Who are we?

» Who are we?

The Spanish Toy Research Institute, AIJU, is a non-profit-making organization committed to promoting research, safety and quality in the toy sector (www.aiju.info). (www.aiju.info).

AIJU Departments:


For the last 17 years, the Spanish Toy Research Institute (AIJU) has been producing this Guide with the aim of providing consumers with detailed and useful information about quality toys and games which aspire to meet the educational and play development needs of children and adults.

» Toy research centre

AIJU boasts a centre for the research and study of toys where Children are the protagonists.\n\nThis centre is the 'Toy Valley' Toy Library, which provides children with 460 m2 of play room as well as an extensive collection of toys for use in a free play environment.

Why did this research centre come into being?

Its main purpose is to enable direct observation of children at play, in order to discover if the toys are suitable in terms of size, if they are easy to use, if they withstand play without breaking, if they appeal to children, if they have fun playing with them, etc. Besides this, the centre studies the tastes and preferences of young people and adults, who also play with its toys and games.


Línes of research

Toy manufacturers

Toy manufacturers know that they cannot take risks where children are concerned, and are therefore committed to improving quality. Accordingly, it is becoming more and more common for companies to take into account the opinion of children and parents –experts in play par excellence – during the manufacturing process.

Over 200,000 children have played in our centre
This centre is an important testing ground, equipped with a closed-circuit system for observation and recording, enabling an exhaustive analysis of children’s play to be carried out.

Toy libraries, leisure centres and families from all over Span have collaborated with AIJU
In addition to its research centre, AIJU benefits from the collaboration of over 50 play centres and infant schools from all over Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Huelva, Logroño, San Sebastián Zaragoza, Lérida, Valencia, Vigo, Burgos, Vitoria, Cuenca, Ávila, Gijón, Albacete and Alicante).

Moreover, 5,000 families from all over Spain contribute year after year by providing their opinion on toys through surveys, which are conducted by post, telephone, over the Internet or in person.\nAny family or institution that wishes to collaborate with AIJU should contact us (96.339.13.76; www.oepi.net) and fill in a form.

AIJU's role is to inform toy manufacturers of the needs, preferences, requests, problems, etc. of the end users of their products, which is why it systematically gathers and analyses this information with the invaluable help of families and experts in play.

» Visit our Webs


The AIJU web site has details of all the services provided by the Instituto Tecnológico del Juguete, (the Institute of Toy Technology) as well as R+D+I promotion, brand and advertising market research studies, quality management, environmental advice, safety tests, prototyping, plastic transformation etc., all of which encourages increased competition of its associated companies as well as contributing to improved product quality.


OEPI (Observatorio Español de Productos Infantiles) is an AIJU support service aimed at consumers and users of children’s' products (parents, children and educators) It gathers consumer opinions, ideas or queries and passes them on to the manufacturer. The aim is to improve children's products with your help. Join us!


This site contains the complete content of this Guide, as well as information on toys, articles on play and disability, play and the elderly etc. and you can use it to send us your views on toys, or to consult our experts, and there is also an English version of the Guide, as well as a version for children and another for the visually handicapped.


The "Toy Valley" project was started in 1993 by AIJU and local manufacturers. It organises visits for school groups which include learning through play activities and provides alternatives relating to toys, their history and their manufacture. The initiative has been developed in close collaboration with the Valencia Toy Museum at Ibi.


AIJU has created the QUALITY TESTED mark which differentiates these children’s products on the basis of objective safety and quality criteria. The website provides plenty of information on this brand, the benefits, advantages, and how to obtain these toys, etc.


The Toy Market Observatory is a competitive market intelligence system which provides advance information adapted to companies in the sector, assisting in the formulation and application of business strategies, in order to improve competition in national and international markets.


