Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Toys Made In USA

First Thomas, then Dora, now Barbie. Perhaps I shouldn't have suggested so lightly that I empty the whole toy bin?

I checked the origins of our favorite toys today:
  • LEGO pieces are made in Denmark and Germany.
  • Playmobil toys are made in Malta.
  • K-nex are made in the USA.
Steph at Adventures in Babywearing reminded us that even Melissa and Doug wooden toys are made in China. I followed Steph to Musings of a Crunchy, Domestic Goddess, where I found the following site:
Toys Which Are Still Made In The USA. I suggest studying the brand names in case you spot them at yard sales or thrift stores.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the site, Meredith.

This whole China thing is going to make great discussion items for the management class I will be teaching in fall! ;-)

Jeana said...

Barbie? What's wrong with Barbie?

Marsha said...

I don't think about "only in US" as much as I think "not from China". This is a difficult topic because the otherwise non-xenophobic can really start to sound contrary to her own globally-minded values (I'm talking about me, here!) I consider my discretionary spending kind of like voting and try to think of what I buy as an expression of the kind of world I want to live in. I have tremendous respect for the Chinese people, their history and the wisdom the world has gained from their experiences - and I know that their increasing market-minded focus has lifted millions of people out of crushing poverty. When I look at the health of my family, my community, my country and my world...I just can't make a case for purchasing any more from the country than for which I absolutely have no other choice available.

As you pointed out, Lego and Duplo are good choices, as are many Ikea toys. We just ordered a marble run set from Taurus Toys and are thrilled with the quality and play value. Waldorf-type suppliers offer numerous varieties of toys made in Germany and other European countries - although care does need to be taken because some of the "mass market" Waldorf-inspired products are Chinese-made. Another recent purchase was a US-made version of log-type building toys the name of which escape me at the moment.

I do a lot of homemade toys, too. Puppets and puppet theaters, doll clothes, and so on.

Meredith said...

Jeana, the "barbie and tanner" doll set is one of those in the latest Mattel recall, due to magnets which, if ingested, can cause intestinal rupture and even death.

Mrs. Pharris said...

Good post. I'm glad to be able to arm myself with a little extra knowledge. I'm so glad the k'nex are from here. My DS just loves them and is constantly building another amazing invention!

Stephanie Wilson she/her @babysteph said...

I know some people think I'm getting too worked up over all of these recalls, but I think it's TIME to do something about it... I am excited to read any posts about it! Thanks!


Anonymous said...

what a timely post! I mentioned this to Mrs. Wilt at Sparrow's Nest.

deb meyers

TracyMichele said...

This is the only time having a tight budget has really worked to my advantage. LOL. Luckily we haven't owned any of the recalled items (they don't typically recall used cardboard boxes and crayons!) but it certainly does remind me to think carefully before making a toy purchase. Thanks for this post!

Anonymous said...

The Chinese government stated they will be investigating and addressing these issues

Marsha, you do bring up good points -- the corporations doing business with China has helped lift people out of poverty, and US businesses do try to ensure compliance (with quality and labor); however, part of the problem is that there are underground dealings that allow companies there to keep two sets of books, one to show 'compliance' and the other with what's really going on. :-/

Hyperactive Lu said...

Great thoughts! We buy most of Bubbie's toys at consignment stores, garage sales and Goodwill, so I definitely appreciate links so that I can be up to date on the everything!

Anonymous said...

My friend and I were just talking about this today. I asked if they refunded the money and she said they give vouchers. I told her I would not want a voucher but selling it on ebay could be kind of cool!! I am definately thinking making the toys is getting to be a better idea. Thanks for keeping us informed! Elise

Apostle to Suburbia said...

I know most of the Playmobil toys are made in Malta, but the "take and go" Playmobil Castle we bought yesterday (from Target) was marked "made in China." So I don't know what to think. The news this morning reported that Lego and Playmobil products were all NOT made in China too.

We have bought nice wooden toys from thewoodenwagon dot com which are imported from (and made in) Germany.

Since we have had a toddler in the house for nearly 8 years I have avioded any product with magnets. Thank goodness!

mama k said...

Thanks for the links!
I linked back to you on my post.

This whole thing has got me kinda down. I have been making the move towards more natural toys from the beginning, but most of the toys purchased for my son are from grandparents. How do you tell them you don't want certain gifts. I always felt that gifts should be received graciously and without request.
What to do. What to do.

Carey said...

Thanks for the links, I have been adding American Made toys on my site as well.

Only 3 more months until the holidays! Yikes!

Anonymous said...

It's disheartening to think that all of these toy recalls just became common recently. Think about all of the toys that we all played with in the 80s and early 90s. . . who knows what materials and testing standards were in place. I also stumbled upon a website that might be helpful.

Anonymous said...

I have have two little boys age 2 and the entire China thing has got me worried. With Christmas and their birthday on the way I have started looking for toys made in the usa. Here are some of the links I found.
Most of the products are made in the USA some have imported parts. It is clearly marked on each item as to what is imported. Unfortunately the mainstreet villiage sets are not made in the USA
When looking at these items it will say us next to the price if the item is made in the states. There is a plant not far from me.
Have some plastic cars, ride on toys, etc.

Grafted Branch said...

This is a dark day for my girls...especially my very tactile-oriented 7-year-old. :(

Anonymous said...

It's great that there are options for older children that aren't made in china, but what about infants? I have a 6 year old, a 4 year old, and a 4 month old. I've done pretty good in avoiding china made items for the older 2, but I can't find much of anything for the 4 month old. I know that whatever she gets is going in her mouth and that scares me. Any ideas?

Meredith said...

How about good old baby spoons and cups (non plastic)?

Wooden clothespins (the type with a round head and one-piece body) are sold at most stores and come without any glazes or paints. Mine have always loved teething on those and putting them in and out of coffee cans.

Soft toys like stuffed animals seem to be relatively safe--just avoid those with painted faces and eyes.

Little Tikes toys are made in the USA, almost without exception. My one year old loves her little toy piano and xylophone.