Melissa & Doug toys - Mothering Forums
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Family Safety > Melissa & Doug toys
dogretro's Avatar dogretro 03:44 AM 11-19-2008
My friend and I are trying to get an answer on this question that arose after reading the toy articles in the latest Mothering:

Why were none of the toys shown by the company Melissa & Doug? We are wondering this mainly because every other toy pictured needs to be ordered online while we can go to our local Target, toysaurus, or Hobby Town USA and pick up Melissa & Doug toys. We understand that none of theirs may have been the best toy of 2008, but surely at least one could have been shown in the toxicity article. It makes more sense to us to drive 10 minutes and buy something than to pay $5+ to have it shipped to us. I know there is a webinar on this coming up, but Im not interested in talking over the web, and it is a couple weeks away and I want to know now

As far as we have understood over the years, Melissa & Doug toys have been wildly popular and easy to find quality non-toxic wooden toys. This makes us suspicious that not even one of them was featured.

mama2004's Avatar mama2004 06:43 AM 11-19-2008
I haven't seen the article in Mothering and I'm not sure what the answer might be with regard to that specific question, but for what it's worth, I thought I would toss in my .02. We have had a few Melissa and Doug toys here at our house and haven't really been impressed with them. One of them broke only a month or so after my mom sent it for Christmas last year (it was a car shaped "keyring," the middle fell out), and the others we bought or were given (sushi set, stacking train, rainbow stacker) have all been heavily painted and really prone to chipping and peeling which made us a little uneasy since their stuff is MIC, and I'm not very confident in anyone's oversight there.

We have decided to make a real effort to find things that are local and/or unfinished or finished with something more like a stain, and so far, we have been really pleased with those choices. Of all the wooden toys that we have accumulated thus far, Melissa and Doug have been our least favorite and most prone to breaking or generally degrading quickly and we decided that we wouldn't spend money on them any longer.

I agree with you on the issue of availability, and it is really nice to see some wooden alternatives to all the plastic stuff, the M&D stuff just hasn't really held up for us.
lawschoolmama's Avatar lawschoolmama 09:24 AM 11-19-2008
Wow, speaking from only personal experience, we love our Melissa & Doug stuff, and haven't had any problems with it. We have several of their puzzles, along with a set of wooden blocks for DD. She loves them, and they've held up great, no chipping or anything like that. I'm sorry that hasn't been the case for everyone, though! I, too, don't know anything about why they weren't listed in the Mothering article, though...
lizabird's Avatar lizabird 09:33 AM 11-19-2008
We have several M&D toys too and generally my kids really like them. THey are easy to find locally, and we haven't had any issues with any of them falling apart. I am told the company has good customer service and if you have something of theirs that fell apart because you think it was poorly made, I would call the 800 number that's printed on all their stuff and tell them about it. The paint does chip with effort, like when my son took some things outside and dragged them around on the cement, but that would happen to anything. The stuff that's been inside still looks perfect.
Mimi's Avatar Mimi 09:55 AM 11-19-2008
I don't know about that, but I jsut wanted to say that, we absolutely ADORE our Melissa & Doug toys, they are brilliant & dd plays with them for hours & hours!
Pumpkin_Pie's Avatar Pumpkin_Pie 10:30 AM 11-19-2008
I have a few Melissa and Doug pieces for DS, and the paint chips horribly. We have never taken the toys outside, just played with inside on wood floors and the linoleum kitchen floor, and all of them are so horribly chipped. They definitely make me nervous and I will not be buying anymore for him. I am glad some people have had positive experiences with them, but I just don't like the chipping paint.
reducereuserecycle's Avatar reducereuserecycle 12:44 PM 11-19-2008
they are dangerous!!!! here we go again....i think i better get my usual Christmas siggy back on.. BAN M & D...they are not safe-do not trust them!! they are MIC, and once they had a European recall for lead paint. sorry to break this news to those who thought they were safe....also, they are really cheaply made of pressed wood and the list goes on...simply put: Melissa and Doug is not a chance i would take with my child.
Tilia's Avatar Tilia 01:40 PM 11-19-2008
I also had a bad experience with Melissa & Doug toys. I bought DD the mini-band. The paint chipped off in big pieces. We only had it for a couple months. She had the shape sorter and the same thing happened. The paint would not stay on. That happened during all of the recalls so I threw away all of the Melissa & Doug stuff. I just don't trust it.

