Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pelted with Battery Acid

It seems that the time has come for me to share a few product reviews. I'm going to start with the toy industry, and this is not a specific review so much as a pontification upon the insanity that has befallen the toy market. First of all, I believe there is a such thing as too safe. I'm all for child safety and I'm glad that technology and research has come so far as to grant us such knowledge as backsleeping prevents SIDS and long cords might strangle babies. However.

Has anyone stopped to consider that a good deal of fun has left the world of toys? Pull toys have strings that are so short that my 16 month old must either bend down to pull the toy or hike the toy 6 inches off the ground and kind of drag its backside along the floor. His wagon has seatbelts. How, may I ask, is he supposed to one day kneel in the wagon and steer it as he charges down a hill if he is wearing a seatbelt? [long silence] I thought as much.

And what about parents? These toys are strapped into the packaging within an inch of their lives. Every toy is bound to the cardboard with no less than thirty industrial strength twist ties, plastic barriers, and occasionally screws! When you have to pull out the Phillips head to get the toy out of the box, something is amiss. Then, THEN! You have to install the batteries. This for sure involves a screwdriver, because heaven forbid the little one was to touch a battery. I suppose it could spontaneously explode and pelt your child with battery acid, but it really seems unlikely to me.

I'm not saying safety is bad, but it's kind of extreme sometimes. Toys don't even have corners anymore. Of course, if you listen to the news and pay attention to the daily recall of toys, you'll find that they are all swathed in lead paint, so maybe that's the balance.

On a separate note, does anyone have any good gift ideas for a second baby, same gender, around $50? Thanky.

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