Yet More Toy Recalls

This is getting ridiculous: More toy recalls from Mattel, including various Barbie accessories (though not the dolls themselves), Fisher Price Geo Trax Locomotive Toys, and Fisher Price Bongo Band Toys.

Moms Rising has a petition you can sign urging Congress and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to institute measures for better testing of children’s products. You can also write directly to your members of Congress.

In the meantime, you’ll have to make your own toys or fashion Barbie accessories out of things found around the house. I’m thinking a bit of brown paper bag, cut and glued, would make a nice toolbelt.

(Crossposted at Mombian.)

14 thoughts on “Yet More Toy Recalls

  1. junk food science

    This is a blog that I visit regularly. I’ve often thought about writing a diary here referencing some of the things that she writes articles on…but let’s face it…no time, no energy. So here’s what she says about the toxic toy craze. It’s an interesting perspective, and one that I find calming.

    • very interesting

      It does seem that we can get very caught up in the lead poisoning thing.  Not that it’s not dangerous, but it helps to have that perspective.  Since my kids aren’t putting toys in their mouth anymore, I don’t have to worry quite as much.

      One thing I learned recently that did alarm me a little is that certain ceramic tiles installed before 1988 can have asbestos in them.  It’s not a problem to have them in your house, but if you’re going to break them up and remove them yourself, as we were about to do, it’s good to test them first.

    • I think that’s overly unalarmist

      I’m not rushing to the pediatrician, and I’m not worried about her health – but for goodness’ sake, it’s not OK to put lead in toys for kids. It’s just not. Most of our kids probably have too many toys anyway. The recalls are necessary and the corporations do need to pay for their lack of oversight.

      As for “there used to be a lot more lead and it didn’t make us a nation of cretins…” well: George W. Bush. ;-) We’ve learned that lead is a lot more harmful than we thought 50 years ago, and that it causes harm below acute toxicity.

      I’d rather pay double for half as many toys and have them be lead-free.

  2. Place to get toys

    I have discovered a toy store that only buys toys from countries and companies that pay a living wage and of course are toxin free – for the workers and the kids.

    You can order from their website at http://www.playstoretoys.com.

    They are located in Palo Alto. I’m not affiliated with them in any way, I just loved their stuff and their efforts to do the research for their customers.

    They also have a “toy philosophy” about the “play value” of the toy. Does the toy help the child use their imagination, and does the toy “grow” with the child, or get boring in 3 months, or 5 minutes. That’s a good thing … because their stuff is expensive. OTOH, I bought some items after watching my son play with them in the store, and there is a big noticeable difference in how long he plays with these items compared to toys that have buttons, lights, etc (which I have put away for good). He has gone wild for playsilks.

    That said, the playsilks I bought were made in China. They either slipped through the cracks at the store, or the CA-based company that imports them is known to the owner and somehow is ok with the Chinese company?? I have not asked them specifically, but plan to. But this store is better than walking the aisles at big toy stores not knowing what the heck to choose.

    • So now what?

      I guess I don’t know where to turn next! Like most parents, I have purchased toys for my children that I have always thought to be educational, but now I’m a little freaked about the possiblity that many, if not all, of their toys, have lead paint on them or some other crazy thing that could potentially harm them. It seems that every day there is a new recall, and I am just waiting to see some of the toys currently in my home. Rather than wait, I want to discard all of them and start over! So where can I buy toys that are safe? How can I know if what I currently have is safe or not? Who knows any answers? I’d appreciate any input.

      • European toys

        I’ve found a couple of online sources that stock toys made where environmental standards are tighter.  The toys are pricey but well-made and safe.  My child is too old for them but I buy them for my work and for gifts and have gotten good feedback.  So far each one I’ve purchased has been a pleasure to look at and handle, a real treat to shop for and receive in the mail :-)  

        oompa

        moolka

        blueberry forest

        You can’t buy nearly as many of these toys as you can of the molded ones without spending a fortune, but you end up with beautiful, non-garish, nice-feeling things.  

  3. ugh!

    UGH!  I CAN’T TAKE THESE RECALLS ANYMORE!  Like today’s, I have that red Geotrax engine.

    Sorry for the caps.

    I’ve had one toy of every single one of these recalls so far.  I guess we should just assume that every single toy has lead on it.

    • The geotrax

      is the first one that got me.

      My daughter wants a horse playset for her birthday. I know for sure that these horses are painted with safe paint, because I know the guy who sourced it personally, and because I know what a PITA it was and how much trouble he went to get their proprietary paint made in China (China would not allow them to import their paint from the US.) If anyone switches out ingredients, it’s immediately obvious. But the dolls – those could be painted with anything, or have lead in the plastic.

      Sigh.

      • This is good to know

        ie, that small toy makers can find and work with Chinese companies to have appropriate safety standards for the materials. It sounds like it takes a lot of dedication on the part of the toy maker though.

    • damn

      i’m sorry to hear you’ve been hit every time, njmom. that sucks. have you sent them back to the companies? we had a good (if you’d call it that) experience with the thomas train people. they sent us back a replacement train, plus an extra one for our trouble, and a small amount of money for postage.

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