Pad Printing on Toys: A Comprehensive Guide

Pad printing is a popular printing method in the toy industry. Many companies prefer this printing method for printing on many different toy surfaces and substrates. Contract printers prefer this printing process because it is versatile and offers high-quality prints. Additionally, it can print intricate designs, logos, and text with precise accuracy. Combined with an excellent pad printing ink for toys, this printing process delivers outstanding images, designs, and markings on toys. In this article, we will discuss the pad printing process and its benefits for the toy industry.

Common toy manufacturing materials

To understand pad printing on toys, we need to review the common materials for manufacturing toys. There are several materials used for making toys. Some of the most common materials used for making toys include plastic, wood, metal, cardboard, rubber, glass, and fabrics. Each of these materials has its own unique properties and benefits. The focus of this article will be on plastic, wood, and cardboard substrates for toys.

PVC and polystyrene are some of the most common plastics for making plastic toys. Examples of these toys include Lego and polystyrene plastic train cars. To print on toys made of polypropylene, the toys require pre-treatment such as the Natron PP Primer. Metal is also another great material for making toys. Most metal toys have a coating. Wood is also a common material for making toys, making it a great substrate to pad print on.

Learn more about our tagless pad printing machines

How pad printing works

Pad printing involves creating an image on a printing plate (cliche), transferring the image to a silicone pad, and then printing the image onto the toy. Pad printing plates can be made from steel, photopolymer, or laser plates. Other components include a pad printing machine, a pad printing ink cup that has an ink cup ring, and a tooling pad printing fixture. All these components work together to transfer the image from the plate to the part using a silicone printing pad.

Once the image has been printed on the toy, the ink is then cured, either through air drying or heat curing.

Pad printing inks for toys

Pad printing inks for toys play a very crucial role in marking and decorating toys. Strict laws govern the types of chemicals used in manufacturing these inks. At Boston Industrial Solutions, Inc., we use the safest, highest-quality materials to make our inks in compliance with USA, European EN 71-3:2019, Canadian, Mexican, and Australian toy regulations.

The Natron TP series pad printing ink for plastic is an excellent ink for pad printing on toys made of plastic, wood, cardboard, and coated metals. This ink is excellent for printing toys, industrial applications, medical devices, and food packaging. The Natron MG series pad printing ink for glass and metal is another excellent ink for printing on toys. Use this ink to print on glass and metal toys. This ink also has excellent prints on wood and paper substrates.

Benefits of Pad Printing for Toys

There are several benefits that pad printing offers to the toy industry. This includes:

  • Precision: Pad printing is known for its precise accuracy, which makes it ideal for printing intricate designs, logos, and text on toys. It is an excellent method for printing on curved and contoured surfaces.
  • Versatility and speed: Pad printing method is excellent for printing on all surfaces and substrates, including plastic, metal, rubber, fabrics, etc. Additionally, pad printing machines are capable of printing at very high speeds, up to 2,000 parts per hour. Learn more about our Volta Pad printing machines.
  • Durability: Pad printing ink is very durable once cured. We use non-toxic materials combined with fade-resistant pigments to make these inks, making the prints resistant to fading, abrasion, and chemicals.
  • Cost-effective: Pad printing is a good way to print small to medium-sized runs of toys because it saves money. The estimated cost per print is about $0.003 per square inch.


The pad printing process has many benefits. This makes it a popular printing process in the toy industry. This printing process offers high-quality results, precision, versatility, durability, and cost-effectiveness.

At Boston Industrial Solutions, Inc., we offer turnkey solutions for pad printing on toys. We have excellent pad printing machines, pad printing inks, and pad printing supplies to get you up and running. Whether you are looking to print intricate designs, logos, or text on your toys, pad printing is a great option to consider. Contact us today to learn more about our products and how we can help you get set up for pad printing on toys. Follow us on Instagram and YouTube to learn more about our product offering