I don't know how to react to this but I'm not happy... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 130 Old 01-12-2008, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope this is the correct place to post this. If not, mods, then move it to the appropriate place.

I'm a thrift store queen. I check out the thrift store about once a week. You would not believe the amount of things in my house that came from the thrift store.

For the winter holidays my 28 mos. old DD's big gift was a wooden kitchen and it's really cute. I've picked up lots of funstuff for the kitchen from the thrift store: a tiny little pot, an little cast iron fry pan, some tin dishes.

Lately I've noticed a HUGE appearance of toy dishes, especially tea sets, from China. I will guess the donors of these toy dishes don't want their children to be at risk because the dishes were made from China. That's fine. So my question is:

WHY DONATE THEM TO THE THRIFT STORE??????

Exactly what is the thinking here?? I don't want MY children to be at risk but it's OK for someone else's children to be at risk?

A lot of the people who patronize the thrift stores in the area where I live are new immigrants who don't speak much English. I do not mean to sound patronizing but I worry that they are not aware of the publicity about the toys from China. So I feel like there's something terribly WRONG about this situation.

Am I overreacting???
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#2 of 130 Old 01-12-2008, 11:50 PM
 
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As long as the sets aren't recalled- yeah, I think you're overreacting. But I still buy MIC stuff. I think the whole thing was overblown.

Seems *really* wasteful to throw all that stuff away just because you think that it might possibly have lead.

-Angela
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#3 of 130 Old 01-12-2008, 11:53 PM
 
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Yes and no.

I would donate MIC toys to a thrift store, because there are some parents who aren't that concerned about it. (My SIL for one.) So it's their choice to buy or not to buy those toys.

You do raise a valid point about non-native English speakers, who might not be aware of the issues. Perhaps have your thrift store post a multi-language notice warning about those toys?
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#4 of 130 Old 01-12-2008, 11:56 PM
 
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I've seen a million threads on MDC about the MIC toys, and how they get so many from relatives over the holidays and birthdays, and how they don't want to risk it, they want all wood, all natural.. etc.. and everyone and their mother says, "Just donate it!"

On one hand, I can see... yes, if its in decent shape.. why not donate? Its better than a landfill I guess.

On the other hand, I'm one of the people buying from thrift shops. And it feels a bit like someone saying, "Those toys aren't good enough for MY children, but they're good enough for your children because you're poor." Its like a mini slap in the face.

If you really want to help out those less fortunate, donate high quality wooden and all natural toys to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army!

Ya, I know.. in a perfect world..

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#5 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 12:10 AM
 
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better to leave it at a thrift store than the landfill, some people are just going to buy it anyway.
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#6 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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Um maybe they donated it because their child didn't like it or outgrew it? Almost all toys are made in China.....

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#7 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 12:20 AM
 
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Better there than in a landfill. Let parents make a choice.
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#8 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 12:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
Better there than in a landfill. Let parents make a choice.
A choice between what? No toys, or toys MIC?
Thats a pretty crappy choice.

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#9 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 12:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Nature View Post
A choice between what? No toys, or toys MIC?
Thats a pretty crappy choice.


A lot of people have said that they are not that worked up about toys MIC. If a child is not putting toys in their mouth, then they don't worry about it.

I'm sure you could find the thread that was about just that a while back if you did a search.

So it may be a crappy choice to you, but yeah, a lot of families would feel that NO toys would be even crappier.
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#10 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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Our Goodwill has a sign up (in English and in Spanish) that there have been recalls, that there is some concern over toys MIC, and parents should check out toys before they buy them.

Really, I think that's all they should do.
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#11 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Nature View Post
A choice between what? No toys, or toys MIC?
Thats a pretty crappy choice.
I don't really care about MIC. I care about toys that DD puts in her mouth and chews on. But other toys - I have other things higher on my list of things to worry about.

I think that for toys MIC - to me it's a personal choice about each individual toy...

If it's been recalled - then that's another story. But random MIC toys don't bother me.
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#12 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 01:00 AM
 
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We have gone the no-MIC toys route. We received some for Xmas and I tried to return/exchange what I could. So now I am left with MIC, in-box toys I don't want in my house and I have a bag going in the garage because I dont know what to do with them. I think about taking them to the thrift store, but I never do because I worry that one of the toys is actually toxic and I am the one enabling another small child to have it. But then I think of people like my SIL who is trying to get as many MIC toys as possible, she thinks she's rebelling against the rebellion I guess. I haven't noticed any toy signs up in the thrift stores I've been in explaining the concern. So as of now, the toys just sit in a bag in my garage. I might just drive them to SILs house one of these days, but I don't really want my new baby niece playing with them either. There really isn't a good answer.

