Melissa and Doug wooden birthday cake...china! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 10-01-2007, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd is obsessed with birthdays, sings happy birthday all day long, everything (buildings, strings, etc.) are ALL birthday cakes or birthday hats! So anyway, I found the Melissa and Doug birthday cake at the store today and snatched it up. Brought it home and remembered the whole China ordeal as I was opening the package and saw "China" printed on the bottom - plus it smelled somewhat strongly of whatever they paint it with! :-(

I was SO hoping she could play with this tomorrow while I babysit a baby for 10 hours but the mommy alarm went off and I don't feel comfortable anymore!

Anyone done a lead test recently on a M&D birthday cake - hehe? Am I being TOO paranoid about this?
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#2 of 30 Old 10-01-2007, 10:18 PM
 
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I dont know the answer but Id be paranoid too!! Lead is a serious problem.. Id hold off until I got an answer. Maybe email M&D??
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#3 of 30 Old 10-01-2007, 10:26 PM
 
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I emailed them because we mostly have M&D toys. They assured me that they test and restest, and watch over, and are very involved in what goes on over there with their products, on and on. I havent lead tested any of our toys though.
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#4 of 30 Old 10-02-2007, 12:06 AM
 
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A lot of the M&D stuff is made in China, fwiw.
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#5 of 30 Old 10-02-2007, 08:19 PM
 
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We tested our M&D toys this weekend. They were all okay.

Still not sure we'll be buying anything else from them, though.

Mama to my beautiful boys born 6/29/06, 7/29/08, & 11/09/10.
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#6 of 30 Old 10-02-2007, 09:16 PM
 
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On another thread (maybe search?), someone posted a letter they got from teh company, basically outlining their testing standards, etc. Dd has 2 M&D puzzles, and I got her a bunch of playfood for the holidays--I'm not that concerned about it, based on the company practices (assuming they're not lying--which I'm guessing they're not, b/c of lawsuit potential).
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#7 of 30 Old 10-02-2007, 09:26 PM
 
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Seems to me the difference here is that M&D is a smaller company than the ones that have had the recall problems. Smaller company should equal better oversight and better quality. Simply being made in china does not automatically equal being contaminated with lead. Now, being mass market licensed character crap made in china...increases the odds quite a bit.

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#8 of 30 Old 10-02-2007, 10:01 PM
 
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Honestly, M&D is one of the few made-in-china manufacturers that I am inclined to trust - especially if your DD is through with mouthing toys.

Just my .02!

Leeann, mama to 3*magic*kids: DD 1/03 DD 9/04 DS 8/06
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#9 of 30 Old 10-02-2007, 10:05 PM
 
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As I understand it, Melissa and Doug actually keeps a staff member on site to make sure their manufacturer is following the safety guidelines that they specify. A major problem with items manufactured in China is that a company will tell them what they want, but they won't check on it regularly or enforce it. Melissa and Doug does, and quite stringently. There was another thread on here when the whole "tainted items made in China" issue hit and several MDC mamas checked their toys with a lead tester, and all of the Melissa and Doug toys came up clean.
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#10 of 30 Old 10-02-2007, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the info and replies, everyone! I didn't have a chance to check out the replies until after the baby left today, but I played it safe and left it on the shelf. Tonight I did a little more reading on M&D too and I think I'm going to let her play with the cake tomorrow (wow, she's going to have fun!) and pick up a lead test to have around anyhow! This china stuff is : !

*edit* to say that I love M&D stuff so the info all of you shared was much appreciated! Thanks again!
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#11 of 30 Old 10-03-2007, 11:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 3*is*magic View Post
Honestly, M&D is one of the few made-in-china manufacturers that I am inclined to trust - especially if your DD is through with mouthing toys.

Just my .02!
I was reading on Oompa Toys that a lot of their European toys are made in China-- Haba, Djeco, etc. all manufacture at least some in China. Plan Toys are made in Thailand. How does everyone feel about these companies?

Mama to my beautiful boys born 6/29/06, 7/29/08, & 11/09/10.
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#12 of 30 Old 10-03-2007, 11:15 AM
 
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I know about M&D, but I emailed them about the testing too, and they were very helpful. I'm afraid in this global day & age, it is unavoidable, because even if it's assembled somewhere else all together, some component probably came from China.