Now I stick to unpainted wood for blocks. We also have some Plan Toys, Maple Landmark, and I buy stuff from oompa.com.
maddycakes's Avatar maddycakes 01:59 PM 11-19-2008
Although their toys are really cute, we are among those parents who have been less than impressed with M&D toys. We had one frog face rattle given to us as a gift and when I went to get my DD out of her car seat after a ride to the store, her mouth and fingers were covered in flecks of lime green paint. It was flaking off without much effort, and at that age (even still) everything goes in the mouth so we had to toss that one. We also had a 3-piece puzzle that gave my DD her first splinters. It too was a gift and I did not notice that the main board of the puzzle was splintering near the bottom in a major way -- and we had just opened it the day before so I guess I assumed that it was fine. She got three good sized splinters in the palm of her hand and I was so nervous having to use tweezers to get them out while she was wriggling all over! I kept that one meaning to send it back for a replacement, but I'm not sure that I'm inclined to do so given our and others' experiences. Too bad too because they are really colorful toys that appear to be a good choice given that they are wood.
Pumpkin_Pie's Avatar Pumpkin_Pie 02:28 PM 11-19-2008
I forgot, DS had the frog rattle, and I too found paint on his hands and lips. It totally freaked me out and I tossed it.

We have the geometric stackers that DS received for his first birthday. I just broke them out about two weeks ago and they are already horribly chipped up. I am pretty sure they are going to "disappear" right after Christmas.

I will say that I do like the puzzles though. They held up really well, and I like that the knobs on the big ones are really large for little hands to hold onto easily. I also put sticky sheets of magnets on the backs of all the pieces, so they make fun fridge toys too.
Cinder's Avatar Cinder 02:37 PM 11-19-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by annalivia View Post
have all been heavily painted and really prone to chipping and peeling which made us a little uneasy since their stuff is MIC, and I'm not very confident in anyone's oversight there.
plus, some of the more heavily painted items smell horrible when you first open them, which isn't very comforting to me...
alysmommy2004's Avatar alysmommy2004 02:53 PM 11-19-2008
We have a few M&D toys and have had problems with the paint chipping off everything. A few have broken so they ended up tossed. I have a friend who swears by them and she will call and tell them the paint has chipped and they'll send her a replacement. For me it's too much trouble, I'd rather just avoid it.

I am very fortunate though, we have a local baby store that carries Plan, Wonderworld (Thailand), and Haba toys. We also have a Home Goods that occasionally has Heros (Germany).
henny penny's Avatar henny penny 02:56 PM 11-19-2008
I'm glad this was posted before my Christmas shopping. I was starting to soften on M & D and think the stuff might be ok. After reading all the posts I'm boycotting them again. We have a couple items that were gifts and they are horribly chipped with only gentle playing. The thick paint is gross especially since mic. Nova Naturals, here we come!!
plantmama's Avatar plantmama 03:01 PM 11-19-2008
With the exception of the giant cardboard floor puzzles all our M&D stuff is also crap. I mean really crappy quality. Especially when compared to some of the other wooden stuff we've gotten. I think peeling paint and splintering wood is a pretty basic no no for children's toys and if they can't even handle that then to me it's not worth buying. Pressed wood and the peeling paint probably contain toxins even if they are lead free.
As another poster commented, we should have lost our trust in things made in China anyway. They obviously care very little about toxins in their exports and because of corruption there is know oversight on the part of the Chinese.
That's most likely the reason mothering didn't feature any M&D.
momslittleangel's Avatar momslittleangel 03:14 PM 11-19-2008
I use to love M&D until reading here. It's hard to avoid MIC. After reading about the problems with pet food and baby formula it is hard to trust MIC.
lasciate's Avatar lasciate 05:34 PM 11-19-2008
We have a Melissa & Doug food puzzle - the board warped and separated, and one of the food pieces actually had a nail sticking out of it.
ElaynesMom's Avatar ElaynesMom 05:58 PM 11-19-2008
I can't answer why Melissa and Doug toys weren't featured in the article you mentioned, but I can tell you why I don't use them.

