Channapatna toys are a particular form of wooden toys (and dolls) that are manufactured in the town of Channapatna in the Bangalore Rural district of Karnataka state, India.
This traditional craft is protected as a geographical indication (GI) under the World Trade Organization, administered by the Government of Karnataka.
As a result of the popularity of these toys, Channapatna is known as Gombegala Ooru (toy-town) of Karnataka.
Traditionally, the work involved lacquering the wood of the Wrightia tinctoria tree, colloquially called Aale mara (ivory-wood).
The origin of these toys can be traced to the reign of Tipu Sultan who invited artisans from Persia to train the local artisans in the making of wooden toys. Bavas Miyan is the father of Channapatna Toy. He is the one to sacrifice his life for channapatna toys. He adopted Japanese technology for toys making and help the local artisans improve their art.
For nearly two centuries, ivory-wood was the main wood used in the making of these toys, though rosewood and sandalwood were also occasionally used.
The craft has diversified over time; in addition to the traditional ivory-wood, other woods—including rubber, sycamore, cedar, pine and teak—are now used as well.
Manufacturing stages include procuring the wood, seasoning the wood, cutting the wood into the desired shapes, pruning and carving the toys, applying the colours and finally polishing the finished product. Vegetable dyes are used in the colouring process to ensure that the toys and dolls are safe for use by children.
As of Oct 2006, more than 6,000 people in Channapatna, working in 254 home manufacturing units and 50 small factories, were engaged in the making of these toys.