Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Toyshelves of Wal-Mart Are a Little Emptier, and a Little Sadder, Today

Speaking of killing our culture -- or I guess more accurately in this case, culture that kills us -- have you heard about the gigantic Mattel toy recall that's just been announced? Almost a million toys potentially coated in a thick layer of delicious-but-deadly lead paint. Oh, China.

Thankfully, there have been no reported illnesses. And fortunately, this recall doesn't affect our house, mostly because Sam is too young to request crappy franchised toys by name, but I still found myself reading the recall list with fascinated interest. Just check out the names of some of these toys:
Remember that scene from The Hudsucker Proxy where the guys in the marketing department are working behind closed doors to come up with the perfect name for the hula hoop: "The Flying Doughnut! The Dancing Dingus! The Belly-Go-Round! The Wacky Circumference!" Reading this list, I don't think that scene was so very far from reality.

I have to confess that I'm intrigued by the Giggle Doodler. I like to giggle. I like to doodle. How awesome (not to mention efficient) would it be to combine the two? I'm a little more fearful of the Talking Gadget, though I suppose it might be something along the lines of those talking appliances from The Flintstones. I always liked them. They had moxy.

My apprehension increases with the Giggle Drill, possibly due to Dr. Giggles-related flashbacks. And do I even want to know about Elmo's "silly parts"? Though I suspect that, because he talks, he'll tell me anyways. (Everyone has to stop paying attention to that guy. Can't we see we're just encouraging him?)

The toy I think I like the most is the Oscar the Grouch Giggle Grabber. I picture it as a long-handled device that Oscar uses to reach out and grab any errant giggle that floats over his garbage can, before blasting it to smithereens like a turbo-charged bug zapper. I could really use one of those.


Lisa said...

We have the giggle doodler! Fortunately, it was a pre-recall model cause my kid LOVES that thing. (The recall only affects toys sold after May 1, 2007.)

Andi said...

Your post made me smile. :-)

pussreboots said...

We were affected either. My oldest isn't into character themed toys and my youngest is too young to ask for stuff yet.

landismom said...

Oh, I'm actually laughing outloud. I thought I was the only person who watched The Hudsucker Proxy in its entirety!

Anonymous said...

Not sure if you have heard of this recall as well, but I work in a toy store and I know that a bunch of Thomas the Tank Engine stuff has been recalled recently, also because of lead paint! Again, thanks go to China ... thanks for respecting our children's health!

Nicole Steeves said...

This was freakishly well-timed - I had just ordered the Giggle Doodler for my daughter and immediately canceled my order after reading the post. Move over, Ralph Nader.

Joanne said...

It didn't affect us either, we never buy that kind of stuff for our boy and he hadn't received any as gifts either. He DOES, however, have a little toy called a Wiggly Giggler and he is in *love* with it. My husband always says, "oh Wiggly Giggler, I wish I knew how to quit you".

I'm kind of weary of China, with the dog food and the paint and all.

Diane Dehler said...

My limited understanding is that lead has been mixed with paint for better adhesion onto toys. As the FDA checks fewer or not more than 1-5% of all toys this is a serious situation.

I went to a toy store with a friend yesterday looking for "natural" infant toys and virtually everything in the store was made in China. -Even toys companies stating they were "natural" had toys produced in China or Vietnam. I wonder about the fabric dyes in cloth toys as well.

I don't know if you followed the poisoned pet food recall that ended up with thousands of dead pets. Two of my family members had pets that were affected. This gives me more than a little concern about the toy situation.

I have given a lot of baby board books and know that babies put them in their mouths. Hope these are safe. I think I am switching to clothing gifts for the time being. I'm glad that your brought this topic up. If anyone has good links to info on this topic I am interested.