D&L Polymer and Colours (DLPC), a subsidiary of listed firm D&L Industries Inc. (DNL), said that it developed the egg material for the recently launched children’s toy Hatchimals.
In a statement on Tuesday, DLPC said it has developed a key raw material used in the Hatchimals toy sensation which allows it to hatch without splintering. The company made the material exclusively for TradeWalker Ltd., a Hong Kong-based solution provider for the toy manufacturing industry.
The recently launched Hatchimals toy shows the gradual hatching process of an interactive furry chick that can walk, speak and sing through three different life stages: baby, toddler and adult. Targeted to provide a nurturing experience to children, Hatchimals quickly became the must-have toy for 2016 since its launch in October last year.
Lester Lao, DLPC’s managing director, said the main challenge was producing something that was both durable and delicate at the same time for the egg material.
“The Hatchimals project had very specific requirements. Essentially, we were trying to replicate the structure and texture of an eggshell. That’s where our special material comes in. It makes the egg strong enough to withstand shipping and handling but also fragile and breakable enough to hatch open,” Lao said.
“During the development process, the concept had to be kept under wraps and since our customer couldn’t disclose the end use, we just had to keep adapting the formulation,” he added.
Since the material would be used in a children’s toy, safety was a primary concern during the development phase, Lao said.
“Not only did it need to be non-toxic, but the egg had to break without leaving sharp edges. It also needed to be designed so that it would hatch within a specified time frame,” he said.
Developing customized materials for clients is part of the company’s long-term strategy, he said.
“Our goal is to maintain our focus on innovation. Our R&D [research and development]work is an important reason why clients continue to rely on us to come up with solutions, just like what we did for the Hatchimals toy,” Lao said.
Established in March 2006, DLPC is a wholly owned subsidiary of D&L Industries Inc., a Philippine firm engaged in manufacturing food ingredients, oleochemicals, aerosols, and specialty plastics. DLPC provides the plastics industry with custom designed and formulated dry colorants, color masterbatches, additives and engineered polymers for a wide range of applications.
Its parent firm D&L expects a 15 percent to 19 percent growth in profit and sales for 2016 and 2017, respectively, banking on sustained economic growth and realization of distribution deals for Southeast Asia.
D&L has programmed a capital expenditure of P345 million to P360 million this year, up from the P300 million actual spending in 2016.