Toyless Yule, cont’d

by Walter Olson on January 2, 2009

About two weeks ago SSFN posted an item on the threat to independent toymakers of a new law passed by Congress in response to the lead-paint-on-Chinese-toys panic. A day or two later the Washington Post covered the issue and the story has been spreading to other media. Maybe the next Congress, though not exactly business-friendly in many other ways, will act before any general wipeout of the economy’s handcrafted-toy sector.

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CPSIA: furor builds over toyless shelves
01.11.09 at 1:34 pm
CPSIA and the national press
02.03.09 at 2:07 pm


1 gitarcarver 01.03.09 at 11:07 am

The craft world and some of the wood groups are buzzing about this.

The general concensus seems to be that the law is so broad, so badly written, and done with such a lack of forethought that many are saying that they will simply ignore the regulation.

It has put people who genuinely care about kids in the difficult position of either ceasing their buisiness, or working and never making a profit.

Because many of the items these people make are “one offs,” each individual piece would have to be tested. That’s nuts. We cannot certify the paint or sealer “en masse,” but rather we have to prove that each piece is “safe.”

(For example, I carve Christmas ornaments. I have called the Consumer Protection agency and have been told because the ornaments are attractive to children, they would fall under the new law. In that many of my ornaments are made to customer’s specifications as to style, color, etc, I now have to certify each piece. I can’t certify a stack of wood, or all of the paints I use. I would have to submit for testing the only one off piece. The prices for testing apparently range greatly, but even paying $100 for each and every piece that I sell for $20 – $50 is crazy.)

It is sad when the government makes a regulation that is so onerous that it turns many previously law abiding citizens into criminals with the turn of a clock hand.

As for me, they can come pry my carving chisels from my cold dead hands.

2 William Nuesslein 01.05.09 at 11:47 am

Gitarcarver gave us one of the best comments yet on

The lead business drives me up the wall. Paint adhears strongly to plastic on toys. There is no way in the world that any child or adult could suffer from the lead in the paint on the plastic toys from China. We are a nation of idiots!

I learned that it would cost $350 million to paint the Polaski Skyway because of foolish concern about lead paint. The bridge is mostly over water and only a few near the ends live within 100 yards of it. This is crazy, absolutely crazy!

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