The brand owner and retailer of Orbeez is Spin Master, and their range of products are made in “China, Mexico, Vietnam and India among others”. Specifically, in regards to Orbeez, it appears that they are made in China as this is noted as the Country of Origin on their Amazon product page.
The term Orbeez is also often used to refer to other ‘grow in water’ type beads, such as water beads. Other brand names for water beads include Sooper beads, MarvelBeads as well as a myriad of other smaller brands. Our understanding is that all of these other brands are also made in China. We have not found a manufacturer that is based in the USA.
Note that there is a difference between manufacturers and suppliers. A supplier may well be based in the USA but this does not mean that they manufacture their products, they may just import them from overseas (as is the case with Orbeez and water beads).
- Are Chinese Made Orbeez/Water Beads Safe?
- Are There Really No US Based Manufacturers?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Are Chinese Made Orbeez/Water Beads Safe?
In general they are safe. Orbeez (and water beads) are a very simple product made of sodium polyacrylate (with some colour pigments added). Sodium polyacrylate has been proven to be safe and non toxic.
However, it is important to remember that they are many manufacturers of water beads. Furthermore, there may even be many manufacturers of Orbeez. It is difficult for suppliers to audit manufacturers to make sure they aren’t using anything they shouldn’t be.
For example, the current owner of the Orbeez brand (Spin Master) had to recall the product Aqua Dots after children became sick when ingesting the product. The manufacturing had been outsourced to a Chinese company which had used dangerous chemicals in its production.
It’s important to note that Aqua Dots are not the same sort of product as Orbeez. They were a ‘stick with water’ toy that has now been re-released to the market as Pixos.
Are There Really No US Based Manufacturers?
Unfortunately, there are currently no US based manufacturers of Orbeez (or water beads). However, there are a few manufacturers of the base material – sodium polyacrylate.
Sodium polyacrylate has many different uses, such as in cosmetics when it works to improve the stability and feel of products.
You may be interested to know that sodium polyacrylate also forms the base for fake snow. Fake snow absorbs water and expands many times its original size in the same manner as Orbeez, except that it does so much faster. Best of all, some fake snow (such as the Let it Snow brand) is made in the USA from US made sodium polyacrylate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does It Sometimes Say That Orbeez Are Made by Maya Toys?
Maya Toys previously owned the brand but they sold it (along with some others) in 2019 to Spin Master. Spin Master is currently the brand owner. It is important to note that whilst they own the brand, production is done overseas and is most likely outsourced.
Are There Any Fake Orbeez?
There aren’t any Orbeez fakes that we know of that are using the Orbeez logo. However, Orbeez is fast becoming a generic trademark and it is common to find retailers selling water beads and using the term Orbeez when doing so. Just be aware of this when ordering, especially so if ordering from overseas.
Who Invented Orbeez?
Tali Ben-Ezer and her husband, Oden Ben-Ezer, founded Maya Toys in 1992. It is their company that invented Orbeez.
When Were Orbeez Invented?
We don’t know exactly when Orbeez were invented. However, searching Google trends shows no search volume before August 2010, so it is likely the product was released to market in 2010.
Interestingly, the term ‘water beads’ has search volume all the way back to 2004. Perhaps water beads existed before Orbeez.
Why Do Some Sites Say That Orbeez Were Invented in the 1960s?
It’s most likely they are confusing the invention of sodium polyacrylate with Orbeez. Sodium polyacrylate was invented in the 1960s, but Orbeez were not developed until much later.