Safe (Lead-Free) Toys? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 08-15-2007, 01:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Which toys are safe to buy? Is HABA a good company? I want to avoid things made in China. I can't believe all the recalled toys! :

Enjoying the journey into natural family living with my two sons and husband.
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#2 of 24 Old 08-16-2007, 12:21 AM
 
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I am with you. DH and I want to start our own toy company. There is one company that we love Nova Natural www.novanatural.com There are many great German toy companies as well.

:CLC,Doula :Mama to 2
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#3 of 24 Old 08-16-2007, 12:23 AM
 
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subbing...i wamt to know too!

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#4 of 24 Old 08-16-2007, 03:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenniet View Post

Which toys are safe to buy? Is HABA a good company? I want to avoid things made in China. I can't believe all the recalled toys! :
I think most toys made in Europe and America are safe. The EU and the US have more stringent standards for toy safety than China.

Haba is starting to make some products in China. They claim that they strictly supervise their Chinese production, and that the toys are made to their German standards, but I still don't buy their Chinese products.

Be careful if you are actually trying to avoid products made in China, because sometimes the product descriptions on websites will say "Designed in Germany." This of course means it was not actually made in Germany. Look for products that specifically state where they are made.

Oompa would be a good website to start exploring European toy companies. I've purchased some toys by Vilac (French), Selecta (German), and Kathe Kruse (German) from them, and my daughter loves them. Be aware though that, like Haba, some of the toys produced by these companies are made in China now. However, Oompa is smart enough to specify when a toy is made in a European country because they know it is a selling point for many people.

A Toy Garden is a great website to get some American made toys. We have a few and are very pleased with the quality. My daughter likes them a lot too.

IME, once you start avoiding toys made in China, it opens up a whole new world of really cool toys. I could go on about this all day so I better stop now. We avoid when at all possible buying products made in China and have for many years.

Some other website for European and American toys:

Moulka
Maukilo
Willow Tree Toys
Uncle Goose Toys
Wagon Depot (they carry Berlin Flyer wagons which are made in Ohio...I really want to get my daughter one soon)
Whittle Wooden Train (just found this place yesterday, so I have never ordered form them before, but they are an American co. that makes really nice trains which would be a great alternative to Thomas and Brio)

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#5 of 24 Old 08-16-2007, 05:46 PM
 
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Loving this thread and taking notes!!

Remember everyone,
Every dollar that you spend casts a vote for that in which you believe...
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#6 of 24 Old 08-16-2007, 05:52 PM
 
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I'm sticking with Haba wooden toys only for now. I have a lot of Melissa & Doug that I'm considering throwing away because DS1 still puts toys in his mouth and I've heard several people mention that M&D are made in China.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#7 of 24 Old 08-16-2007, 08:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
I think most toys made in Europe and America are safe. The EU and the US have more stringent standards for toy safety than China.

I think Haba is a good company, although they are starting to make some products in China. They claim that they strictly supervise their Chinese production, and that the toys are made to their German standards, but I still don't buy their Chinese products.

Anyway, most (maybe all?) of Habas wooden toys are still made in Germany. However, most of their other products (plush toys, accessories, furniture, etc) are made in China. Be careful if you are actually trying to avoid products made in China, because sometimes the product descriptions on websites will say "Designed in Germany." This of course means it was not actually made in Germany. Look for products that specifically state where they are made.
Just posting, riverscout, to show I followed over here.
Thanks for all your research. It is hard, quite often, to ever see where toys are made when buying online.
DD is only almost 16 mos so we, too, avoid what we can (and just weed out all the craptastic gifts, as you said -- love the term, from the ILs. Oh, that includes the Baby Einstein movies but that also is a whole other story. )
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#8 of 24 Old 08-16-2007, 08:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jilian View Post
I've heard several people mention that M&D are made in China.
I thought M&D was made in the USA. Hmmm...off to research.
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#9 of 24 Old 08-16-2007, 09:46 PM
 
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: Can anyone suggest a good replacement to the fisher price little people? My daughter is just starting to really love those things (she makes them walk around and talk to each other and run in and out of the barn ect). But I think they are made in china, correct me if I am wrong. Sigh looking at her toy collection I think they are all made in china, even the Mellisa and Doug toys I just got in may and carefully selected because I thought they were made in the USA why did I think that?

