Monday, October 8, 2007

Will a price war make a difference in your shopping?

Despite numerous recalls for lead paint and other hazards, WalMart is about to launch an all out price war to save its Christmas toy sales. More than 80% of the toys stocked in major retail outlets like WalMart, Target and Toys R Us are manufactured in China. Will that matter when the prices are so cheap that suddenly high quality China-free toys look shockingly expensive?

More recalls were issued last week on brands that we thought we could trust. Publicists for large toys companies are now saying this will be the safest Christmas ever since they are testing so many more toys. However, it seems to me that the recalls are coming a little slowly and in chunks that appear to be choreographed. Will they come in time to return those toys you bought for Christmas in November and get new ones?

Obviously, we are recommending that you buy the toy brands we've listed here. Some of them you can find in local, smaller toy shops. Some you can order directly from the manufacturer. We've been asked why we use Amazon instead of just listing the brand. Because Amazon is everywhere and they are making an effort to carry the smaller brands, it seemed like the most efficient choice. I don't want to send anyone on a wild-goose chase all around their town looking one thing.

If you are looking for other options of lead-free Christmas presents and aren't sure what toys to buy, how about books! Families love classic collections, board books for babies, picture books for toddlers, and early readers for preschoolers and chapter books for kids. We love to give Disney read along books for toddlers on up because it frees mom and dad for a few minutes to do something else.

Have a safe holiday season and feel confident that you made great choices. You can buy amazing presents without spending a ton of cash or falling for the price war. Stay tuned this week for a series of the top ten toys for kids, all under $30. We won't fall for the price war either.


Misc. Muse said...

We tried for a long time to never buy anything made in China. From 2nd hand store we did. There are things I refuse to buy from China- children's things, make-up, herbs, and food. We should have seen this coming. There are wonderful things made for kids from Europe- when I lived in Evanston, Il. my kids were small, I loved to go in the toy store on main street they had wonderful toys made in Europe. They also had to use their imagination with them. I wish enough of us would quit buying from Walmart, they would have to take a look at why and decide to do different. Only on a very rare occassion do we shop Walmart.

Misc. Muse said... also report on children PJ's from China having embalming fluid in them, they were washed several times and chemicals were still there.

amy said...

Re: books. Is it true that the vinyl bath books (like Baby Einstein _Water Water Everywhere_) are coated in powder that contains lead? I don't know if it's true, although that has been said for years about vinyl shower curtains.