Melissa & Doug boycott - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 54 Old 11-21-2007, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone know why there is a boycott going on against Melissa & Doug products? I am curious, because I occasionally purchase this brand.

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#2 of 54 Old 11-21-2007, 08:39 PM
 
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I haven't heard about it. I know some of their toys are made in China, but I've also heard they have much more strict testing and quality standards than the average toy company. But maybe it's as part of the MIC boycott?
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#3 of 54 Old 11-21-2007, 08:41 PM
 
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some moms on here are boycotting it, right now I see no reason to, but we dont own a large amount of their stuff, we only have 2 puzzles.
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#4 of 54 Old 11-21-2007, 08:49 PM
 
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I believe it is just in conjuction with a Chinese products boycott.
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#5 of 54 Old 11-21-2007, 08:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sophiesue2 View Post
I believe it is just in conjuction with a Chinese products boycott.
some mamas are also doing it because of lead concerns after positive lead tests in their children. theres a thread somewhere aroudn here about them.
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#6 of 54 Old 11-21-2007, 09:31 PM
 
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I don't buy their toys because they're MIC. Also, I think they're very expensive. If min. wage in China is 60 cents an hour, why am I paying so much for their toys? I emailed them, asking them if they paid them more or what but nobody has responded.

When I emailed the owner of See Kai Runs about how I felt betrayed they were MIC because it says all over their website and box "Seattle Family!", they said the Mama who owns it is Chinese and pays her employee's a very high wage and offers benefits. Maybe if M & D told me something like that I'd rethink.
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#7 of 54 Old 11-23-2007, 11:42 AM
 
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OMG, that is so cool!
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#8 of 54 Old 11-23-2007, 01:00 PM
 
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Darn!! I just bought a M& D wooden fruit and veggie cutting set for dd for X mas. Should I be worried about lead???

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#9 of 54 Old 11-23-2007, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Darn!! I just bought a M& D wooden fruit and veggie cutting set for dd for X mas. Should I be worried about lead???
I was told by the company that they use non-toxic dyes, and that they triple test them.

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#10 of 54 Old 11-23-2007, 03:05 PM
 
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I was told by the company that they use non-toxic dyes, and that they triple test them.
Some of the stuff we have from them has chipping paint- actually- I should say USED to have. They were plates and forks and cups.
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#11 of 54 Old 11-23-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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any of the M&D things we had that had paint on them always had the paint chip off
I don't care if it is lead free--I still don't want my kids eating it.


But I do like the puzzles......

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#12 of 54 Old 11-23-2007, 03:35 PM
 
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Oh darn. We just bought a mellissa and doug play table for ds for xmas. Maybe I should return it? We have one of their pull toys and ds loves it but yes it does have a slight chip in the paint. I attributed that to the banging on the hard wood floors.

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#13 of 54 Old 11-23-2007, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, our stuff is beginning to chip as well, and it's practically brand new.

Does anyone know of any companies that sell wooden toys that the paint does not chip? And isn't made in China? It would also be nice to find some toys that are continuously tested for toxins...

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#14 of 54 Old 11-23-2007, 04:29 PM
 
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Does anyone know of any companies that sell wooden toys that the paint does not chip? And isn't made in China? It would also be nice to find some toys that are continuously tested for toxins...
The paint on Haba toys (mostly made in Germany) seems better, doesn't seem to chip.

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#15 of 54 Old 11-23-2007, 06:42 PM
 
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I actually complained to them about chipping paint. They said "They have never had that complaint before!"... so they sent us a new product. So far, so good... but if other people are having that issue, maybe keep complaining.
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#16 of 54 Old 11-23-2007, 06:47 PM
 
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I actually complained to them about chipping paint. They said "They have never had that complaint before!"... so they sent us a new product.
Same thing happened here, with the same response. I thought it was odd then because we had other M&D toys chip too, not just that one, and I found it hard to believe that it had never happened to anyone else's toys. To hear now that they used the same line on someone else really bugs me! How many times have they said "that's ever happened before"? At least they are kind enough to send a replacement toy, but that's just plain dishonest!
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#17 of 54 Old 11-23-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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I saw some very cute toys at rosiehippos.com and novanaturals.com
None are painted, they have a plain beeswax finish. The catalogues are soggy I've drooled over them so much!

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#18 of 54 Old 11-23-2007, 06:55 PM
 
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Ya know, the more I hear about the, the less I like them. I recently tossed our two M&D toys because I've got a bad gut feeling about their ethics. We try to avoid MIC because of ethics (except in the case like above, where they people are actually paid well). They don't seem to be all that different from other huge toy manufacturers, and I'm not trusting them at the moment to look out for my child's best interest.

We're not well off at all, but rather than get more M&D toys, we've chosen to get less and just get ones where it's very likely that they're ethically made and plain wood, not painted (Like from Nova Natural)
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#19 of 54 Old 11-23-2007, 11:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ilikethedesert View Post
Some of the stuff we have from them has chipping paint- actually- I should say USED to have. They were plates and forks and cups.