» Relevant publications

How Toys Are Made (dvd).
AIJU, Ibi (Alicante), 1992

The Spanish Toy Research Institute (AIJU) has produced a dvd that outlines the main manufacturing processes, different materials used, and other questions relating to toy manufacture and its history, in a simple straightforward way. The dvd is divided into two parts; the first is brief and simple and aimed at children, with a duration of ten minutes; the second is longer and goes into more detail, lasting about half an hour.

Play and Toys for Children in Hospital .
COSTA, M. (coord.)
Náu. Llibres, Valencia, 2000
This publication is the product of a number of research projects carried out by AIJU and the University of Valencia, which involved assessment of the psychological effects of play in hospital, and studies to establish what characteristics toys in the hospital context should have.

The results underline the importance of encouraging, stimulating and promoting play activities in children’s hospitals, since play has a fundamental role in improving the health of hospitalised children.

Play for All in Children's Playgrounds .
COSTA, M. y otros AIJU, Valencia, 2001
This publication considers the urgent need to design children’s playgrounds that can be used by all children, including the disabled. It sets out to define and review the characteristics of children’s playgrounds, using an interdisciplinary approach in order to establish a series of requirements and specific proposals for play equipment, consistent with the principles of access and integration.

Tendencies in the sector of leisure 2005
SONGEL, G. (coord.) AIJU,
Valencia, 2005
This book, edited by AIJU, brings together all psychological aspects for the first time, presenting the complete method of toy analysis: the ESAR System.

Toys, Psychology and the Market. An Application Model for the ESAR System
COSTA, M.; ROMERO, M. y TORRES, E.AIJU, Ibi (Alicante), 1997
The main aim of this publication is to present one of the applications of the ESAR system in the industrial sector, which is how to obtain significant data when considering new product ranges and seeking new toy designs.

Old People and Board Games. The Importance of New Designs -
IMSERSO-AIJU-IBV, Valencia, 2004
Publication maded by AIJU, the IMSERSO and the IBV of Valencia.

Juego, juguetes y discapacidad. La importancia del diseño universal. Costa, M.; Romero, M.; Mallebrera, C.; Fabregat, M.;Torres, E.; Martínez, MJ.; Martínez, Y.; Zaragoza, R.
Torres, S. y Martínez, P.
El Instituto Tecnológico del Juguete (AIJU) ha elaborado una publicación gratuita dirigida a fabricantes de juguetes, a expertos en infancia y discapacidad y a familias con niños que cuenta con algún tipo de discapacidad. Está publicación proporciona a la industria juguetera unas pautas de diseño que contribuyeran mejorar la accesibilidad de los juguetes, tanto para niños/as con discapacidad como sin ella: "Diseño para todos".

Aiju and its pedagogical department

AIJU'S DEPARTMENTS: Training, Information, Pedagogical, Administration, Product Engineering and Tests, and Management Systems and Projects.

AIJU's Pedagogical Department is made up of a team of experts in play and child development which, from an educational, psychological and practical perspective:

The department's infrastructure and resources:

Toy library which caters for around 20,000 children per year.
A system for observing play, equipped with closed-circuit television.
A network of 50 associate toy libraries all over Spain.
An archive containing over 3,000 books and articles on toys and play.
A database of over 5,000 families from all over Spain.
Close collaboration with 500 teachers from different educational levels Working agreements with universities and research centres in Spain and abroad.

El Dpto. Pedagogía-Producto: garantiza CONFIDENCIALIDAD ABSOLUTA y ofrece SERVICIOS ADAPTADOS a las necesidades de las empresas.

Tipos de estudios Prototipo, Producto, Envase y Marca. Pre o post test publicitarios. Posicionamiento de mercado Amenazas y oportunidades de mercado. Valoraciones pedagógicas de materiales. Elaboración de Guías didácticas, etc.

Métodos y técnicas ajustadas a los objetivos de la empresa Entrevista en semi-profundidad. Encuesta personal, telefónica, postal o electrónica. Grupos de discusión. Estudio de casos. Técnicas de observación y participación.