1.5 Million Thomas & Friends Toys Recalled Due To Lead Paint From China

Way to go, China! You’ve turned our “Chinese Poison Train” into something literal. Good job!

1.5 million Thomas & Friends wooden train sets have been recalled due to toxic levels of lead. The toys were sold in toy stores and at various retailers nationwide from January 2005 through June 2007 for between $10 and $70.

If your kid has any of the above-pictured toys, you should take the toy away immediately and contact the manufacturer for a replacement at: recalls.rc2.com.

According to ABC News, “the CPSC has stepped up scrutiny of products made in China following a rise in dangerous imports from the country.” Constant readers of the blog can attest to the overwhelming tidal wave of choking and lead poisoning recalls that this site is forced to report on. Making editorial decisions about which hazard to report on is hard. Pants that could choke you? Lead toys? Deadly ATVs for 1st graders? There’s so much to choose from. We wonder why…From ABC News:

China by far leads the list of countries making products that are recalled in the United States, accounting for 65 percent of all the recalled products in this country this year, according to CPSC. In 2006, China accounted for 233 product recalls — nearly double the rate from the previous year, with lead a recurring cause among the recalls.

So that’s why we’re forced to do round ups just to keep up. —MEGHANN MARCO

Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Toys Recalled [ABC News]
RC2 Corp. Recalls Various Thomas & Friends

Wooden Railway Toys Due to Lead Poisoning Hazard [CPSC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Televiper says:

    What? I can’t feel safe buying my kid a !%#@’in wooden train now?

  2. MercuryPDX says:

    [Searches for “Pants that kill” story]

  3. Meg Marco says:
  4. Miss_Siri says:

    I have a total of 6 to send back. It’s fun to explain to my 6 yr old why his birthday and Christmas presents are going back. He’s not upset but doesn’t get why toys he’s had for 2 years may make him sick. I don’t know if I should trust the replacements either

  5. 3drage says:

    Why are we still importing from China?

  6. Pelagius says:

    First dog food, then toothpaste, now toys. The Chinese have clearly declared war on us.

  7. Hoss says:

    They used lead paint when I was a tot and Im KO

  8. kerry says:

    Crud! A coworker of mine has amassed a huge collection of these trains over the years, as gifts to her sons. I don’t even know how she would begin to figure out which toys were bought during the recall period. What a nightmare.

  9. amrcanpoet says:

    God forbid we make a fucking product in America.

  10. Techguy1138 says:


    That would cost $2-5 more. We couldn’t have that.

    Also true it wouls cost $2-5 more per product if we applied appropiate tariffs to check most of what comes in to this country.

    There is a big extra hidden cost to doing business with a country that is so fundimentially different from yours.

  11. sum0belly says:

    I have about 4 of these … send help … first the toothpaste … now Thomas. I’m a goner for sure.

  12. zncjmom says:

    I am so glad I read Consumerist everyday. We had 4 of these trains. I wonder what the “gift” will be. These little things are about $10 a piece and I am sure their 6-8 weeks will be longer. I’ll update if it actually comes through and I’m still alive to do it!!!

  13. sum0belly says:

    Big dino bird unearthed in China

    The beast was about 35 times heavier than other feathered dinosaurs

    What it ate a mystery. However, in it’s nest: some dog food, toothpaste and Thomas toys.

    New dino or mutant chicken? You be the judge.

  14. bossco says:

    @3drage: I agree. why are we importing everything from China. Free trade is great, but when it starts to become a health, and maybe even a national security issue, it’s time to rethink “free trade” ideas. I mean it’s great to have cheap crap, but maybe we should be willing to pay more for items manufactured here at home.

  15. Crazytree says:

    hope you all got the joke!

    look at the story category. ;p

  16. Marce says:

    Commentary from my boyfriend: “Making kids dumb, one toy at a time.”

  17. memphis9 says:

    Unless we magically find a new, cheap, clean, plentiful source of energy (I say “magically” because seriously, even with $3.50 gas, who is on the case here?), the cost of importing is only going to go up. That and rising 3rd world/falling 1st world wages – eventually – will bring back American manufacturing, but it won’t be quick or easy. If the Chinese cut us off tomorrow, there would probably be old-Soviet-state-style lines in your neighborhood for the most mundane stuff, like office supplies and tube socks. Nobody makes them here. And not so many make them elsewhere as to cover a fraction of our demand any time soon.

    Of course China would also be massively screwed, so I guess it is in both nations’ interest to play nice…

    What is coming to light here is not so much China’s Evil Plan’s anyway, as the gutting of US regulatory agencies that are supposed to inspect and monitor consumables and other products so that they don’t – you know – kill us.