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#13 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 01:00 AM
 
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Because people like me who are not on the anti-MIC bandwagon may buy them.

And yes, the comment on the non-English speaking immigrants sound a little too patronizing. Just because they don't speak English doesn't mean they're ignorant. There's the internet (you could actually read news there written in languages other than English) and newspapers written in their native language.
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#14 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 01:09 AM
 
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Because this is MDC, the issue goes even further than just MIC toys. But all plastic and or cheap toys in general. Its the same thing. Personally, I could care less about the MIC craze. However it is a bit unnerving to see everyone dumping what they lovingly call on millions of threads, their "crappy toys" at thrift stores. If you think they're so crappy, why donate them for families struggling financially? Would you donate "crappy" clothes too?

Its the whole attitude I find disturbing.

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#15 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 01:09 AM
 
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FWIW, all the thrift stores I frequent have been strictly adhering to the recall lists. I realize this doesn't mean all toys MIC are turned down, but at least the choices on their shelves are equal to what shoppers would find in mainstream stores like Walmart - where you will find a large number of the immigrant shoppers you are concerned about.
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#16 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 01:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ZFooFoo View Post
FWIW, all the thrift stores I frequent have been strictly adhering to the recall lists. I realize this doesn't mean all toys MIC are turned down, but at least the choices on their shelves are equal to what shoppers would find in mainstream stores like Walmart - where you will find a large number of the immigrant shoppers you are concerned about.
In our local thrift stores, the women there can't even discern between kids clothing and adult clothing, let alone correctly identify from a recall list toys that should be destroyed. They just get hauled in and dumped in a big bin. Just the same as the clothes. There is no washing/drying, trying, inspecting going on at all. Nor are there any recall signs posted.

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#17 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 01:22 AM
 
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Not everyone thinks that all 'those toys' are crappy.

I think that there are crappy plastic toys (which I throw out) and there are also *gasp* crappy wood toys. We have some. For us they are the toys that DD completely ignores. I have some expensive wooden cars which she won't touch - and neither will the other 3 or 4 kids who've been over to play. She plays happily with the nice plastic cars - but not those. So I will probably donate them. Maybe someone else's child will like them.

But there are good plastic toys - just as there are good wooden ones.

I guess I see this from an environmentalist POV. If people will buy MIC toys anyway (which they will) - then I would MUCH MUCH MUCH rather they buy them second hand than buy them new. If a toy is in good shape, not known to be dangerous, and has any redeeming qualities - then donate it. It's far better than throwing it out and causing someone to buy it new and thus increasing the 'demand'.
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#18 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 01:36 AM
 
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This time of year, many people donate stuff because their kids got too many holiday toys and they need to give away the old ones to make room for the new ones, or because it's been long enough to see that their DC don't like some of the "new" toys and want to declutter their houses of what the kids aren't playing with anyway.

Are you SURE there are more MIC toys now than there were last January? Or are there just more toys now than there were in October?

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#19 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 01:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Nature View Post
Because this is MDC, the issue goes even further than just MIC toys. But all plastic and or cheap toys in general. Its the same thing. Personally, I could care less about the MIC craze. However it is a bit unnerving to see everyone dumping what they lovingly call on millions of threads, their "crappy toys" at thrift stores. If you think they're so crappy, why donate them for families struggling financially? Would you donate "crappy" clothes too?

Its the whole attitude I find disturbing.
Crappy is a pretty subjective term, but the reality is that most things donated to thrift stores are not in the best shape, they are used. That is reality. Most of us cannot afford to donate new in box high quality toys or clothes. We donate the things we've *used* and don't need/want anymore. So if that's "crappy," well... what would NOT donating be???

The Salvation Army is no longer taking used toy donations at all, which sucks, because I have a ton of very NOT CRAPPY toys that we are not using that I was taking to donate. Now I don't know what to do with them. It *would* be nice to get the tiny tax break from donating to the Salvation Army.
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#20 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 01:45 AM
 
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Well, see.. I can understand the environment point of view.. which is why I included that in my post.

