Every Toy Recalled In The U.S. Shares The Same Label: Made In China

The New York Times is reporting that China is responsible for each and every one of the 24 toy recalls issued this year. Chinese manufactures supply up to 80% of the toys sold on the U.S. market. A new record was even set last year after the CPSC yanked 467 Chinese products off U.S. shelves.

China’s own government auditing agency reported last month that 20 percent of the toys made and sold in China had safety hazards such as small parts that could be swallowed or sharp edges that could cut a child, according to a report in China Daily. Officials in China, of course, are fighting back, insisting that its food and other exports are safe and valuable, that new regulations are being put into place and that problem goods account for a tiny portion of all exports.

We wonder if the office of some Chinese official has a framed fortune reading: You shall tell many lies today. Lucky Numbers: 24 80 467 20. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

As More Toys Are Recalled, Trail Ends in China [NYT] (Thanks to Ellen!)

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  1. vr4z06gt says:

    no i think the ‘lucky’ numbers read as follows:
    4 8 15 16 23 42

  2. Landru says:

    Why is this surprising? Aren’t all toys made in China now?

  3. Bullseye says:

    Pay attention Landru: [www.usmadetoys.com] 100% of all toys recalled. A perfect score. It’s surprising because perfection is rarely acheived. China gets an A+ and a smiley face from the teacher.

  4. cde says:

    Statistically speaking, thats a pretty damn low number.

  5. GirlGoneRiled says:

    My husband and I made a choice some time ago to avoid purchasing toys made in China for our own kids or as gifts. Or reasoning initially was just a consideration of social and economic justice but now appreciate the likely safety and health factors as well. (We also do not purchase holiday decorations – I’m talking chiefly about Christmas and Easter items here – made in China on the grounds that the people making them would be rigorously harassed and possibly imprisoned for practicing the faith they signify. Given that lead is known to exist in Christmas tree light, the health and safety effect probably applies here, too.)

    @Bullseye – thanks for that link. I wasn’t aware of that site and it looks like a great resource.

  6. swalve says:

    Where are these products being designed?

  7. Trai_Dep says:

    Relax, guys. It’s merely China exporting their One Child Per Family policy to the US.

  8. SactoKev says:

    Hey, um, Consumerist? Are you there? Hi.
    We get it.
    Things from China are crap. Food, toys, whatever. Understood. Knew it anyway.
    DS-Max companies are evil. Roger that. Probably 99% of C-ist readers are far too savvy for those scams anyway.
    How bout a little diversification once in a while?

  9. guroth says:

    “We also do not purchase holiday decorations – I’m talking chiefly about Christmas and Easter items here – made in China on the grounds that the people making them would be rigorously harassed and possibly imprisoned for practicing the faith they signify.”

    So they risk their lives and safety to make you Christmas decorations and you won’t even buy them? Harsh!

  10. wooster11 says:

    This seems a bit misleading. If China makes 80% of all toys, chances are that the recalled toys would be made in China too. Are you suggesting that if all toys were made in the U.S. that none would be recalled? What if it was reversed, with China only making 20% of all U.S. toys – Would toys made in China be the only ones recalled?

    I’m shocked at the reaction that the Consumerist has on this. Statistically, this is bound to happen. And seriously, only 24 toys were recalled – that’s really low.

    By the way, vr4z06gt, 4 would never be a lucky number. In fact, Chinese believe that the number 4 is bad luck. Good numbers are 2, 8, and 9.

  11. Bourque77 says:

    @wooster11: If 20% of the recalled toys were from non-chinese companies then it wouldnt be a big deal. 24 toys is really low and we like to overreact to stories like this. However if you had one of the 24 toys it wouldnt be so low. Its kids toys and kids generally arent exactly the brightest when it comes to avoiding danger. Now you are putting dangerous toys in the mix, low number or not its scary.

  12. Televiper says:

    Two important questions: Who designs the toys? Who is responsible for process control?

