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Buying Toys Not Made In China

Updated on July 31, 2014
Made in USA plastic soldiers
Made in USA plastic soldiers | Source

Is Buying Toys Not Made In China The Best We Can Do For Our Children?

Every parent is concerned for their child's safety but it seems we've focused so much of our attention on not buying toys made in China, that we've forgotten who shares in the responsibility for the production of those dangerous toys. By boycotting 'Chinese made toys', are we really doing the best we can do to protect our children?

Approximately 80 percent of all toys are made in China. But the factories in China where these toys are produced are owned by major toy companies like Mattel and Fisher-Price, American companies who've shipped their manufacturing processes overseas to save money and increase profits.

Who's responsible then when millions of toys are recalled because they're covered in lead paint? We've heard a resounding 'Buy Toys Not Made In China!' but is that really the best we can do? Is that really ALL we can do? What about not buying toys that are made by the companies that own those factories?

We're all operating under the mistaken impression that if it's made in America, it must be safe. Or, conversely, as long as it's NOT made in China, it's OK to buy it. And we also mistakenly assume that if a product has the name of an American manufacturer stamped on the box, then it must have been made in America.

Buy made in USA toys from Amazon

Rocky Cat and Dog
Rocky Cat and Dog

Classic wood stacking set made in USA by Holgate. Made from kiln dried hardwoods and non toxic paints. Affordable, cute, safe and made in United States


Many Chinese factories making toys for the American and European markets offers working conditions that would have them shut down outside China.

Are We Doing Enough To Protect Our Children?

It's a vicious circle and it's tough to sort it out, but the simple fact remains - we've already seen more than one example of an American manufacturer producing defective products in factories that aren't located in America – they're in China. And China gets all the blame while the real culprit – the company making all the profit – gets off scott free!

Not buying toys made in China obviously isn't enough. What more can we do to protect our children?

For one thing, we need to stop automatically assuming that toys with the names of American companies on the box are inherently safe. Having 'Mattel' or 'Fisher-Price' stamped on the box doesn't guarantee those toys were made in America.

As parents, we need to pay more attention to the toys we're buying for our kids and stop relying on other people to tell us what's safe and what's not. Again, we need to stop trusting that name on the box and start trusting our own parental instincts. If it looks dangerous, it probably is.

We need to start holding the toy manufacturers responsible for these cheaply made toys that fall apart in an afternoon, the toys that have pieces small enough for our children to swallow, and the dangerous toys covered with lead paint. They've made it perfectly clear that they're not the least bit concerned about quality. So it's time we turned to the manufacturers who are.

Green Toys Flat Bed Truck & Race Car
Green Toys Flat Bed Truck & Race Car

Made in USA plastic truck and car set made from recycled plastic bottles by green Toys/


What do you think about made in China toys?

Do you buy Made in China toys?

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Are you willing to pay more for toys NOT made in China?

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Do you think boycotting brands such as Mattel, Disney or Fisher Price could hurt them enough so they bring some of their toy making facilities back to the USA??

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Do you avoid toys made in China?

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    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      4 years ago from Canada

      It is surprising (or maybe not) how many of our consumer goods actually come from China. I haven't purchased any toys in recent years but I'd say it is definitely an important consideration.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I'm not allowed to edit my comment, so I'll add one to point out that there is a typo in the first sentence of the third paragraph. It should read, " refusing...." , NOT "...not refusing...."


    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      5 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I've been boycotting WalMart and other companies that sell a majority of imports for a long time. I also do not buy anything with the label "Made in China." Since so much of the merchandise available at lower prices in the U.S. is imported from China, other Asian countries and Mexico,I do without a lot of things!

      Until very large numbers of Americans are willing to either pay more for USA-produced goods from smaller manufacturers that are trying to survive and make this country a productive one again, or do without in order to boycott shoddy (often unsafe) products from China, etc., the companies who off-shore all their manufacturing will continue to do so at the expense of the American economy. Only boycotts extensive enough to hurt their bottom line will force them to change.

      However, we can protect our families by not refusing to buy inferior and/or unsafe products, and that should be our first priority. The Chinese who are getting wealthy off goods shipped to the USA do not have quality standards or safety policies in their manufacturing. Their way of doing business is deceitful, and they routinely attempt (and often succeed) shipping banned or contaminated goods disguised as other things. Since there are not enough U.S. inspectors to prevent these products coming into the country, store shelves (and online virtual shelves) are full of shoddy, even tainted Chinese products. It's time to draw the line!

      I have several great-grandchildren for whom I buy toys and books. I search out items made in the USA, which may cost more, but can be trusted. Children are too precious to take a chance with their safety.

      Voted Up++ and shared


    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Very interesting and well done hub! I think we buy cheap and Chinese made not only because of budget, but also because we get so much MORE for the money. Or we think we do... I also wonder how many toy boxes out there are full of broken things that did not last as long as took the bill to show up on the credit card and how many children are overwhelmed by sheer volume of toys they receive.

      I agree becoming more aware of what we buy for our kids and grandchildren is a must.

      Voted up and shared!

    • fanfreluche profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from France (but Canadian at heart)

      Yes buying locally as much as possible is the way to go!

    • LongTimeMother profile image


      5 years ago from Australia

      I have always tried to buy locally made toys. That includes wooden toys made by retired craftsmen and sold with a simple sign propped up against their front gate.

      Having seen tv documentaries on the subject, I feel sorry for the Chinese workers.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      unfortunately the present economy pressures us to buy everything as cheaply as possible and thus opening the door for more and more products from other countries but until we return to being a nation of producers instead of consumers this will be the case.

    • annmackiemiller profile image


      6 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      It is all a bit scary - I know some of the working conditions toys are made would appal us if we only knew it all, yet many of us bury our head in the sand just to get cheaper goods. Voted up, useful and interested.

    • Evylyn Rose profile image

      Evylyn Rose 

      6 years ago from Virginia, USA

      Interesting hub. Having not bought toys directly for any children in years, I haven't followed this development. However, I agree that it's important to look at more factors than just the most obvious one. This buying from companies whose products are made in China simply because they don't say "made in China" is just as bad as boycotting Wal-Mart for similar and other reasons and continuing to shop at Sam's Club. You have to boycott the whole organization if you want to affect them enough to inspire changes.


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