What to do with the misfit toys?

misfit toys

Having a baby who puts everything (and I mean everything) in his mouth right now, I’ve been thinking more and more about the toy recalls and decided to take a closer look at the toys we have to see exactly where they were made and to make sure we don’t own anything that’s included in the recalls.

We don’t really have much in the “character” toy department, so I felt pretty confident that the recalls didn’t affect us. However, I went to Fisher Price’s recall page and found one of our toys – the Little People Animal Sounds Farm – on the list! I was a little panicked because Julian loves to chew on those darn farm animals, but I checked our model number and it was not affected by the recall (which was for loose screws on the stall doors anyway, not lead paint). Whew!

Anyway, as I looked through the kids’ toys, I was surprised to see that the vast majority were made in China, including brands like Fisher Price, Lamaze, and even Melissa & Doug (which I wrote about here). (I’m not sure about Ryan’s Room toys yet. I sent an email to the company to ask where they are made.)

We have a few HABA toys that were given to us as gifts and those are nearly the only thing I feel good about letting 8-month-old teething Julian chew on these days.

Ava and I decided to weed out some of the old made in China toys, including all of her plastic play food and dishes (another favorite of Mr. Julian to chew on), and filled up an entire Vitamin Cottage bag. Piling the dishes, food and other toys into the bag, I couldn’t help but think of the Misfit Toys from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” I could picture all of these made in China toys ending up on some island somewhere singing softly, “We’re on the island of misfit toys…” Almost makes me feel sorry for them. (Hey, I’m a softy and a dork.)

So my question is what should I do with our misfit toys. They weren’t included in any recalls, so I don’t feel the need to toss them into the garbage and clog up the landfills. They are just toys that I don’t want in our house any longer. Ones that I hope to eventually replace with some better-quality wooden toys. Should I give them away on Freecycle or try to sell them? There’s a huge community baby/kids’ sale coming up next week at our fairgrounds, so I could try to sell them and make some money to help buy new toys. I’m already planning on consigning a ton of clothes (though I need to find the time to prepare them all of the sale still – eep!).

What do you think? What would you do or are you doing with any of your made in China AKA misfit toys that you want to get rid of?

Don’t forget to sign the MomsRising online petition to tell Congress and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): “Testing children’s products for toxic chemicals must be a priority. No more toxic toys and children’s products!”

P.S. I’m having another contest soon. Will post details later today. 🙂

14 thoughts on “What to do with the misfit toys?”

  1. i always try to sell first, and if they don’t get sold, freecycle is next. we could all use a little extra cash, especially since good quality wooden toys are more expensive!

  2. Amy, I was wondering the same thing. I threw away a lot of toys over the weekend. We did infact have TONS of character toys (coming from a household where my 5 year old went through a HUGE Dora phase for over a year…go figure!). So, I threw away every single piece of Dora toy we had…regardless of being in the recall or not. It was an angry heat of the moment type thing. We even had some of the other toys involved in the recall…polly’s, barbies, elmo, etc… I was just thankful that the kids understood! Not to mention it helped with my de-cluttering project. LOL. This is horrible that we have to waste our time on something like this. So very sad.

  3. The toys on recall I’d trash, but toys that aren’t a danger I’d give to needy kids…in homeless shelters, homes for abused moms…etc.

    I usually clean out my toys a couple times per year. It’s pretty crazy how quickly the house gets overgrown with toys that the boys don’t play with!

  4. I am going to go through all of the boys toys and trash them! As a mommy of 3 boys… 2 of which put everything in their mouths, I am horrified by this recall. UGH!!! So yes, today is trash day – ironicall enoughm it actually is here too! 🙂
    – Audrey
    Pinks & BLues Girls

  5. I can understand your concern. I remember the stage where Little Sabrina put everything into her mouth too. It’s because at that age that’s where the most sensitive nerve endings have developed in a baby, and so that’s how they explore new things is by the mouth.

  6. I have heard that sticks of celery work wonders for teething. Maybe Julian could chew on some celery until you get the whold toy kerfuffle worked out?

  7. I would do Craigslist and then Freecycle, personally.

    My baby sticks absolutely everything in her mouth. Toilet paper can’t be that bad for you, can it? At least I hope….

  8. i share your concern. i have looked at all our toys (some of my melissa and doug puzzles were made in taiwan, not china, btw) and frankly, i’m terrified! my husband wants me to box them all up and ship them back to their respective companies (esp fisher price, we have so many of the little people toys) with a note expressing our concern that if we can’t trust *some* of their toys, how can we trust *any*? but part of me just doesn’t want to part with our little people toys or any of the other stuff that the boys really love…what to do!?

  9. If they aren’t affected by the recall then I say consign them at the sale- we are going to do that ourselves w/ a lot of the toys the boys don’t play w/ anymore. I have run some through the dishwasher so at least they are clean for the next person.

    I saw an article today about HABA and how the safety guidelines are so much stricter in Europe- even more so than the US. HABA doesn’t manufacture any of its toys in China- they say they can’t assure safety, so yes, they do cost more, but they are very safe.

    I bet they will see a sales increase in light of all the recalls.

    Joe just bought Ryan an excavator from Murdoch’s and I was happy to see it was made in Germany- since Europe has such strict safety guidelines for their toys.

    Let us know about Ryan’s Room- we have some wooden toys from them too.

  10. Before the made in China revelation that’s how we looked at Thomas – it was wooden and didn’t do anything so it must be a wholesome toy!! I was NOT pleased to read about the recall and then look over and see Q with a recalled firetruck IN HIS MOUTH. Ack!

    We send everything to Sister Carmen because I’m too lazy to sell. I wouldn’t worry about the ethics of selling or donating made in China stuff because virtually everything is made in China so it’s a risk that mostly everyone takes.

    I’m at the point that I think I’m going to stop stressing about toys and just talk to my doc about testing Q (mouth boy) for lead. There are so many avenues that could be dangerous, I can’t see how I’m going to stop any potential harm. But that is only what works for me 🙂

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