Perhaps what bothers me more than, is the attitude I've seen in recent past regarding these "crappy toys."

Theres a huge difference between saying, "My children don't like these toys, or play with them.. so I'm going to donate them" and "These toys are horrible! They might be unsafe! And they're plastic! *insert gasp here* Ugh! I can't keep these in MY home! I'm going to donate them.." the latter being the attitude I've heard so frequently. Especially with the rash of MIC recalls in the past few months.

It almost makes me wonder if people donate things because it makes them feel less guilty about throwing things away, or feel better about the environment.. or what? Because a lot of the time it doesn't seem like they really care that what they're giving away isn't that useful, or even safe. Its like people think that those who thrift shop will always be thankful for whatever they get, no matter what condition its in.

Where thats probably true.. it shouldn't have to be. Poor people deserve nice things too.

And you'd be surprised at the things people donate.. Broken things rank high on the list of things that get donated. Tax breaks for broken radios, cars with no wheels and clothes with rips and holes in it..

I know someone that specifically told me she gave all the recalled toys on the last list to Goodwill. Because, "Someone out there that doesn't have any toys could really use them!"

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#21 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 01:45 AM
 
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If you think they're so crappy, why donate them for families struggling financially? Would you donate "crappy" clothes too?
There are plenty of toys and clothes that *I* don't want for assorted reasons. Why trash them if someone *else* would like them and use them? If they're not dangerous, then I don't see the harm.

I donate lots of clothes that aren't my style or what-have-you. Should I not donate "out of style" clothes?

My theory is that if someone else wants them AND a worthy organization can make a little $$ off of them... then it's a win win situation.

-Angela
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#22 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 04:49 AM
 
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Wow Nature, I think you need to hang out with some new people if you're hearing that attitude too frequently. It would drive me insane to be around people saying such things constantly.

I love to go to thrift stores. I was raised that route and am happy to find things other people gave because they didn't want them. As a consumer, I don't care why they donated them, I'm just glad to have access to them. Now, if I had to hear what your hearing all the time, I would start hanging out with some other people.
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#23 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 06:33 AM
 
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The Salvation Army is no longer taking used toy donations at all, which sucks, because I have a ton of very NOT CRAPPY toys that we are not using that I was taking to donate. Now I don't know what to do with them. It *would* be nice to get the tiny tax break from donating to the Salvation Army.
Is there a women & children's shelter you can donate them to? Any other family friendly non-profits in the area? I donated a bunch of my son's baby toys and other goodies to a local community pregnancy center.

To the OT - from what I've seen in the malls and in my friend's houses, there is no shortage of people buying MIC and plastic toys!
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#24 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 07:54 AM
 
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... going to donate them" and "These toys are horrible! They might be unsafe! And they're plastic! *insert gasp here* Ugh! I can't keep these in MY home! I'm going to donate them.." the latter being the attitude I've heard so frequently. Especially with the rash of MIC recalls in the past few months.

... Because a lot of the time it doesn't seem like they really care that what they're giving away isn't that useful, or even safe.

And you'd be surprised at the things people donate.. Broken things rank high on the list of things that get donated. Tax breaks for broken radios, cars with no wheels and clothes with rips and holes in it..

I know someone that specifically told me she gave all the recalled toys on the last list to Goodwill. Because, "Someone out there that doesn't have any toys could really use them!"
1. It is terrible for someone who knows a toy is on the recall list to donate it, especially ones that are toxic and/or used by small children. An unsafe toy is just that, UNSAFE for any child.

2. Many people do not care what they are giving away. It is out of their home, out of sight, and normally not given much thought at all. Face it, no one anguishes over what they donate unless for some reason they want to look good.

3. Just because a toy is plastic doesn't mean it has to be bad. Toys made of recycled plastic does keep landfills from completely overflowing. If you don't want it, don't buy it. But, it is not an evil thing for someone to donate it even if they prefer not to use it.

4. When I donate something to a thrift store, it is not new. I simply cannot afford it. Besides, most thrift stores by me have unrealistic prices on items that I can find at Ross or Target for just about the same price. They definately are not cheap.
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#25 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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I'm lost here. If there is a market for the toys then they will be sold. If YOU don't want to buy them then don't. If someone else wants to buy them then let them.

