Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lead Free Toys

I don't know about you, but I'm not just a little concerned about the number of toy recalls in the last year. Some very popular makers have been pulling Elmo and Thomas off the shelves like crazy. We didn't have any of the items listed on the Matel recall, but we had similar items made before the recall date. So, how do I know that that Big Bird figurine is safe? I guess I'll have to purchase a bunch of lead tests, and just test all the toys to be safe. Poor little Duncan has a doctor's appointment on Tuesday, and I've been considering having his blood drawn for a lead test. This to me is not the long term solution.

My parents have been anti-China products for a long time, and frankly, I've always found it a little kooky. Now I'm starting to reconsider. I decided to do an internet search for American made toys, just to see what was out there, and I was happily surprised. I happened upon Still Made in This site provides links to dozens of toymakers in the US. Some just make one product, but others have more variety. The ones I liked most (as a Mommy of little boys) are: Roy Toy Roy Toy sells little building kits that your child puts together. The kits include a farm, a tree house, etc. It looks like a lot of fun for the 3 and up set. Another site that caught my eye was Whittle Shortline Railroad Their wooden products are based mainly on real companies. They have a FedEx Truck, a Mail Truck, a very cool schoolbus, Amtrack trains, CSX freight cars. They do also have some more simple trains and cars for the younger crowd. The last link is to Maple Landmark Woodcraft This is another company that makes wooden toys and other products. They also have trains, but what really caught my eye were the fantastic block sets. Very nice. I also like how a buyer can personalize almost anything there, from the little steam engines, to Christmas decorations. I'm seriously looking into these and other American made products for Christmas this year. I know a lot of people think that products made in the States will be really expensive, and some are. But I found very reasonable prices throughout my search. If you do choose to buy online, always remember to make sure everything is on the up and up, before you type in that credit card information.

My kid is worth lead free toys and so are yours!


Amy said...

Thanks for all of those links Pam! The blocks on that last link caught my eye, too, even before I read what you wrote about them. I want some. It's surprisingly hard to find good blocks.

Betharoopie said...

Amy - I always think of your "Amish toys" comment from a while back. Unfortunately, it's a really ironic comment these days.

Pam said...

Now I'm wondering what the Amish toys comment was. I admit I was pleasantly surprised by all of the finds online. It looks like there are some really nice toys still made here. Duncan already has some really great blocks. If he didn't, I would definitely be buying some of those.

Amy said...

I have a tendency to buy somewhat simple, wooden toys for Benjamin. I try not to get too much plastic stuff. Of course we have lots of plastic, but when available I'll opt for wood. So one day Craig came home, looked at the living room, and said, "Why do you only get Benjamin Amish toys?" ...Or something like that.