Toy Prices To Rise 10%

Toys will be 10% more expensive next year thanks the toy industry’s latest attempts to protect American children from defective merchandise. Toy makers will use the hike to offset the cost of retaining independent labs to both test for defective and dangerous toys, and provide a measure of PR security.

Consumers could also see higher prices on other Chinese imports such as fish and children’s apparel, but the big price gains in toys could be more jolting.

Shoppers have become accustomed to cheap playthings from China because Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other discounters have waged cost-cutting campaigns. Critics say real safeguards were sacrificed to keep prices low, however.

Prices won’t rise until next year because most of the toys destined for this year’s holiday season have already been manufactured and shipped.

Higher prices are always undesirable, but this hike reflects a renewed awareness of the dangers that come with relying on uncertain foreign supply chains; hopefully it will give toy makers needed breathing room to make our products safer in the long run.

Safer toys won’t be cheap [Chicago Tribune]
(Photo: Getty Images)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Cowboys_fan says:

    I bet it costs only 3%

  2. dextrone says:

    PRICES LOW? They make the toys for 50 cents and say it’s worth 20$…exactly how much are they paying those Chinese workers again, oh right about 125$/mth.

  3. dabean says:

    That is a very cool panda toy.

  4. hoo_foot says:

    “Prices won’t rise until next year because most of the toys destined for this year’s holiday season have already been manufactured and shipped.”

    Did this sentence make anyone else nervous? Does that mean we can expect more toy recalls during the holiday season? Lovely.

    I’ll be buying Legoes for Christmas this year.

  5. bohemian says:

    Yep this years holiday toys are already on their way to stores. So yes, this years toys are potentially dangerous.

  6. humphrmi says:

    I used to work for a home improvement store (way before the big-box chains) and if we didn’t have our Christmas stuff in by last month, we might as well not sell any.

    Anyway, I don’t really paying 10% more for toys that don’t potentially poison my kids. I will be angry if I pay 10% more and this nonsense doesn’t stop.

  7. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Expect only a small portion of the price hikes to go towards safety. It’s just an excuse to raise prices. I wouldn’t expect recalls and poison to become and less frequent over the coming years.

  8. goodguy812 says:

    10% more on toys is better than sick children. money is replaceable. children are not.

  9. etinterrapax says:

    Because I’m a cynic, I suspect prices were going to increase anyhow. We’ve just given them a palatable reason to feed everyone. But really, I haven’t met the kid who didn’t have more than enough toys. Ours included. Our pleas for friends and relatives to give anything but toys have fallen on deaf ears. People love buying toys for kids. Ten percent isn’t going to stop them.

  10. d0x says:

    I work at Target and we wont start receiving Christmas Toys until the end of October, of course all the toys are already made by now so it makes no difference but if the companies wanted to be sure they werent sending items with issues they have the time to do so. They just dont want to spend the money.

    A 10% rise in price sounds a little extreme if you ask me considering how many Toys are sold year round I would imagine a 1% increase per toy would be more then enough…also consider it costs them about $2 to build and $5 to ship a $20 toy, thats already $13 profit at the very minimum just for the company that makes them because then retail will turn around and mark it up another $10 for their own profits.

  11. EtherealStrife says:

    Where can I get one of those pandas?

  12. allstarecho says:

    Toy Company: Let’s increase prices and blame it on costs of new safety measures, but not really implement any new safety measures!

  13. Bryan Price says:

    So that’s the premium they are willing to figure that we will pay for safe toys? What about the toothpaste, the dog food, the cat food, the seafood?

    What percentage will it get before we realize that we would be better off returning the manufacturing back to our shores? Although, I’d have to say it’s too late for that to actually happen.

  14. McWatt says:

    that panda IS awesome! Where’d the pic come from?

  15. KingPsyz says:

    I thought the whole point of outsourcing manufacture to China was TO LOWER COSTS. Now it’s RAISING COSTS. So wouldn’t it just make sense to STOP IMPORTING TOYS and build them here under USA standards?

    Oh that’s right because it’s not about the health and safety of their customers (AKA our kids) but about the PERCEPTION, or should I say DEception that the costs will go towards a safer product.

    And for the ones saying no ammount is too much to protect my babies. Hey, as a new Dad, I can’t agree more.

    But that’s the thing, this won’t help safety standards. They make far and above enough profit to make a safe toy for our kids, yet choose not to.

    Let’s all remember this next year when more recalls start pouring in. Then maybe we can start a class action lawsuit for misrepresentation of the 10% increase on all toy sales for 2008…

  16. Crazytree says:

    Wait… why weren’t they doing this testing anyways?

    Since when should consumers be paying a premium to ensure their children’s toys aren’t poisoned?

    Reminds me of that Chris Rock bit…

    “I hate it when women say… I TAKE CARE OF *MY* KIDS…


  17. XopherMV says:

    The cost of non-leaded paint is not THAT much more than leaded paint, especially considering the small amount put on each toy. To jack up the price by 10% is unwarranted and outrageous. As mentioned previously, Toy manufacturers are simply using this news as an excuse to jack up prices. Then, they’ll use this as an example of how government regulation makes everything expensive in order to limit regulation in the future.

  18. CoffeeAddict says:

    10% is not that bad, as long as it garantees that the toys will be safe for our children. The sad things is I doubt they can say that 100% of the toys will be safer because of the price jack. So in closing that the Wal-Mart’s and Target’s better keep the prices low or have one heck of dept checking all the toys for safety.

  19. G-Dog says:

    And I still won’t be able to find my DC figures.

  20. atarisuicide says:

    @Bryan Price:

    Making the toys in the USA is not an automatic guarantee that the toys will be safe. Rigorous safety measures still need to be in place, and I guess I don’t understand why they can’t possibly be implemented in China, while you assume they are a given for domestic manufactured goods. The real problem is that some companies, such as Mattel, have decided to forgo safety for better margins. That has little to nothing to do with China vs. USA vs. wherever.

    Do you feel safer driving a Ford vs. a Toyota? I sure as hell don’t.

  21. Rusted says:

    @atarisuicide: Depends who made the “Ford”. A lot of badge-engineering these days.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Obviously, the price of lead paint has gone up 10 percent…have to pass along those costs to the consumer….

  23. KingPsyz says:


    I drive a Toyota and work for one of their dealers, but when it comes to toys and food products, there is no reason to outsource other than making someone’s pockets fatter.

    Prices haven’t dropped since this rash of Chinese outsourcing started, but proftis have jumped.

    The other thing is, I would happily buy my child a japanese toy or product because they have very stringent standards and take pride in their work. While every Chinese car has failed in crash tests horribly. You can read all about it on the sister blog Jalopnik.

  24. XopherMV says:


    The US has product and consumer protection laws. And, the US actually enforces those laws. Further, the US has a free press, such as this website, which China does not have.

    Mattel did not decide to forego safety for higher margins. Mattel thought that the factories in China were actually testing their toys, when they were not. Mattel trusted that the factories had the same high safety standards that they did.

    Were these toys made in the US by Mattel, you can damn sure bet they would be better than anything produced in China.

  25. boxjockey68 says:

    No more Made in China for me thanks….

  26. Allroads says:

    I once worked out that for 8 million USD (The cost of product in the 2nd Mattel recall), it would roughly pay for 25 years of a fully loaded quality control team….and that is hardly 10% of anything.

    Water based paint costs more than oil based paint.. and that costs more than lead based paint.

    Of course, that only accounts for a portion of the increase.

    The real increase comes as a result of retailers holding steady for so long in a period of an appreciating RMB, reduced VAT rebates, and raw material costs rising.