Besides being MIC, not the greatest quality (paint chipping badly, etc) there were recently some recalls in Canada (Aug. 2008 and Sept. 2008) because a couple Melissa and Doug toys were found to have barium in their paint. Some forms of barium are used safely in medical testing, while other forms can be highly toxic and are even sometimes used in rat poison. I just don't want to risk it.

http://209.217.71.106/PR/recall-retr...0&StartIndex=1

http://209.217.71.106/PR/recall-retr...&StartIndex=16
dogretro's Avatar dogretro 06:26 PM 11-19-2008
Thank you SO MUCH for all of your replies! This has really shed some light on the issue for us! It looks like, because of the paint problem, we will not be purchasing these toys.

Personally, I am not one to instantly dismiss a company only b/c their product is made in China. For many companies, it is cost prohibitive to manufacture anywhere else. A great example of that can be found in the safety statement of the company Gollnest & Kiesel KG: http://www.threesisterstoys.com/GKSafety.pdf I think that MIC, like many other things, needs to be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

Again, thank you v much for sharing your experiences. It is such a shame that we have to get stuck paying shipping on quality toys
CarsonBookworm's Avatar CarsonBookworm 06:38 PM 11-19-2008
We have MD puzzles....looks like they might land on our boycott list now.
JamieCatheryn's Avatar JamieCatheryn 06:38 PM 11-19-2008
I'm not impressed with M&D either, not particularly scared of them and I'll keep them if they're gifts to DS but the paint does chip and things do break.
counterGOPI's Avatar counterGOPI 06:50 PM 11-19-2008
NAK so sorry for type-os.

heres a few reasons off the top of my head:
-we had their toys,then my dd had high lead levels. we hired an expensive lead inspector and had a million tests done on our home,thigns in the home and ourselves. its about 98% sure that the lead exposure was from M&D toys. Her lead levels went back down once we ditched them all. my best friends child had the same issues,she got rid of her m&d,her child's lead went down. anotehr frined of mine many states away brought in some of her m&d toys to be tested by a professional. They had lead.. *biggest reason for us personally to avoid them*
-they are made poorly,the paint chips off so easily, most of their toys aren't even real wood but particle board (which has formeldahyde in it) glued together then painted over.
-they are made in china in factories
-they have HORRIBLE customer service. They attacked my friend when she called askign them about lead issues. they never returned my calls and trust me i made a million to them.

I know I can come up with a lot more reasons to never support this company but these are just the ones off the top of my head. Honestly, I will leave it at this,too b/c last time I tried to tell everyone about this I was attacked (forgive me for warning other familes about this company GEESH!). I understand a lot of ppl can only afford M&D but that doesn't make them safe or a good company,kwim?
anyways,HTH!
counterGOPI's Avatar counterGOPI 06:55 PM 11-19-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogretro View Post
Thank you SO MUCH for all of your replies! This has really shed some light on the issue for us! It looks like, because of the paint problem, we will not be purchasing these toys.

Personally, I am not one to instantly dismiss a company only b/c their product is made in China. For many companies, it is cost prohibitive to manufacture anywhere else. A great example of that can be found in the safety statement of the company Gollnest & Kiesel KG: http://www.threesisterstoys.com/GKSafety.pdf I think that MIC, like many other things, needs to be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

Again, thank you v much for sharing your experiences. It is such a shame that we have to get stuck paying shipping on quality toys
use code mdcmom at three sisters toys for all orders above $25 and shipping is free
odenata's Avatar odenata 07:01 PM 11-19-2008
OP, like you, I don't instantly dismiss toys that are MIC. It's a case by case basis for me, and I generally buy from toy manufacturers with good records that I trust to maintain high standards - a few of those have some manufacturing in China. None have all their manufacturing there, though, and I do prefer non MIC in general.

I'm with others on M&D - I find the quality shoddy, and they aren't a company I trust. Any painted toy needs to come from a company I really trust, and M&D isn't it.
reducereuserecycle's Avatar reducereuserecycle 07:34 PM 11-19-2008
PHP Code:
They attacked my friend when she called askign them about lead issues
this is also what happened to me. i called just to inquire about the lead reacall in europe on their clock toy. they denied it several times, then admitted it was true, then said i shouldn't worry since the recall was not in the US.

they need to get their act together!
BF124497's Avatar BF124497 10:08 PM 11-19-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaynesMom
Besides being MIC, not the greatest quality (paint chipping badly, etc) there were recently some recalls in Canada (Aug. 2008 and Sept. 2008) because a couple Melissa and Doug toys were found to have barium in their paint. Some forms of barium are used safely in medical testing, while other forms can be highly toxic and are even sometimes used in rat poison. I just don't want to risk it.

http://209.217.71.106/PR/recall-retr...0&StartIndex=1

http://209.217.71.106/PR/recall-retr...&StartIndex=16
I'm so glad I found this thread. I just bought the stacker linked here at a discount store in the US.

