Art And Culture

$5m Worth of Toys Imported Every Month

$5m Worth of Toys Imported Every Month$5m Worth of Toys Imported Every Month

Every month, $5 million worth of toys are imported into Iran, according to Mohammad Hussein Farjou, secretary of the Council for Toy Supervision, affiliated to the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IDCYA).

“We don’t have a modern toy industry,” Farjou said in an interview with Mehr News Agency.

“We cannot manufacture advanced toys, unlike some foreign companies that produce 250 types of doll’s eyes,” from those for baby dolls to animal toys. 

“Our productions are limited. In this industry, we’re no more than rookies,” he said.

Taking the domestic toy industry to task, he said, “We still can’t manufacture a doll that can imitate voice and speech. Importers simply ask Chinese manufacturers to supply them, with the words or voices they choose to provide.”

Elaborating the point, Farjou said, “In all these years we haven’t had an academic major on toy design.” No toy designer has been trained in Iran, because there was no toy industry in the first place. Other countries have been active, producing various toy designs such as helicopters of tiny sizes to those carrying cameras.

Iran started to import toys from 2002, because the Council for Toy Supervision believed that good toys manufactured worldwide should also be available to Iranian children.

  Intellectual Development

In the first year, less than 1% of the imported toys were those that helped with cognitive and intellectual development of children. These toys became a larger part of imports over time, because more families became aware of the contribution of such games in the learning process of their children. 

Now over 15% of the imported toys are educational and creative development toys.

From 2000 to 2010, the council had no budget and organized its affairs with a revolving fund. In 2010, it was granted an annual budget of 650 million rials ($17,000). This fiscal year, which ends in March 2017, the budget was increased to 850 million rials ($21,800).

Most of the $5 million worth of toys imported into the country each month are dolls, followed by toy cars.

In the provinces of Hormozgan, Khuzestan, Bushehr and Tehran, there is supervision over the imported toys at customs offices, but smuggled Chinese toys are still the main problem. “There is no supervision over them. There are several laws against contraband, but they are flouted.” 

There should be a workable supervising mechanism over imported toys, Farjou stressed.

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