  18. Hawk07 says:

    China wants our export dollars more than seeing us dead.

  19. asherchang says:

    Since when were our Thomas toys made in China!?

  20. velho says:

    You left out the best part of the recall (we have 3 of these trains)….. I get to pay the shipping!

    It’s cool, I’m sure the “gift” we be awesome and make up for it though.

    Unrelated note: in the ABC snippet we get to see some great journalism at work. Yes 65% of all recall are for China product. But that number only means something if you also state what percentage of products come from China. If 99% of products coem from China, then China had a lower recall % than everyone else.Thanks for doing such a complete job ABC. Tell me again why you become more irrelevant everyday?

  21. timmus says:

    God forbid we make a fucking product in America.

    No shit… this really pisses me off.

  22. Wow, everything from China is turning out to be poisonous lately…

  23. SexCpotatoes says:

    I’m just waiting for a story to break “Man poisoned by Chinese mail-order-bride. Held down and fed dog food, toothpaste, and forced to chew on thomas the tank toys, resulting in his untimely death.”

  24. Miss_Siri says:

    Is the free gift a lead test kit?

  25. anatak says:

    This morning, the commentary on the local NPR said that China’s own regulatory board estimates that 20% of the nations products are substandard.

    Substandard, by their standards.

    So with the incredible amount of recalls on toys and products from China in general, you would think that job one would be to check for lead paint or check for small parts/choking hazards. Seems not to be the case.

  26. rbb says:

    With all these stories about products from China that contain lead, does anyone know of a test kit for lead that is cheap, accurate and can be used at home?

  27. mopar_man says:

    So China refuses the US shipment of freakin’ raisins but we accept lead toys and poisoned food with open arms? Why not just refuse Chinese shipments to fight the same battle? I’m sure Wal-Marts across the country will go out of business but I won’t shed a tear.

  28. quagmire0 says:

    ….but they’re so damn tasty!!! :(

  29. Wormfather says:

    @velho: I was thinking the same thing. Numbers lie and I dont even pay attention to ratios unless I get full data.

  30. Wormfather says:

    …but China does need to be recalled. What next? People of chinese decent have been recalled due to…

  31. Wormfather says:

    @mopar_man: You know, Walmart gets a lot of shit, but if they closed their doors a lot of people would be hungry, jobless or both.

  32. cgi5877 says:

    I’m sure China will retort by recalling something really stupid like bottled water or something…oh wait, they already did! [consumerist.com]

  33. mjag7 says:

    I hope someone is working on a class action for this one. This deserves more attention than it’s getting so for.
    Is lead paint even MADE anymore?
    Should I have my kid tested for lead poisoning??? He’s been playing with these friggin trains for years.

  34. mopar_man says:

    People would be go hungry? How so? Because they won’t pony up the extra $0.10 to shop at the grocery store next door? And I doubt many people would be jobless. All that crap imported from China will have to be made somewhere. Hey!! How about in the US like it used to be? That would be somewhere for all those Wal-Mart employees to work.

  35. savagesaladin says:

    Survival of the fittest now. Only the strongest kids will survive. But in a few years they’ll have cancer.

  36. Brad2723 says:

    Does anyone realize how hard it is to find a product NOT made in China? It is almost impossible.

  37. Techguy1138 says:


    It’s time consuming difficult an

  38. Techguy1138 says:

    it’s difficult time consuming and expensive.

    The web can be a good resource. Us products tend to be very cheap or very expensive. Cookware for instance there is mirro, the cheap aluminum pands sold in supermarkets or all-clad, preimium priced PA made alumium core steel cookaware.

    Even then some products are “assembled” in America. Due to nafta this means that chinese parts can be assembeled in mexico and get that flag.

    Some companies have lines of their products made in china even if they are a US company. All clad was one to watch for. The have a series of pans that are chinese made and so are many of their cooking accessories.

    Some craftsman tools are US and some are China made. You have to take the time to read every label for country of origin and be willing to sometimes walk out of a store without a product or pay 2-3x as much.

    I don’t think it is a problem of US manfacturing. It really seems to be an issue of retail. Stores just don’t stock US made products. If you look at Walmart you can see some inexpensive made in the USA products.

  39. mermaidshoes says:

    time for a “chinese poison train” t-shirt featuring thomas.

  40. khalilsmama says:

    A facinating read about the insanity of chinese manufacturing:
    National Geographic June issue, full text here:


    It’s a total free for all up in there Wild West style! Three guys designed their entire factory in an hour and four minutes!
    And you wonder why aren’t running product safety trials…

  41. synergy says:

    Someone should point out, if they haven’t already, that Chinese products are the biggest imports and therefore MUST be the country with the most recalls.