Matell has made their second recall of toys manufactured in China because of magnets that may become dislodged (one may not be bad, but two could interact in bad ways within a toddler's intestinal trac). In our local area there are"Toy Screening" programs to test toys for lead paint. You may remember that Jesus would obviously make his necklaces from slugs of lead (also from China). It's not a good time to be in the toy business.
This is also about that time of year a magical occurance would happen in my childhood life. It would be time for those elves at Sears to send out the "Wish Catalog." I still get excited just thinking about it. Two-hundred pages of wonder and merriment and soemthing that would entertain me all the way till Thanksgiving.
But this year kids will find a hard lesson in macro-economics in their stockings. That lesson is that we don't manufacture hardly anything in this country anymore. Sure, there's a lot still going on, but compared to two decades ago, we don't make dick. Putting a fifth of JD Black Label in your kid's stocking isn't going to endear you to the child welfare people. And a axle differential is fun, but I don't see them as children's toys.
This is good news for some people. You may remember that for the past five years FAO and Geoffrey over at Toys R Us have been complaining about Wal-Mart's unfair practice of selling toys below cost to gain market share. Remember were Wal-Mart gets all their stuff? So, as long as the other guys didn't shift their maufacturing to China to stay competative, they shoud have a good year. My guess is that they have switched to the Asian Machine and we're all going to have a world of uncertainty tis Holiday Season.
Yes, there will be toys on Santa's shelves. Considering one of those recalled toys was an Elmo and a Big Bird, just how much can you trust that Transformer sitting under the tree. Chucky, at least, would just cut your throat. Primus might lower your ACT scores. And how much can you afford of non-Chinese manufactured slinkies?
One of my friends works as an engineer in a manufacturing plant. He needs qualified people to help. He can't find any because we no longer teach manufacturing, and all the older people that were good at it have left for other positions and places in the country. We're losing the skills needed to make things. Santa's Elves now have a distinct accent. Santa better wake up and smell the coffee soon.