Oh also, are duplos and legos made in china? If so, is there some kind of a non china viable replacement for them?
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#10 of 24 Old 08-16-2007, 10:03 PM
 
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After doing some toy browsing tonight, I think Haba is at least partly manufacturing more of their toys in China than they did previously.

My first clue was Oompa now no longer states "Made in Germany" for certain toys that I am 100% sure said that as of just a few months ago. Now they don't say anything about their country of origin. This was a concern to me since that usually means made in China or at very least, not made in Germany.

And then I read this page on the Oompa website. It's really interesting and sad too IMO. Towards the bottom is an email from a Haba rep stating that they have moved more production to China "in order to stay competitive."

ETA - Most of the customer comments on that Oompa page I linked are great and sum up pretty much how I feel about the issues. I hope Oompa listens and starts to more clearly identifying country of origin.

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#11 of 24 Old 08-16-2007, 10:05 PM
 
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I'm loving this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jilian View Post
and I've heard several people mention that M&D are made in China.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mackysmama View Post
I thought M&D was made in the USA. Hmmm...off to research.
You might find the following thread useful. http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?p=8918654

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#12 of 24 Old 08-17-2007, 12:03 AM
 
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JoAnn Married almost 12 years to DH Chris.  DS1 01/05 DS2 09/09 DS3 05/12.

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#13 of 24 Old 08-17-2007, 01:13 AM
 
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In light of the recall of nearly 1 million Chinese-produced toys tainted with lead paint, below is a list of toys made in the USA:

Battleship
• Bicycle Playing Cards
• Boggle Jr.
• Candyland
• Chutes and Ladders
• Clue
• Connect Four
• Crayola Crayons *
• Life
• Louisville Slugger
• Monopoly

....................................entire list in link below.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,292056,00.html
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#14 of 24 Old 08-17-2007, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackysmama View Post
I thought M&D was made in the USA. Hmmm...off to research.
Nope, if "M and D" stands for Melissa and Doug. Made in China.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#15 of 24 Old 08-17-2007, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Awesome! Thanks for all of the great resources everyone!

Enjoying the journey into natural family living with my two sons and husband.
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#16 of 24 Old 08-17-2007, 02:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kama82 View Post
: Can anyone suggest a good replacement to the fisher price little people? My daughter is just starting to really love those things (she makes them walk around and talk to each other and run in and out of the barn ect). But I think they are made in china, correct me if I am wrong. Sigh looking at her toy collection I think they are all made in china, even the Mellisa and Doug toys I just got in may and carefully selected because I thought they were made in the USA why did I think that?

Oh also, are duplos and legos made in china? If so, is there some kind of a non china viable replacement for them?
I think these Groovie Blocks would be a nea lego type alternative.
There's also these, but we can't know for sure they aren't made in china since they are haba

How old is she? You may be able to replace the little people with dollhouse dolls from plan toys if she is 2-3

jeneca mommy to kamille, 6 lexi, 4
#3 due 2/28/12

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#17 of 24 Old 08-17-2007, 03:06 PM
 
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I am with you. DH and I want to start our own toy company. There is one company that we love Nova Natural www.novanatural.com There are many great German toy companies as well.
The toys on this site didn't look any different to me than Oompa toy's site, but was less descriptive. How can you tell who makes these toys or where they're made??? :

I saw a maple teether that looked unfinished, but it didn't even say who made it???
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#18 of 24 Old 08-17-2007, 04:11 PM
 
