The new range of knitted dinosaurs at Best Years is roarsomely good.

For a decade now, the charming, Northamptonshire-based company Best Years has been selling soft toys with a difference. Their offering is pretty, practical, ethically sourced, suitable from birth and deeply appealing to young kids. Presents for little people don’t come much better than this.

Best Years claims to have introduced knitted dinosaurs to the world, which we can all agree is a gift in itself. Their popular dinosaur collection already includes baby dinosaur toys, soft dinosaur rattles, giant knitted dinosaurs, natural rubber dinosaurs and dinosaur cards. This month, the company is proud to be adding some wonderful new knitted dinosaur toys to its range.

We love the MOSS GREEN TRICERATOPS – a super stylish choice for the nursery. Meanwhile, the ORANGE PTERODACTYL will raise a smile on even the grumpiest face.

Best Years put an astonishing amount of hard work and research (mostly at the Natural History Museum) into their knitted dinosaur toys. Back in the day, they started with a knitted T Rex, on the basis that the T Rex is the dinosaur kids know best. That was pretty simple. But when they began to expand the range, they had to balance the desire to produce the dinosaurs with which kids are most familiar with the practicalities of design and toy safety. Thus the stegosaurus was their second dinosaur and the triceratops was their third.

Once they have settled on which dinosaur they want to make, the designers at Best Years sketch it out, being careful to include details like embroidered eyes, a red mouth, etc. That 2D drawing then becomes a pattern, which eventually becomes a machine-knitted 3D toy.

The Best Years team, who have won four Dadsnet Toy Awards this year, say: “We love toys. We love how they help imaginative play and help cement friendships. We love how children create worlds around their toys. This is why we feel that toys should be as special as the children who play with them.

“So we spend our lives searching for the best possible toys and the people who can make them. Not only do we think that we have the cutest toys around but they are uniquely suited to the needs of young children.

“Knitted and crocheted toys bring a tactile quality to baby toys that is great for helping sensory development. They are also robust enough to stand up to even the most active of toddler play. And it helps that they are machine washable, too!

“Our toys have it all – they are fun, engaging, tactile, bright, practical and handmade.”

Best Years is a beacon amid a retail sector that is suffering (according to research, about a quarter of the UK’s toy shops have closed since 2012). Their gorgeous knitted dinosaurs are the very opposite of disposable tat. Trust us: tiny recipients will treasure these dinos for a long time to come. Buy one now to see for yourself.

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September 2019

By Becky Ladenburg