has arrived, they’ve made it outside to the driveway with us. They are ffinished with Bannor Toys own beeswax and flaxseed oil finish, which is 100% organic and 100% non-toxic and it looks beautiful. You are able to choose between walnut, maple or cherry wood. These cars are very well-made & durable, and I have no doubt they’ll be around for many years for my next child to play with, and then to pass on to another family when we’re done with them! I absolutely love simple toys such as these that do exactly what this business has set out to do: help stimulate development through quality, safe, and fun toys.

They don’t have a huge line, but as I always state: quality over quantity is what’s important, and there surely is something for every babe/toddler! Categories of offerings include: Wooden Toys (several different stackers, a balancer, driving set, building & alphabet blocks ranging from $28-$45), Cars & Trucks (several makes & models ranging from $12-$38 for a set of 4), Baby Rattles (several great wooden ones, and several soft balls, ranging $10-$23 for a set of 2 balls), Block Sets with several great options (ranging $15-$45), Baby Gift Sets (love this category, great for your registry $24-$50) and Maple Teethers in many cute shapes & sizes ($12).

Please visit their website & FB pages for more info and to browse these quality, hand-crafted products yourself:

Website: http://www.bannortoys.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/MyBannorToys?fref=ts

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