    It appears to me that most of the stuff manufactured in China is designed in the US. It is also sold by US based companies. It seems like it’s the manufacturers in China cutting corners to shave a few dollars off the manufacturing cost. Or it’s simply a lack of communication and quality control from the US based companies. You get the same issues with US based manufacturers. It goes with getting stuff as cheap as possible.

  13. tabascoishot says:

    *TOOT TOOT* All aboard the demonize China Express!!!

    Monolithic scapegoat for a lack of quality assurance from US based buyers/outsourcers? A manifestation and side effect of our collective chasing of the lowest price possible?

    No. No way. Get outttttta here!!

    Does the government of Taiwan fund this site? Maybe it’s the Teamsters or whatever the toy manufacturer’s union is these days. I’m really baffled.

  14. tabascoishot says:

    In all seriousness – yes, the Chinese manufacturers and SPECIFIC folks fvcked up big time. Let’s call out some names and faces before casting a net over 1.3 billion people.

  15. royal72 says:

    woohoo, we’re going to war with china next.

  16. TechnoDestructo says:

    Fortune cookies are American.

  17. leo14th says:

    The unscrupulous attitude of “as long as I am not caught before it’s sold” from the darker side of the Chinese culture is very prevalent. It is the product of five thousand years of mostly oppressive history.

    I have gone through two sets of “stainless steel” kitchen scissors. Of course, the screw in the middle of the scissors were not of stainless steel and have rusted through, leaving me with two halves of nice stainless steel scissors.

    I am not surprised by any of these stories about recalls and shabby Chinese products. If 80% of our toys were made in Japan or made in Germany, I can bet that we wouldn’t have a 10th of these many recalls. I have no qualm about saying these things because I am a genetic mix of Chinese and Japanese and have lived for many years in Germany.

    If the Americans crave for Made in China like the Chinese craved for Opium back in the 1900s, then get use to more unscrupulous corner cutting from the manufacturers and lies from the officials. That is the Chinese way. I am sad about this, because it’s nothing for me to feel proud of.

    By the way, I mentioned opium with the intention to make the analogy with the Opium War. China is already dictating the U.S. foreign policy. Mark my words, we will be paying for Made in China products with more ways than just money and high gasoline prices.

    One last word: China is a one-party dictatorship. Its decision process is much faster than the democratic system of the U.S. We have a disadvantage of not being able to pull together with a clear strategy except in a true crisis.

  18. facework says:

    Enjoy your cheap imported goods, Walmart shoppers. I, for one, blame our giant corporate overlords rather than the Chinese.

  19. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    OMG! China iz teh evilzz!!!11

    I guess everyone should throw away their toys, iPods, computers, cell phones, clothes, and everything else in your house. Probably 90% of your junk is made in China.

  20. two4motion says:

    I’m amazed that so many people find this post as seemingly offensive. This site it is merely pointing out statistics that it found from the New York Times, and as a Parent, I’m glad that light has been shed on this problem. Yes, that’s right, a problem. Does it make a difference that it’s China that’s doing this, rather than another foreign country? I don’t know, I do know that I fear having a relationship with country that seems to have much lower standards when it comes to labor law, or at least, labor law enforcement. Whether or not U.S. manufacturers just look away because of the bottom line is whole other discussion entirely.

  21. agent2600 says:

    ya, it is junk, i would always be willing to pay more for somthing made in the USA, Western Europe, or Japan. Our dependancy on East Asia’s cheap labor sickens me, and well…you have the results right here.

  22. arachnophilia says:

    it’s an act of war, i tell you! they’re trying to kill our children!

    actually, i suppose it might not be very significant — what percentage of toys aren’t made in china? if it’s a low percentage, and i think it is, then having every toy recalled be from china isn’t surprising. more toys on the market = more recalls.

    that said, maybe china could, you know, also make things better.

  23. SOhp101 says:

    What a sensationalist post… practically ALL toys are made in China.

