No doubt you’ve all seen the Rankin-Bass Christmas movie “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” Do you remember when Herr Burgermeister says, “Toys are hereby declared illegal, immoral, unlawful AND anyone found with a toy in his possession will be placed under arrest and thrown in the dungeon. No kidding!” We laugh because it is such an outrageous thing to say. Toys! Illegal! Bah, what will they think of next?
Well, welcome to Sombertown, folks. On February 10th, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) will take effect and all toys sold in the US will have to be tested for lead and phthalates. Sounds good right? Keep those cheap, imported, lead laced toys out of the hands of our children!
The problem is, every toy currently on the shelves will have to have been tested or pulled from the shelves. Not just toys either. The way the law is written it applies to bicycles, clothing, books, craft kits…ANYTHING marketed at children under 12 years old. Good ahead, click on that link in the last sentence and see what’s about to happen to your local libraries.
Have you ever bought a knit Barbie dress, a handmade doll cradle or cute hair bows at a craft show? What about cloth diapers from a work at home mom? I have. But you won’t be able to anymore. The CPSIA applies to these, too. Testing these products will be too expensive for these “manufacturers” and they will have to go out of business. And you’d better believe that the big name toy manufacturers will pass on the added expense to the consumer. Already one European company, Selecta, which makes some of my favorite wooden toys has pulled out of the US market.
You can read more about it all here: All Worry and No Play
So what can you do? Visit the Handmade Toy Alliance, read what they have to say, follow the links at the bottom of their homepage to write a letter to your Congressmen. This is serious, people. Imagine what is going to happen when this law goes into effect.
In the words of Kris Kringle, “Watch out for that dolly. She’s a hardened criminal, I hear.”