As I’ve been slowly cleaning things up around the house over the last few weeks, I’ve realized that crap from China dominates the cluttered mess.
Most of the plastic toys littering the floor and other horizontal surfaces are Chinese. It seems like everything the kid wants to order online comes by way of Ebay from China.
I never pictured myself as a Chinese importer before. It comes as a bit of a shock.
I’m not alone, of course. Crap from China is everywhere. Manufacturing in the US is dead, and has been for a while.
I tweeted a question: “All the toys in our house are plastic crap from China. Real question: Are there any good toys left NOT made in China, available in the US?”
Someone tweeted back: “It’s the US fault. Tariffs and industrial policy would stop and reverse outsourcing.”
I didn’t ask whose fault it is. I wanted to know if finding toys not made in China was even still possible, and if so, what are they?
As it turns out, there are. Bernadette has a list of 1000 Toys NOT Made in China.
Legos are not made in China. They’re made either in Europe or Mexico. Yomega yo-yos are made in the US. So are Scientific Explorer kits and K’nex sets and Fractiles. I’d never heard of Fractiles before, but they look like something I could spend hours playing with.
At least some, I can’t say for sure all, Bandai products (Ben 10, Transformers, Power Rangers) are made in Japan, not China, although China seems to warehouse a lot of them. Barbie stuff is not made in China.
So to answer my own question, there is a lot of stuff not made in China. That’s not to say you can easily fill a toy box with “Made in USA” stuff – or even that you’d necessarily want to. There’s plenty of “crap from USA,” too. Any worthwhile collection is bound to include a smattering from around the globe.
The key, with toys as with anything, is to be mindful. Crap is crap, no matter where it comes from. Same with quality.