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Making Lemonade – Why Toy Recalls are Good News for Some.

Posted Aug 26 2008 11:36pm

I received this e-mail from Playthings - the big toy industry association magazine this week and had to laugh. This e-mail is directed toward retailers scrambling to fill their shelves for the Christmas rush, when the vast majority of toys are sold.

With 80% of all toys sold in the US made in China - the current spate of recalls could be a disaster for the industry.

I actually covered the issue of Christmas shortages in a post I wrote for GNMparents – which should run some time this week. The gist of the post was,

These recalls will cause big problems for shoppers and retailers this Christmas. All over Asia toys production is being halted for additional safety checks. As we are in the peak toy production period, actually many if not most are on their way to the dock to be shipped, this will cause chaos.

ANY toy orders that need to be redone will overload already overloaded factories in Asia. Any remake will cost toy companies BIG money as inventory will need to be sent air freight to make it to stores by late October rather than the cheaper, more typical way of shipping, by slower container ships (it takes a few months to ship via boat). Some won’t make it in time for Christmas. Some won’t make it at all.

Apparently retailers are now scrambling to fill their shelves. This is good news for toy manufacturers here in the U.S. and in many European countries. It’s mixed news for we consumers.

Toy selection should be broader this year and higher quality but also more expensive. Parents of TV addicted kids may find themselves in a bit of a bind as heavily advertised toys go even quicker than normal as many may have some of their inventory discarded for safety concerns. On the other hand, advertisers may just pull advertising of selected toys that have just run into so many problems that most of the production has to be discarded.

So even those of us who usually buy crunchy type toys will be impacted as the hoards of mainstream consumers snap up these toys too - since that's what will be available! Small and large manufacturers of wooden toys and open-ended toys not made in China will be swamped with orders. That includes, Lego, Playmobil, Haba and many more.

It should be very interesting to see how this plays out. Either way, start your Christmas shopping early this year!

Read more of my posts on where and how to buy safe, quality toyshere

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