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It is sooo hard to avoid things made in China, but really after all the scares from toys to toothpaste to pet food, I can't imagine feeling good about buying anything from there. I even feel uneasy about my recently purchased china silk, though I can't imagine it having any lead in it...
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#19 of 24 Old 08-17-2007, 05:10 PM
 
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I just looked at the plan toys site some (it is very slow for me though). I liked what I saw I think my daughter would find those way more fun than little people.
I have two questions though. The first one is it says they are made in Thailand, are they safe? are there quality control issues there?
THe second question is where can I buy them? I can't figure it out.
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#20 of 24 Old 08-18-2007, 10:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kama82 View Post
: Can anyone suggest a good replacement to the fisher price little people? My daughter is just starting to really love those things (she makes them walk around and talk to each other and run in and out of the barn ect). But I think they are made in china, correct me if I am wrong. Sigh looking at her toy collection I think they are all made in china, even the Mellisa and Doug toys I just got in may and carefully selected because I thought they were made in the USA why did I think that?

Oh also, are duplos and legos made in china? If so, is there some kind of a non china viable replacement for them?
Legos are made in Europe. They have some outsourcing, but it is not in China. Every sinle Lego piece (even the tiniest bricks) are stamped with Lego, so you can be assured it is a Lego
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#21 of 24 Old 08-21-2007, 04:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kama82 View Post
I just looked at the plan toys site some (it is very slow for me though). I liked what I saw I think my daughter would find those way more fun than little people.
I have two questions though. The first one is it says they are made in Thailand, are they safe? are there quality control issues there?
THe second question is where can I buy them? I can't figure it out.
They have them at oompa toys

jeneca mommy to kamille, 6 lexi, 4
#3 due 2/28/12

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#22 of 24 Old 08-21-2007, 05:51 PM
 
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yep, Lego is safe. it is made mostly in Denmark, a bit in eastern europe and some in mexico. Playmobil, I believe is also european manufactured.
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#23 of 24 Old 08-21-2007, 06:17 PM
 
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Here's the canned response from Hasbro, makers of Tonka trucks:
(still haven't heard from Learning Curve)

Hi Pam,

Thank you for contacting Hasbro, Inc. We are pleased to be able to respond.

Hasbro maintains stringent quality control standards in all aspects of the manufacturing process, in both Hasbro-owned factories as well as factories that are contracted to produce Hasbro-branded product.

The Company regularly reviews and monitors a variety of quality control checkpoints during manufacturing, and tests the materials used in the production of our products at various stages of the process. Specific to the issue of lead paint, paints used on our products are screened, tested and often re-tested at factories manufacturing Hasbro product throughout the world, including the United States and China.

Again, thank you for contacting us.

My letter:
Customer (Pam McDormand) 08/16/2007 09:09 PM
Hello,
My daughter has picked out a large Tonka dumptruck with a hard hat for her birthday, but with all the recent news about toy recalls, I feel wary about buying anything made in China. We want to be reassured that your toys do not contain lead paint or other harmful toxic chemicals.

Thank you very much,
Pamela McDormand
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#24 of 24 Old 08-21-2007, 06:44 PM
 
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Here are a few toys that aren't made in China:

U.S. Made Toys: 35 categories of toys that are made in the U.S.
http://usmadetoys.com

Ikea: Train sets from Bulgaria (and the cars fit on Thomas tracks). Even though they carry toys from China, they put all toys through rigorous, accredited safety tests.
http://www.ikea.com

Roy Toy: Based in Maine, they make charming wooden log cabins and other building sets made from pine logs and stained with a non-toxic dye. Most toys stores do not carry Roy, so go to http://www.roytoy.com for the best selection.

Little Tikes: Much of their stuff is made in Hudson, OH (they manufacture & distribute in Europe and Asia also). You can check for "Made in USA" molded into the bottom of the product just to be sure. These are sold at Target, Wal-mart, and major toy stores, and at http://www.littletikes.com

Crayola: Already mentioned in this thread, made mostly in Easton, PA where the company's headquarters and major manufacturing facilities are located.
http://www.crayolastore.com
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