I also adore Haba, and not *all* are made in china, but they have begun to move some manufacturing there. I hope it is a trend that doesn't continue. A Toy Garden has a very helpful website that on their catalog page has an american flag if the toy is made in usa.

http://www.atoygarden.com/index.cfm?...category_ID=82
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#13 of 30 Old 10-03-2007, 11:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Zuzu822 View Post
I was reading on Oompa Toys that a lot of their European toys are made in China-- Haba, Djeco, etc. all manufacture at least some in China. Plan Toys are made in Thailand. How does everyone feel about these companies?
Good question. To be honest, I am not 100% sure how to feel. I want to trust companies like Haba and think that generally European companies have stricter guidelines for safety of children's toys. Beyond the safety aspect, though, I have issues with the ethics of how Chinese manufacturers treat their workers and the insane amount of pollution they create.

I'd love to hear what others think.

Leeann, mama to 3*magic*kids: DD 1/03 DD 9/04 DS 8/06
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#14 of 30 Old 10-03-2007, 12:05 PM
 
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Cherry Blossom Cake

Suzani Felt Cake

The first one is about the same price as the M&D and the second one is a bit more. These are made in the USA and gorgeous.

We aren't big fans of Melissa and Doug stuff. I don't think *everything* made in china is bad...but I'd rather not support MIC things.
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#15 of 30 Old 10-03-2007, 01:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kaspirant View Post
Cherry Blossom Cake

Suzani Felt Cake

The first one is about the same price as the M&D and the second one is a bit more. These are made in the USA and gorgeous.

We aren't big fans of Melissa and Doug stuff. I don't think *everything* made in china is bad...but I'd rather not support MIC things.
Those are fantastic! I saw someone selling a felt pizza (maybe A Toy Garden??). I think my DS is still too young for pizzas and cake. The pieces would be lost in about 2.5 seconds!

Mama to my beautiful boys born 6/29/06, 7/29/08, & 11/09/10.
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#16 of 30 Old 10-03-2007, 01:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 3*is*magic View Post
Good question. To be honest, I am not 100% sure how to feel. I want to trust companies like Haba and think that generally European companies have stricter guidelines for safety of children's toys. Beyond the safety aspect, though, I have issues with the ethics of how Chinese manufacturers treat their workers and the insane amount of pollution they create.

I'd love to hear what others think.
Those are similar to my thoughts too. I would hope smaller companies are more aware of these things, but I don't know... I read that Playmobil has some parts MIC too. I think I'm going to try to stick to U.S. made. I love Haba, though! Luckily some sites tell you exactly where each product is made within one company's line, so you could avoid China but not the company altogether.

Mama to my beautiful boys born 6/29/06, 7/29/08, & 11/09/10.
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#17 of 30 Old 10-03-2007, 10:30 PM
 
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but are there other countries that can be unsafe to buy toys that are made there? like can Thailand or Japan or Mexico use lead paint on toys? Im such a worrier
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#18 of 30 Old 10-03-2007, 11:20 PM
 
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I totally love Plan Toys. They have an excellent environmental policy and use vegetable dyes for their colors, so I feel safe using them. They are hard to get hold of, but last year I had a toy break and emailed customer service about it. I never heard back from them, but a few weeks later I had a brand new toy arrive in my mail box, all the way direct from Thailand! To me that was above and beyond, so they definitely get high marks with me.
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#19 of 30 Old 10-03-2007, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kaspirant View Post
Cherry Blossom Cake

Suzani Felt Cake

The first one is about the same price as the M&D and the second one is a bit more. These are made in the USA and gorgeous.

We aren't big fans of Melissa and Doug stuff. I don't think *everything* made in china is bad...but I'd rather not support MIC things.
Oh my goodness - those are fantastic!! Thanks!
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#20 of 30 Old 10-04-2007, 12:50 AM
 
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I'm not a huge fan of M&D toys because I've found that the paint chips pretty easily on them. Even before all of the 'made in china' furor came about, I had to take some of these away from dd because paint was chipping off just from regular play - not to mention sometimes the edges were a bit ragged/rough. Shame because they are cute toys, I just don't think they are well made at all.
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#21 of 30 Old 10-04-2007, 01:30 AM
 
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Oh my goodness - those are fantastic!! Thanks!
You are welcome. I also think it won't be hard to *add* new decorations cut from felt. I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to actually make your own cake and all either, but I do enjoy supporting other local businesses at the same time.

