Yippee! Finally a good excuse to get rid of all those Polly Pocket dolls that litter my daughter's bedroom floor.
Now, if they could just recall Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon cards!
Seriously though, the massive Mattel toy recall announced this morning is nothing to laugh at. Literally millions and millions of toys including those Polly Pocket snap-on clothing dolls, Batman action figures, Sarge die cast cars, Barbie and Tanner, and Doggie Day Care toys are all being recalled due to either hazardous lead paint, or tiny super-strong magnets that small children could easily swallow.
This follows the recall earlier this month of 1.5 million other, similar Chinese-made toys from Mattel's Fisher Price unit, including what The Wall Street Journal called "Poison Me Elmo" dolls.
That recall, and perhaps knowledge of more to come, apparently resulted in the suicide death over the weekend of the owner of the Chinese toy factory that made the lead-infested Dora and Elmo toys.
The toy recall brings to the forefront some serious issues regarding
not only the health and safety of our children, but also the health and
safety of our pets (remember the pet food recall?), and ultimately anyone using a product made in China. It also brings into sharp focus a number of other, controversial economic and trade issues.
As The NYTimes reports, "faced with growing criticism over the quality and safety of its food, toys, tires and other products, China has vigorously defended the quality of its goods, insisting that products made here are on par with products made in the United States and Europe."
Statistically speaking, the experts tell us this was bound to happen
eventually, especially in the toy market. More than 80 percent of the
toys sold in the U.S. are made in China...so rather than being an issue
of quality of the goods, it's an issue of quantity.
However, it makes you wonder what kind of goods we'd be getting if
we didn't have agencies like the Consumer Products Safety Commission,
plus independent consumer watchdogs, keeping an eye on these things.
It's possible that the pet food and toy recalls are just the tip of the iceberg, as we come to grips over our reliance on cheap Chinese manufacturing, and the low prices we don't seem to mind paying for toys like Polly Pockets and Batman figures.
In the meantime - don't let your children see you smile, as you toss those hundreds of teeny tiny Polly Pocket dolls into the trash.
What's your reaction to all the recent toy recalls? Over-protectiveness? China-bashing? Or thank goodness someone is making sure that what we're buying is safe? Click below on "Comments" and tell us what your thinking.