I think I must be missing the point here but I have no clue why you are bothered by what is on sale at your local thrift store.

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#26 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 03:08 PM
 
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I think it's pretty horrible to knowingly donate something that has officially been recalled....but if the toy is just not desirable to mama or child for some reason then I don't see why it shouldn't be donated, regardless of where it was produced. I'm not a rich woman, I shop in thrift stores, and I have a high quality standard...I don't just buy anyone's "crappy" toys just because the price is right...I think it's all about choices. There are plenty of people with money who don't care at all about MIC and then there are people on budgets who maybe save up a bit more (or give specific gift ideas to grandparents...thanks mom and dad for all X's awesome SAFE toys) to purchase the stuff I feel is a better quality.

I think it would be awesome if instead of being mad that people are donating MIC we all got mad that the quality of products taken in by U.S. consumers in general is so low. Our government chooses not to take action against products and manufacturing practices that might be dangerous...instead they wait until actual harm has occured. To me, that is the real outrage. Food for thought found here: http://www.amazon.com/Exposed-Chemis...0247574&sr=8-1
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#27 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 03:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by verde View Post
I hope this is the correct place to post this. If not, mods, then move it to the appropriate place.

I'm a thrift store queen. I check out the thrift store about once a week. You would not believe the amount of things in my house that came from the thrift store.

For the winter holidays my 28 mos. old DD's big gift was a wooden kitchen and it's really cute. I've picked up lots of funstuff for the kitchen from the thrift store: a tiny little pot, an little cast iron fry pan, some tin dishes.

Lately I've noticed a HUGE appearance of toy dishes, especially tea sets, from China. I will guess the donors of these toy dishes don't want their children to be at risk because the dishes were made from China. That's fine. So my question is:

WHY DONATE THEM TO THE THRIFT STORE??????

Exactly what is the thinking here?? I don't want MY children to be at risk but it's OK for someone else's children to be at risk?

A lot of the people who patronize the thrift stores in the area where I live are new immigrants who don't speak much English. I do not mean to sound patronizing but I worry that they are not aware of the publicity about the toys from China. So I feel like there's something terribly WRONG about this situation.

Am I overreacting???
No you are not.

This really irritates me as well.

People get all up in arms when the well to do imply that welfare mothers don't deserve health care for their kids, or that they are a drain on society, but it's ok for those of us who can afford to keep poisoned toys away from our kids to donate them to people who either don't know, or don't care?

I find this appalling.

Even if they don't care, how could anyone with a conscience do that?

If a large company does something like that, there is an outcry, but if a thrifty mom does it because they can't see throwing something away, then it's ok? Isn't that exactly the same excuse a large company would use? Well, we'd be wasting money if we disposed of that toxic waste properly when we an just dump it in this lake over here for free without anyone knowing about it.

It's a question of right and wrong. If you know it probably isn't safe for your child, then it isn't safe to donate it so someone else can possibly give it to their child. Period.

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#28 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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Because people like me who are not on the anti-MIC bandwagon may buy them.
Yup...if they haven't been recalled, I don't see why it matters. I personally don't boycott all MIC toys, and I think the "toy scare" has been way overblown.

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Originally Posted by Nature View Post
Because this is MDC, the issue goes even further than just MIC toys. But all plastic and or cheap toys in general. Its the same thing. Personally, I could care less about the MIC craze. However it is a bit unnerving to see everyone dumping what they lovingly call on millions of threads, their "crappy toys" at thrift stores. If you think they're so crappy, why donate them for families struggling financially? Would you donate "crappy" clothes too?

Its the whole attitude I find disturbing.
Well, I prefer creative, open-ended toys for dd. We don't buy a lot of plastic. I can't even be in a room with a toy that makes noise--they make me want to claw my eyes out. So, a "Chicken Dance Elmo" might be "crappy" to me (though I probably wouldn't use that word)--but for another family, who prefers battery-operated toys, seeing a cheap one of these at the thrift store might make their child's day. If people get us lots of plastic, battery-operated stuff, I'll probably donated...but, as they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. There are plenty of clothes that I like that someone else wouldn't, and vice versa. I think unwanted items in good condition (so long as they don't pose an actual danger, i.e., haven't been recalled) should ALWAYS get a chance to find a new home rather than just ended up in a landfill.