  24. I have a one year old, and it never ceases to amaze me just how many of her toys are from overseas. It really struck a chord when my mom brought us some of my old toys from 1978/9, and every single one of them is made in the USA and every single one of them is still in great shape to use 28 years later for another generation. Will any of this stuff my daughter has that’s been made in China be the same? I’m not sure. But seeing “Made in the USA” on the back of a Fisher-Price toy made me think about how that factory no longer exists and that at one point, people proudly made those products here in the USA. That’s not to say they were without their faults — not at all. But I think that their durability has proven itself, and it makes me sad to think that we’ve shot ourselves in the foot over the last 20 years by exporting our entire production economy and transforming it into a consumer one.

  25. miburo says:

    Americans want livable wages to make these things. They also want to buy them at the absolutely cheapest possible price. There is a trade-off and you see it in the recalls. I’m actually surprised the number is so low.

    I mean just think, companies over there are forcing their workers to work 80 hour work weeks with short breaks and a few hundred dollars a month.

    Of course since American companies are getting cheap goods from their labor and Everyone wants to be buddy buddy with the Chinese government people here like to turn a blind eye to all of that.

  26. getjustin says:

    Does China make shoddily made goods, probably, but I think has more to do with the fact that any cheap, crappy item, like toys, are made in China. That’s like saying that every recalled car last year had black tires.

    Correlation is not causation.

  27. mikyrok says:

    @wooster11: go watch Lost

  28. wooster11 says:

    @Bourque77: I understand if your child got one of these toys that it’s scary. But the story isn’t about the actual toys that are recalled, but rather about where recalled toys are manufactured. The story implies that only Chinese manufacturing leads to items being recalled which is far from the truth (See automobile industry). It may have been the case this last year, but there no conclusion can be made without years of data. Let’s see in 3, 5, and 10 years if this still is the case. But by then, probably 100% of all toys would be made in China and therefore 100% of all recalled toys would be from China…

    @mikyrok: I’m actually not a big fan of J.J. Abrams so I don’t watch Lost. What happens in Lost that has anything to do with this? I’m curious.

  29. joe6486 says:

    Non-news, completely, and sensationalist. If China manufactures the vast majority of toys, OF COURSE they are going to have nearly (if not) all the recalls. And the recall number is so small as to be insignificant statistical “noise”.

    More whining on Consumerist!

  30. Trai_Dep says:

    Aww, poor Chinese. All they do is have such lax regulations/common humanity that they inject poison into pet food and animal feed, put anti-freeze into our toothpaste and make toys that harm toddlers.

    Geez, where’s the love, people?

    (To the freepers: one of the above three would earn a shrug, two a look askance, but THREE?! Knowing full well that next week it’ll come out that they use murdered executed prisoners to supply meat protein (or SOMEthing)? C’mon…)

    (And yes, it’s also Wal-Mart’s fault. But I recall you guys defending them when they show up here, so you doth protest too much in this regard)

  31. agent2600 says:

    I suppose you can stop buying toys? hmmm? I say this a lot on this blog, but well it holds true, you create the market buy buying these things, if you don’t buy them, then they go away.

  32. ShadeWalker says:

    who watches the consumerist?

  33. two4motion says:

    @agent2600: I’m with you, stop buying the crap and it goes away.

    I’d sure like to see more detail on online stores about where something is made, the vast majority don’t give much info.

    I love to be able to find a piece of technology still made in the U.S., Japan, Europe, Australia, etc.

    Or even a piece of clothing. Or furniture, which makes me laugh… you can go to your hight priced Restoration Hardware and look at that $3000+ couch, where’s in made…China.

    Nearly all those little trinkets you see all over Hawaii… China.

    I don’t have the answer, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize the problem of these people being exploited. There’s no easy solution, but that doesn’t mean we should just throw our hands up and say, “Well, what are you gonna do? They make all our crap now.” No, that’s unnacceptable!

  34. 160medic says:

    Most of the illegals here are “Made In Mexico”