Currently Browsing: Product Liability

Who Makes These Crummy Toys Anyway?

Let me just put out here that I think there’s a lawsuit in this, but I’m not sure. I just want to write it all out now and get my thoughts straight before moving forward. And, since I’m a modern millennial, I do all my thinking online, in public, so that’s why this is going here.

I’ve got a two-year-old daughter. That’s how it needs to start. My wife and I adore this kid. This kid is the smartest, best behaved, most beautiful child on the planet. Did I mention she’s smart? The absolute smartest.

I also have a bit of a clueless father. He was absent most of my childhood, but he came around and made amends later. He’s well-meaning. I honestly believe it may have just slipped his mind for about a decade that he had kids of his own. He’s the sort who struggles to button his shirts correctly. He’s crazy smart (he’s a scientist, and likely where Lily (our little one) gets her brains from, if not her character), but clueless about the world.

Okay, stage set. My father brought Lily some toys for her birthday. As usual, they were inappropriate for her. They were dolls when she doesn’t play with dolls, and stuffed animals of animals she doesn’t particularly like. He hangs out with her all the time, but he doesn’t notice these things. We accepted everything gracefully, and Lily, like a champ, dutifully played with everything for ten minutes before throwing them all on the floor and going to her preferred toys.

All of this was fine, but there was one gift that has got me quite upset. It’s not my father’s fault. He’s finally learned to look at the correct age numbers on the side of the box and to buy accordingly. I think he probably just picked up whatever he sees that’s for about the age of two.

One toy, though, was full of these small parts that came off easily. It was a sort of doll with tiny apples in a tiny basket, buttons that were small and the threads frayed, and eyes that were only lightly glued into place. It was a crummy doll in many respects, but the biggest problem is that all those parts are swallowable. A toy like that shouldn’t be marked for age two. I nearly told my dad off about it but I saw that he was right, the boy said two and up.

So, I think I should call them up and threaten a suit. There’s definitely a product liability issue there, right? If I hadn’t been paying attention and Lily loved that doll, she might have ended up needing a trip to the emergency room. It’s awful to think about parents (who are more like my dad than me) who might just hand the doll off to a child and expect everything to be fine because the box says so.

At this point, I haven’t contacted a lawyer. I’m really not that sort of person to go off the handle about things, but when it comes to Lily (and other kids like her), it’s different. This really shouldn’t happen. A toy company should know better.