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There are plenty of toys and clothes that *I* don't want for assorted reasons. Why trash them if someone *else* would like them and use them? If they're not dangerous, then I don't see the harm.

I donate lots of clothes that aren't my style or what-have-you. Should I not donate "out of style" clothes?

My theory is that if someone else wants them AND a worthy organization can make a little $$ off of them... then it's a win win situation.

-Angela
Of course, I could have just said : to alegna and saved myself the trouble.
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#29 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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No you are not.

This really irritates me as well.

People get all up in arms when the well to do imply that welfare mothers don't deserve health care for their kids, or that they are a drain on society, but it's ok for those of us who can afford to keep poisoned toys away from our kids to donate them to people who either don't know, or don't care?

I find this appalling.

Even if they don't care, how could anyone with a conscience do that?

If a large company does something like that, there is an outcry, but if a thrifty mom does it because they can't see throwing something away, then it's ok? Isn't that exactly the same excuse a large company would use? Well, we'd be wasting money if we disposed of that toxic waste properly when we an just dump it in this lake over here for free without anyone knowing about it.

It's a question of right and wrong. If you know it probably isn't safe for your child, then it isn't safe to donate it so someone else can possibly give it to their child. Period.
But why are "Made in China" toys automatically unsafe or toxic? There's no evidence that they are (barring specifically recalled toys). I buy MIC toys. I don't like a lot of plastic or batteries for other reasons (I think the toys tend to be less creative, don't last as long, etc.); other people do, as I said. Toy dishes made in China--I wouldn't give buying them a second thought, if I like the set. So every toy made in China should be dumped in a landfill, rather than going to a kid who might really like it and whose parents might have absolutely no qualms about buying it? That makes no sense to me.
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#30 of 130 Old 01-13-2008, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This time of year, many people donate stuff because their kids got too many holiday toys and they need to give away the old ones to make room for the new ones, or because it's been long enough to see that their DC don't like some of the "new" toys and want to declutter their houses of what the kids aren't playing with anyway.

Are you SURE there are more MIC toys now than there were last January? Or are there just more toys now than there were in October?
Usually I'd agree with you Ruthla but this year it's definitely different. It's not just "crappy" toys or old toys that have appeared, it's an unusually high number of brand new toys, many in original boxes and cellophane -- especially tea sets and toy dishes MIC. I’ve found three sets that still have the gift tags on them. Somewhere out there, an Ashley, a Morgan, and a Zoe no longer have their brand new tea sets.

Personally I'm in the middle re: MIC toys. I'm not so worried if it's something DD is not likely to put in her mouth. But if it could go in her mouth then I prefer to be safe. That's why I noticed the sheer number of the toy dishes that suddenly appeared. (When I was a student nurse I saw the treatment kids received for lead poisoning and it’s really painful.)

There has been a lot of discussion on MDC about toy recalls and whether parents want to discard all the toys MIC. I checked out a few of the recall websites and was amazed at the length of the list. I can understand why parents might choose to simply get rid of all questionable toys. The question is what to do with those toys.

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Better there than in a landfill. Let parents make a choice.
I agree with that as long as it's a SAFE toy. To answer D_McG’s question, my specific concern is that people are knowingly donating toys that they themselves are concerned about in order to get rid of them quick and easy. I think that’s immoral. It’s one thing if people choose to buy toys MIC for whatever reason; it’s another if they decide toys MIC are unsafe and yet give them to a place where others can buy those same toys. Where is the consciences?

I am NOT talking about plastic toys or used toys or unwanted toys. In this thread, those are red herrings.

I do not understand the logic that it’s better to have a toxic toy in the thrift store then in the landfill. To me that is more dangerous because in the end it will still wind up in the landfill AND, in addition, possibly harm a child.

I don’t find the argument about the market i.e. that there’s always someone will buy them ect ect persuasive at all. We all know that markets are manipulated; they are not “free.” Just look at the cigarette industry.

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I think it would be awesome if instead of being mad that people are donating MIC we all got mad that the quality of products taken in by U.S. consumers in general is so low. Our government chooses not to take action against products and manufacturing practices that might be dangerous...instead they wait until actual harm has occurred. To me, that is the real outrage.
I agree with that mostly but I still think people should realize there’s a domino effect in one’s actions. Getting rid of toys that concern you is fine. Doing so by putting someone else’s child at risk is not fine.
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