For me, the New Year inspired many diverse hopes for a better 2009 and beyond. However, it was also the official start of my Selecta Mourning Period.
As I mentioned in a previous post, German toy company Selecta is the first casualty of the overly broad new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Unable to afford the additional testing required by the CPSIA, Selecta ceased the distribution of its toys in the US market on December 31, 2008.
My prediction is that Selecta is simply the first of many high quality European toy manufacturers who will eventually succumb to the new burdens placed upon them. As for the lovely homemade toys currently available from Etsy sellers, or lesser-known “Mom and Pop” toystores such as Wood Toy Shop, Quiet Hours Toys, Down to Earth Toys, or many other favorites from my Unplugged Toystore list – their future is very uncertain.
Honestly, only mega-manufacturers such as Hasbro or Mattel and their Chinese mass-produced toys will be able to afford to jump through the added hoops. Although these toys might be deemed “safe” at the end of their journey, for the most part, they are not what I want to offer my children.
Since my newly 3 year-old daughter has a January 2nd birthday (so close to Christmas, poor thing!), I decided to buy a farewell Selecta birthday gift for her. I chose the Stellina Star Sorting Puzzle. She really likes puzzles and this is a puzzle and a sorter combined. Put the arms of the star puzzle together, choose an awake face or an asleep face for the star in the middle, and then add the pegs of assorted sizes and colors.
She loves it! At this time, there are only three left at Amazon and I don’t know about other stores. So hurry up and Google Selecta to stock up before all these wonderful German toys are gone.
To learn more about the new CPSIA and how it affects small and foreign toymakers, read more here: Help Save Handmade Toys in the USA from the CPSIA.
For some suggested improvements: Possible Solutions to Improve the CPSIA.
What can you do to help? Write to your Congress Person or Senator to request a change to the CPSIA which would exclude toys made in the US, Canada or Europe. Here is a sample letter, or compose your own.