The CEO of Toys “R” Us tells the AP that all this testing of toys by advocacy groups is frustrating: “We’ve had many, many cases where we have taken the products and retested them and found them to be totally safe.” Stupid advocacy groups! The toy store will protect us! [Associated Press]


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  1. Pylon83 says:

    I can see that being somewhat plausible. If the advocacy groups always found the toys safe, I imagine their funding might dry up quickly. I’m not saying they are lying, but they might be manipulating the data in their favor. Of course, Toys “R” Us could be doing the same thing.

  2. legotech says:

    Yeah, I say BS on both parts…the toy store isn’t always going to be honest, but if an advocacy group is one that hates, say purple army men (or whatever), they may always find a problem with purple army men

  3. cef21 says:

    @Pylon83: Of course, if Toys R Us sells dangerous toys, in most states they’ll be sued in the blink of a eye. That’s a strong incentive to make sure that you only sell safe toys.

    What’s probably happening here is that the advocacy groups have a much more stringent standard of safety. On the surface, that seems like a good thing, but it’s pretty easy to go overboard. Look, for example, at the dumbing down of chemistry sets.

  4. HaloZero says:

    I guess your stuck between two people who both have a stake in lying. I guess we have need somebody non-profit to start testing crap.

  5. Televiper says:

    I would say it’s more a matter of the advocacy groups erring on the side the toy being not safe. The advocacy group isn’t responsible for the expenses, and logistics involved in a toy recall. It would be very disruptive for Toys ‘R Us to be getting false alarms from the advocacy groups.

  6. Falconfire says:

    Advocacy groups answer to no one, and could make any claim they want with little fear of being sued unless they take on a powerful company like Mattel. Toys R Us cant, if they lie and get caught, they are screwed.

    As Greenpeace’s bullshit about Apple and Nintendo should show us, advocacy groups should always be considered suspect. The whole point of the group (and thus funding) is to instill fear.

  7. Joedel263 says:

    What type of funding do these advocacy groups have to test the items? What type of funding does Toys R Us have? Rock and a hard place of course.. but whos tests are going to be more accurate?

  8. coren says:

    @cef21: Exactly. As lawsuit happy as we are around here, even the hint of being hurt would be cause for a suit. Nevermind that there are also manufacturers who have their asses on the line too.

  9. P41 says:

    False alarms are bad and everything, but based on the sheer number of toys and things recalled recently, I think it’s a bit soon to be whining about the burden false alarms. Or, put another way, their own earlier neglect has come back to bite them and false alarms are one of the unfortunate consequences.

  10. LilKoko says:

    The CEO should have run that “totally safe” pass the legal team. He would have been okay with “reasonably safe.” Nothing is “totally safe” and Toys ‘R Us does not want to hold itself to THAT standard.

  11. bohemian says:

    There is also the possibility of toys from different lots or factories. Toys at one factory had lead paint because that factory was cutting corners. Another version of the exact same toy could have been made at another factory at the same time or before or after the run of the first toy.

    This could be why some show lead and others might not. It is like lot runs on food, usually a lot or manufacture date or specific factory gets recalled while other versions of the same product are ok.

    I would be interested to see if they are showing these positive tests to the CPSC. If someone from an group took the toy and did the lead test in front of someone from CPSC that would be hard to falsify.

    Chinese contract production is a total free for all. Heck contract production in the states used to be close to a free for all but with the lawsuit potential for naughty contractors. In the 80’s we still had sweatshops operating in the US and it took a good deal of effort to root them out.

    The manufacturers have a couple of options. They can bring their production back to their home country and run it themselves or they can have a contingent of staff that oversees all aspects of production at the contract factory where ever it is.

  12. Munsoned says:

    @HaloZero: If only there were some sort of government agency that was “charged,” or “authorized,” have you, to “test” the safety of childrens toys with established “standards.” Perhaps that agency could even, you know, have some sort of leader or director that would go before Congress and actually request additional funding and authority (as opposed to reject such funding and authority) so that the agency could perform these “tests.” ;)

  13. PICKLES_IN_MY_TUNA says:

    I. HATE. TOYS. R. US….HATE! I have three kids, my disdain comes from experience. Toys R Us doesn’t give a shit about children. I am starting to hate China. I refuse to give anyone money to poison my children or my pets. Christmas shopping has been a challenge this year, but I’m finding I DO NOT HAVE TO go to Toys r us and I have actually avoided MADE IN CHINA. YAY!

  14. ExecutorElassus says:

    @cef21: Dumbing down chemistry sets has nothing to do with safety. That’s how we’re defeating the terrorists.

  15. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @Falconfire: Not to be uninformed…what has Greenpeace got up thier ass with Nintendo?