All our M&D toys had the paint totally flake off too.
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#20 of 54 Old 11-24-2007, 10:52 AM
 
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All our M&D toys had the paint totally flake off too.
:

They are really poor quality, IMO.

I like Plan toys, which aren't more expensive than M & D and are made in Thailand from renewable rubberwood. They NEVER chip. Plan toys makes a cutting fruits and vegetables set that my ds LOVES. And here's another of their food sets: http://www.luckykids.com/page/LK/PRO...cat4/PLN_34150

Haba also makes some really nice cloth food (I'm not crazy about the scale of their wooden food).

Melissa and Doug toys don't stand up to any of the reasons why I love wooden toys. They aren't made with love. They don't last generations (or even months!). They aren't nice to look at (chipping paint, etc.). They may as well be made out of plastic.

HTH!

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#21 of 54 Old 11-24-2007, 11:15 AM
 
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Thanks for the link to the fruits and veggies! I'm not really liking the 'modern' look of a lot of the Plan Toys, but I like those
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#22 of 54 Old 11-24-2007, 01:49 PM
 
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We've decided to do MiC on a company-by-company basis, and after having researched, there are a few companies whose products are MiC that I'm still comfortable with. M&D is one such company.

We've had no issues with paint peeling (and we have hardwood floors and a toddler who likes to bounce things off it), nor have we had any other issues with the quality.

But maybe we're just lucky here since it sounds like others have had issues with quality.

There aren't a lot of toymakers with manufacturing plants in China that we're okay with, but M&D is one (actually it's one of two US based companies -- all the others are European-based). It's obviously a personal choice, but we've gone from absolutely zero toys MiC to allowing a few, after ensuring the company's safety measures are very high.

Go with your heart and gut on this. If you don't feel comfortable with buying a toy MiC then don't buy it. But I do think there are a handful of companies out there who do still care about children's safety.

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#23 of 54 Old 11-24-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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We have a M&D barn that has taken a real beating from the kiddos and hasn't chipped at all.
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#24 of 54 Old 11-24-2007, 04:17 PM
 
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They are really poor quality, IMO.
I'm not boycotting them, but I haven't purchased anything from them in years because of this. They're also rather inelegant and clunky. Compared to other wooden toys, their stuff is very crudely made. Plan Toys and Haba are both MUCH nicer. The Oompa Toys website also carries other brands (Selecta, Vilac, Bajo) that are nice and durable. Not to mention all the wonderful unfinished natural toys from many other sellers like the ones listed on this thread.

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#25 of 54 Old 11-24-2007, 04:39 PM
 
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All of dd's M&D play food is chipped. We are replacing most of it.
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#26 of 54 Old 11-24-2007, 04:52 PM
 
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Still undecided.

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#27 of 54 Old 11-24-2007, 04:54 PM
 
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Still undecided.
I kinda am, but not, they have great puzzles with sensory input for ds, and ones with big handles. So I will most probably be buying M&D for christmas.
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#28 of 54 Old 11-24-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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I keep seeing people say that there are some items from M&D that are not made in China, but I have yet to see them.

I went to toys r us today to try to check them out and every M&D item I picked up was made in China. In fact, everything I picked up except some Crayola products were MiC. I was so disheartened.

I was especially surprised to see playdough was made in China!!! Flour is one of the main ingredients in playdough and that is the ingredient that was killing dogs. I immediately came home and threw all playdough out. We will make our own from now on.
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#29 of 54 Old 11-24-2007, 07:26 PM
 
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I agree the quality is not as good as other wooden toys (Plan being one), but I appreciate that M&D is nearly as ubiquitous as Fisher-Price and other plastic toy companies. I'd rather buy a M&D puzzle (even one that makes noise, yuck) or fruits & vegetable set than a plastic equivalent.

Having said that, I think the woods they use are just not very high quality, and I think that's where you get the flaking and the chipping. I think people just *expect* that of a toy, that it will fall apart after a little use, and IMO that's just sad.
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#30 of 54 Old 11-24-2007, 07:35 PM
 
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I agree the quality is not as good as other wooden toys (Plan being one), but I appreciate that M&D is nearly as ubiquitous as Fisher-Price and other plastic toy companies. I'd rather buy a M&D puzzle (even one that makes noise, yuck) or fruits & vegetable set than a plastic equivalent.

Having said that, I think the woods they use are just not very high quality, and I think that's where you get the flaking and the chipping. I think people just *expect* that of a toy, that it will fall apart after a little use, and IMO that's just sad.
I initially really liked them because they were attractive, simple, and affordable wooden toys that were readily available, as Nubianamy said. We had a band-in-a-box, a pound-a-peg toy, and a set of stacking rings. Not one of them made it past 12 months with my son. All three lost most of the paint, the wood split, and the ring stacker broke into two parts and I found him chewing on the stick. Eek!! His breath had this horrible reek of some kind of wood finish. And the little bittie handle for the cymbals kept coming unscrewed, which was the perfect size for choking.
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