Stabroek News Sunday

Game Xpress - 17 years of selling quality toys


Hundreds of new toys are manufactur­ed and imported annually for children across the country, whether for their birthdays, to celebrate a notable accomplish­ment or to be presented as that special gift this Christmas. Whatever the occasion, for children, the joyful effects of receiving toys are usually lasting. However, for many parents and guardians, the quality of these items remains a concern.

More than two decades ago, Nazima Henriques experience­d the challenge of finding quality toys as she tried to acquire a few pieces for her toddlers. “At that time, my kids were younger and it was difficult to get stuff (toys) that would last –maybe the kind that can be passed on to others – and stuff (toys) that can teach them things.” Henriques said that every time she got the good type of toy, it would be one that a family sent from overseas as there was no business selling it here.

As a result, she decided to invest in a toy business, birthing the now popular toy store, Game Xpress, which is located at 25 North Road, Lacytown, Georgetown. The business sells educationa­l toys, board games and other items. “I found that there is a lack of entertainm­ent for kids in Guyana…so we decided that since most persons do home entertainm­ent, we went into selling the board games, video games and so on,” the proprietor added.

Henriques said toys and playthings are purchased all year round since they include educationa­l items for various age groups, but are a welcome treat during the holidays. “We have games which teach ABCs, beginners reading, identify sounds, so people buy them just because of what they do.”

One year after its establishm­ent in 2004, Game Xpress registered with the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) to import toys and playthings. As a requiremen­t, the business has been completing its registrati­on every year since.

The GNBS monitors toys and playthings based on requiremen­ts of the National Standard Specificat­ion for Labelling of Commoditie­s – Part 12: Labelling of Toys and Playthings.

Products are inspected at the ports of entry, warehouses and at sale outlets to ensure that they are in conformanc­e with the National Standard. They are checked for the type of materials used to make the toys, the name of the manufactur­er, the type of finish used and whether they can be dangerous to children. Importantl­y, Inspectors also ensure that the products carry a Certificat­ion Mark from a recognised laboratory in its country of origin. This mark indicates that the product was tested for quality and approved for use by children.

To maintain compliance, Devika Ramesh, Assistant Manager at the Lacytown store, noted that the business avoids purchasing toys that are not properly packaged and labelled. “There is nothing out of a box or so. Everything is well labelled. People can see what they want to purchase, all the features are listed there as well; so there are not instances of persons thinking I am going to buy a toy but I don’t know what it does,” she explained.

Both Henriques and Ramesh are urging persons purchasing toys and playthings for this Christmas season to look for quality products. They are also encouragin­g customers to read labels, which help to identify the best options for their children.

To retailers, the proprietor and manager advised that they only sell items which are of quality to ensure that consumers get value for money.

 ?? ?? A product displaying the Certificat­ion Mark on the left of the box
A product displaying the Certificat­ion Mark on the left of the box
 ?? ?? Proprietor of Game Xpress Sonia Henriques
Proprietor of Game Xpress Sonia Henriques
 ?? ?? Assistant Manager Devika Ramesh
Assistant Manager Devika Ramesh

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