"Made in China"

By: Beth Shayne Email
By: Beth Shayne Email

There was a time this summer when Dawn Campbell was throwing out some of her son Jack's toy trains after finding them on a recall list for lead paint.

Tuesday at Treehouse Toys in Lansing Township, she was buying new ones, but more aware of the recalls that have hurt the toy industry this summer.

"There is a risk," she admits, "I try to watch what I buy."

Treehouse Toys does not sell any of the Mattel products recalled Tuesday. Most independent stores in town don't.

Target, Toys R Us, and Meijer have all removed them from store shelves.

Treehouse Toys store owner Brent Taylor did not have to remove Thomas the Train toys in June, but he says he has no qualms about selling them now.

He says the company handled the recall professionally, and he assume they are now more aware.

Still, he says some customers are avoiding not just Thomas trains but all products from China.

"More and more, people are starting to ask about the country of origin, is it wood or plastic, painted or molded." In the most extreme cases, he says they are limiting themselves to toys made only in America.

You need only to flip a few toy boxes over to find out just how hard that would be. About 80 percent of toys on the market are made in China.

Taylor says good American companies have personnel in the overseas factories to oversea quality and safety. Those standards though are voluntarily--no matter where a toy is made--and mistakes happen.

He says pick toys you know--and like Dawn Campbell, keep watching the news.


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