Dr. Aaron Glickman Spin Master

Dr. Aaron Glickman, chief radiologist of Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto, wears a face shield from Spin Master, which has offices in Toronto and Los Angeles.

The children’s entertainment company Spin Master is helping fill the need for PPE for front-line health care workers in California with face shields. 

But the staff didn’t just pivot machinery to get the job done. They put their heads together and transformed its most successful game, Hedbanz, into a prototype face shield. 

“When the whole pandemic started happening and we were starting to work from home, the staff reached out to see what we could do as a company,” said Diana Young, vice president of product development. 

“We thought we could help 3D print face shields. We have 3D printers, but they’re really slow. Then someone on my team had the amazing idea to break apart three of our products and build a prototype. That happened on a Tuesday, and by Friday we were in production. It was amazing how fast it all came together.”

The LA model shop manager, Paul Sesto, asked if Spin Master could use the 3D printers to make face shields. Ian Patterson, a senior manager of engineering in Toronto, came up with the idea to use components from their products to mass produce face shields.

The foam for the shields comes from Spin Master’s marshmallow foam furniture and the PET is a standard blister material that they use across many products.

More than 20,000 face shields are produced each day from three facilities. The shields have been individually packed in a sanitary environment and offer support for those on the frontlines. 

The hospitals in the Los Angeles area that are receiving PPE include Kaiser Permanente-Los Angeles Medical Center, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Spin Master has distributed 107,000 units to 30 health care facilities across the continent in Toronto, New York and Mexico. California, the United Kingdom, France and Israel were next on the list.

“Our first target was hospitals,” she said. “We’ve opened it up to more people who need help like nursing homes, the Torrance Fire Department, the Gardena Police Department, Kaiser Panorama City Hospital and Torrance Memorial Hunt Cancer Center. 

“We sourced it and reached out to these places to go through official channels so we could get it straight into people’s hands. We’re going to make these until people don’t need them anymore.”