Chinese Toy Drama: Chapter 61

Posted by: Diane Brady on November 13, 2007

As the specter of lead in Chinese toys continues to loom (capped off by the outrageous recall of the BONUS toy that RC2 Corp. sent to replace its previously recalled Thomas the Tank Engine trains), I’m starting to see more signs of life from the few who don’t make their toys in China.

The latest missive comes from the ultra-patriotic Made in America Foundation, which has set up a web site nominally called onlyustoys.com (it directs you to the Bond Rewards site).

More than 20 million toys have been pulled off the shelves this year (in 60 separate recalls). That’s everything from Aqua Dots beads that mimic the effect of the “date-rape” drug GHB when swallowed to Dora toys and the pricey Thomas trains that I’ve now put in the basement (sorry, kids!) because the whole case feels like lead to me at this point.

The problem is that my kids don’t crave a Vermont teddy bear (unless it has a Webkinz tag) or wooden train for Christmas. An American flag won’t elicit many oohs and aahs, either (and who says that would be made here, in any case?). It will be interesting to see if consumers really do flock to made-in-America toys. The risks of Chinese products, after all, remain minimal—unless your kids are chewing on lead-covered offerings at all hours of the day. But it’s hard to wrap up a gift that you suspect could prove to be a health risk.

Reader Comments

iewgnem

November 14, 2007 12:03 PM

Made in America isn't safe considering 75% of all recalls were design fault, but it does stop people from bitching so much since they are much more reluctant to criticize their own incompetence than they do China, that's the real difference.

Besides, China makes 80% of American toys, its pretty much impossible to dislodge that dominance anytime soon. In fact the company that makes Mega-Blocks had to shut down a few US plants recently and move them to China to make up for the lost revenue from the recalled toys, talk about irony .

Steven

November 14, 2007 2:11 PM

http://www.asiapacific.ca/analysis/pubs/pdfs/rr/2007/toyrecalls.pdf


The latest research by Canadian scholars will show you that China-made toys are no less safer or even better than any other countries.

Most of the recent recalls were caused by design flaws. That's actually US-design problem, not China-made issue.

Blame on others are very easy.

tony

November 14, 2007 8:19 PM

Pls read http://www.forbes.com/home/opinions/2007/11/09/toys-hasbro-china-oped-cx_agh_1112toys.html

The toys made in China are actually of less than average defect/recall rate. All of the products recalled so far in 2007 amount to about nine-tenths of 1% of the 3 billion toys sold in the United States each year. Toys made in U.S. are necessarily of better quality than those made in China. Consumers just keep voting by their wallets,

geets

November 14, 2007 11:57 PM

Made in America is a thing of the past and this toy problem can be fixed.
It is only more apparent that there is a massive Quality Control opportunity in China. This type of out of sight out of mind cost cutting doesn't work when the next generation starts to get systematically poisoned by food, toys, clothes? Whats the real message?
QC increases the price of goods and if they are from China then they loose that much of a price advantage as compared to goods from other nations even those produced in domestic markets.

Cynthia Bradley

November 15, 2007 2:12 PM

Diane, You and your readers might be interested in an internet site I use to buy American products, www.shopforamerica.com. This site represents hundreds of American companies offering thousands of US-made products. Cindy

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