What should I do with it? I know that sounds naive, but we compost or recycle almost everything, and have very little "trash" at our place...
Flor's Avatar Flor 10:15 PM 11-19-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by annalivia View Post
and the others we bought or were given (sushi set, stacking train, rainbow stacker) have all been heavily painted and really prone to chipping and peeling which made us a little uneasy since their stuff is MIC, and I'm not very confident in anyone's oversight there.
.
Same here. Chipping paints, MIC. Also, I think that it is weird that their wooden puzzles have a fake woodgrain sticker over them so they look more "wooden."
Pumpkin_Pie's Avatar Pumpkin_Pie 10:43 PM 11-19-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaynesMom View Post
I can't answer why Melissa and Doug toys weren't featured in the article you mentioned, but I can tell you why I don't use them.

Besides being MIC, not the greatest quality (paint chipping badly, etc) there were recently some recalls in Canada (Aug. 2008 and Sept. 2008) because a couple Melissa and Doug toys were found to have barium in their paint. Some forms of barium are used safely in medical testing, while other forms can be highly toxic and are even sometimes used in rat poison. I just don't want to risk it.

http://209.217.71.106/PR/recall-retr...0&StartIndex=1

http://209.217.71.106/PR/recall-retr...&StartIndex=16
Yowza! We have that stacker and the train. I think I am just going to ditch all of the painted stuff. I am going to hang onto the puzzles until they start to fall apart, as they seem to be holding up pretty well for now. Thanks so much for that link!

I realize that my stacker and train are most likely not from the batch that were recalled, but I still feel funny about letting DS play with them.
Lemon Juice's Avatar Lemon Juice 10:57 PM 11-19-2008
Ugh..we've had issues w/ chipped paint on wooden toys. I always wonder..why do they have to ruin it and paint it???

We do have M and D toys, mostly puzzles and a wooden doll house we got used off CL. We have a huge problem w/ family buying us cheap plastic crap toys too and it is really frustrating! When we move back West we plan on leaving lots of toys behind!

Oh another thing about pressed wood...it also has layers of chemical glue in between each layer of wood. So..anything in that glue is also in the toy and in your child's hands and/or mouth. Ick! Odds are the adhesive in the glue is synthetic and not natural. And just found that Formaldehyde is an ingredient in pressed wood adhesives as well..which emits from the products. Now how to tell if M and D use any of these ingredients? You probably won't be able to...and are much better off not buying from them and looking into a more natural product.

But if someone can find info on what they use in their pressed wood, I really would like to see it, please :
dogretro's Avatar dogretro 02:10 AM 11-20-2008
counterGOPI ~ Thank you SO MUCH! I am ordering toys from 3 sisters for dds xmas & that code will come in handy! Although they are actually one of the more considerate companies and have that fabulous $5 shipping

As far as "not being able to afford" other toys, I was doing a side-by-side comparison this afternoon between the Hasbro catalog and Oompa toys, and many v nice natural toys are comparable in price. Some are even cheaper. I know that for me, when I initially saw the $20+ price tags on so many things, I got upset. But when I started looking at more mainstream toys, I noticed that action figures are $7 ea, Disney baby dolls (that fall apart after a month ~ personal experience!) cost $20, a motorized baby zoo costs over $30.. I think I need to put together a spread sheet or something else easily readable for others, cuz the more I look around, the more buying well-made natural toys seems to be cost-effective!
AaronsMommy's Avatar AaronsMommy 01:33 PM 11-20-2008
GGGGGRRRR!!!! I am so frustrated that M&D toys have been recalled for barium. My son has SO MANY of these toys and I simply can't afford to replace them. And, since M&D isn't recalling them in the states, I have no choice but to throw them out!!!!

Anyway, does anyone know where to get wooden puzzles that aren't made by M&D??? My son loves puzzles and I think they are a really important skill for him, but I can't find any that aren't M&D. Please help!
Tags: Melissa And Doug , Toys , Wooden Toys
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