2007 has to be one of the worst years in mainstream toy history. Lead paint, choking hazards, recalls galore. The subject is not new to this blog or my life for that matter. I could talk about it all day. Heck, I could dedicate an entire blog to crappy plastic junk fast-tracked on the big boat from China straight to the shelves of the local Super Center, all those items that are over advertised and pushed down our impressionable children's throats. Screw it all.
Families are already fretting about, what to buy, toy shortages, all a result of media frenzy. I think there are some reasonable solutions. It's early November and there is plenty of time to get some quality shopping done. Honestly, I have never been thrilled with the idea of buying a boat load of crap, wrapping it, and presenting it as if some jolly old man left it behind for Sj to enjoy, until the thrill wears off, oh by about January 2nd. We've always taken the less is more approach to Christmas. We purchase a large item and a few small items.
I read a wonderful article on Junk Toys on the Mothering webpage. Give it a read. The comparison of buying junk toys to junk food is fabulous. Many of us don't give our children anything they desire to eat, we try to help them make appropriate food decisions. It should be the same for toys.
I urge you to look around your home, look through the piles of toys in the corner, in the closet, under your feet, and ask Is This Toy Beautiful? Think about the question before you start making your holiday purchases. It might just make a difference to your child's imagination and unfortunately now, in 2007, their health.
Here are a couple of toys that I think are beautiful. Sadly, the gorgeous Snow White set is very expensive, maybe too expensive for us. But I have to admit, it's one princess I would love my daughter to engage in imaginative play with. The doll is so soft and cuddly, I could see it becoming GL's new favorite.
The web is a crucial resource for purchasing quality toys and it saves a ton of leg work. I have shopped with every retailer I list below and love what they stand for. I believe the majority of them list the country of origin in the details of their toys. European toys don't guarantee European production. Some toys are "desgined" in France and produced in China. Although European standards are much higher and you will find these toys are much safer than US designed, Chinese produced toys. Think heirloom toys, not toys with the biggest advertising budget.
Moolka - Very Unique Toys, although not all European made, here is their link to country of origin of their toys-see here:
Happy Shopping! If you are in the area, Ginger and Pickles in Boulder and Grandrabbits in Superior & Boulder are our local toy shop favorites!