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Originally Posted by apple_dumpling View Post
I'm not a huge fan of M&D toys because I've found that the paint chips pretty easily on them. Even before all of the 'made in china' furor came about, I had to take some of these away from dd because paint was chipping off just from regular play - not to mention sometimes the edges were a bit ragged/rough. Shame because they are cute toys, I just don't think they are well made at all.
ITA! We have felt that way for a while now. We really are picky about what toys come into our home...and what sticks around. DS doesn't have a LOT of toys, but we have quality ones. M&D don't have the quality standards I am looking for...regardless of where they are made.
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#22 of 30 Old 10-04-2007, 10:56 AM
 
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From a friend who wrote to Haba:

Please rest assured your products are safe! Haba prides itself in taking
extra steps for product safety and quality.

Our wood items, with the exception of the Master Builders which have no
finish, are still made in Germany. Our clothe items are made elsewhere.
BUT if an item has a wooden component-such as the pieces in the jewelry-that
wood is still processed in Germany and then sent elsewhere for assembly.

If Haba uses an 'overseas' factory, it is specially certified for quality
and safety-by European standards. To make sure those standards are strictly
followed, Haba also has a German based employee that spends the majority of
his year in these factories. His job is to audit those factories for
materials going into our products, who is making our products and the
quality coming out.

All our products meet ASTM standards and all European standards-which are
tougher than our own!

Thank you for your inquiry!!

Janet
HabaUSA



Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuzu822 View Post
Those are similar to my thoughts too. I would hope smaller companies are more aware of these things, but I don't know... I read that Playmobil has some parts MIC too. I think I'm going to try to stick to U.S. made. I love Haba, though! Luckily some sites tell you exactly where each product is made within one company's line, so you could avoid China but not the company altogether.
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#23 of 30 Old 10-04-2007, 11:00 AM
 
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From a friend who wrote to Haba:

Please rest assured your products are safe! Haba prides itself in taking
extra steps for product safety and quality.

Our wood items, with the exception of the Master Builders which have no
finish, are still made in Germany. Our clothe items are made elsewhere.
BUT if an item has a wooden component-such as the pieces in the jewelry-that
wood is still processed in Germany and then sent elsewhere for assembly.

If Haba uses an 'overseas' factory, it is specially certified for quality
and safety-by European standards. To make sure those standards are strictly
followed, Haba also has a German based employee that spends the majority of
his year in these factories. His job is to audit those factories for
materials going into our products, who is making our products and the
quality coming out.

All our products meet ASTM standards and all European standards-which are
tougher than our own!

Thank you for your inquiry!!

Janet
HabaUSA
Thank you for posting this! Good to hear.

Mama to my beautiful boys born 6/29/06, 7/29/08, & 11/09/10.
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#24 of 30 Old 10-04-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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Shame because they are cute toys, I just don't think they are well made at all.
I agree with you about the M&D toys being of indifferent quality.

On the other hand, they are much less expensive than other wooden toys (Haba, Plan, Brio, etc.), so it's reasonable to expect they would be of lower quality.

I can't generally afford the more expensive brands of toys, though I'm always delighted when they arrive in my home as gifts.

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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#25 of 30 Old 10-04-2007, 05:09 PM
 
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We tested our M&D toys this weekend. They were all okay.

Still not sure we'll be buying anything else from them, though.
How did you test the toys? Is there a test kit I can buy? I'd love to know! Thanks!
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#26 of 30 Old 10-04-2007, 05:49 PM
 
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How did you test the toys? Is there a test kit I can buy? I'd love to know! Thanks!
We bought tests at Lowe's. They look like swabs; they turn red if lead is present. We originally bought them because we pulled up carpet and exposed a painted hardwood floor and wanted to make sure that wasn't lead-based. Luckily it wasn't-- and neither were the toys!

Mama to my beautiful boys born 6/29/06, 7/29/08, & 11/09/10.
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#27 of 30 Old 10-04-2007, 06:28 PM
 
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We bought tests at Lowe's. They look like swabs; they turn red if lead is present. We originally bought them because we pulled up carpet and exposed a painted hardwood floor and wanted to make sure that wasn't lead-based. Luckily it wasn't-- and neither were the toys!
Thanks!
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#28 of 30 Old 10-04-2007, 08:55 PM
 
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Those are so darn cute!
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#29 of 30 Old 10-04-2007, 08:55 PM
 
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We bought tests at Lowe's. They look like swabs; they turn red if lead is present. We originally bought them because we pulled up carpet and exposed a painted hardwood floor and wanted to make sure that wasn't lead-based. Luckily it wasn't-- and neither were the toys!
Do you remember how much they cost?
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#30 of 30 Old 10-04-2007, 09:16 PM
 
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Do you remember how much they cost?
I think DH said that it was $4 for a package of two tests.

Mama to my beautiful boys born 6/29/06, 7/29/08, & 11/09/10.
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