Buy All The Toys You Need Now, Because Prices Are Going Up

Just buy ’em and scrape off the lead paint. Why? Because toy makers will be passing the cost of higher-quality and better-made toys on to you next year. Says one analyst, “Anything that’s a new introduction, you can make that price point $19.99 rather than $14.99.”

One source of extra costs is an increased inspection schedule. RC2—the company behind the infamous chinese poison train—used to inspect random batches of toys and perform factory inspections twice a year; now, they inspect every batch of toys several times and have bumped up the inspection rate to every quarter. Mega Brands, the company that recalled its Magnetix toys for magnet hazards, has increased its inspection schedule from twice a year to every two weeks.

The result, as another analyst tells Reuters, is “increased monitoring of toy safety could eventually result in a ‘mid- single-digit’ price increase for consumers.”

“U.S. parents want safer toys, but will cost them” [Reuters]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Murph1908 says:

    Here’s a thought.

    Let’s move all the Chinese manufacturing to Mexico and create jobs down there.

    count(birds) = 2
    count(stones) = 1

  2. amoeba says:

    I think I will buy some Thomas and Friends, repaint them with fresh paint and design new faces on them. My nephew won’t like them, and I care less. But, I will save few cents, that’s for sure :)

  3. wring says:

    Guess everyone’s getting books this Christmas!

  4. RogerDucky says:

    Ahhh… increased inspections ’cause you just can’t trust the people who manufacture the stuff for you. Fine, fine… that’ll lead to slightly more toys not having problems, but even then, the Chinese are a smart and resourceful lot… they’ll just make sure to create batches in such a way as to avoid detection yet again, making even closer inspections necessary, until you are forced to inspect each toy individually. Even then, the inspectors could be bribed…

    Wouldn’t it be easier and cheaper to move all the factories back into the U.S., do high-volume, automated assembly lines (heck, there are factories in the U.S. specializing on that if the toy companies don’t want to do it…), and go back to the sparse inspections? It’d even save on shipping costs!

  5. mopar_man says:

    Fantastic. They fuck up, we pay more. I guess I’ll be shopping for toys from companies who aren’t using Chinese production (Lego, Playmobil, etc.).

  6. sonichghog says:

    What does this really mean? More profits for toy companies…..

  7. jwarner132 says:


    I wonder if that would work. Create an abundance of jobs in Mexico, and that might cut down on the need for Mexicans to illegally enter the U.S. looking for work.

  8. aro says:

    my company uses this stock photo of this boy on their website

  9. freshyill says:

    Wait, I’m going to pay *more* money for *less* lead? That doesn’t sound like a very good deal.

  10. yahonza says:

    This entire controversy is a backdoor means of imposing a tariff on goods from China, so that you can pay higher prices.

  11. emona says:

    This whole debacle reminds me of an old SNL skit with new toys for the holidays: Bag o’ Glass, Bag o’ Sulfuric Acid and Bag o’ Vipers.

  12. DrGirlfriend says:

    In protest, I’m just going to take pictures of toys and give those as gifts. The world is expensive and unfair, and it’s good to get used to that from a young age.

  13. pestie says:

    Here’s a thought – we could all buy fewer toys, as kids already have plenty of shiny plastic distractions already.

  14. Beerad says:

    Can I still get the toxic dangerous toys for cheaper? Because really, it’s all about the price for me.

  15. ShortBus says:

    I don’t understand why this is a surprise to anyone? Consumers have been demanding ever cheaper and cheaper goods. Quality, safety, warranty–everything else–has taken a backseat to the pricetag. (No parent would admit to consciously placing cost above their child’s safety, but aggregate shopping habits have shown otherwise).

    Since it costs more for more safety (higher quality components, more inspectors, better manufacturing technologies, etc) you can’t have both ultra-cheap and ultra-safe goods.

  16. vanilla-fro says:

    @jwarner132: nah, don’t they make some of our cars? doesn’t work that way.

  17. mandarin says:

    You mean toys like kids toys and not adult toys right…

  18. adamondi says:

    I think Lego and Playmobil toys are better than the crappy Chinese-made ones anyway. That is what my son will be getting. Long live Lego!

  19. etinterrapax says:

    @pestie: Word. I don’t suppose it’s occurred to the toy companies that they sell an elastic-demand item. If the quality is too poor or the prices too high, or both, people will cut back on how much they buy, and they can cut back a lot in this area without sacrificing their quality of life. And with grocery prices doubling in the past ten years, and heating costs way up, I suspect this isn’t going to bring the results that they want.

    I’m with those who say bring the manufacturing back to the US, if only because companies that expect ever-increasing profits from American consumers while simultaneously taking away what was a very common means of earning money for that consumption need a major wake-up call about the sustainability of their economic practices.

  20. DrGirlfriend says:

    If you’ve been buying adult toys coated with lead, you probably have more than just higher prices to contend with.

  21. DTWD says:

    I guess it’s a good thing I buy plush animals.

    Unless the stuffing is asbestos…


  22. mammalpants says:


    i heard those toys are stuffed with iran!

  23. MrEvil says:

    I have a feeling Lego is going to have one of the best Holiday seasons they’ve ever had.

    Makes you wonder though, why the toy manufacturers just cut their losses and marketing budgets and bring back some manufacturing to the US. At least then you have MUCH more control over product quality and can eliminate health hazards that have been coming out of China.

  24. says:

    Boo friggin’ hoo. Buy quality not quantity and your kids will be happier anyway.

  25. Dr.Ph0bius says:

    Im cutting to the chase and just giving lead paint chips this year. Perhaps with a ranch dipping sauce…