Things have been over the top busy at Sprig as we try to prepare for Toy Fair next week and get product designs complete for fall. Given that we have to start cutting tools within a few weeks to meet July ship deadlines, there is much to do. Since we’re less than a year old, some of the time savers that come with experience just aren’t there. Also the biocomposite we use has its own particular challenges in design that we have to account for. We have some great new lines coming out in the fall and we’re anxious to see the reception at Toy Fair next week.
CPSIA has been big for our retailers these past few months. It’s rather nice to be a young eco-focused toy company with these new regs being implemented, as we have no legacy products to worry about. Since we don’t paint our toys and essentially single source our raw materials, the new regulations mean no change to our procedures. My biggest confusion is regarding what the CPSC has done between the time the law was written and its implementation, as it seems they have done little to clarify some of the most challenging aspects of the law. Now it’s coming down to the wire and they put a stay on many of the regulations, which really doesn’t help the retailers all that much as it stands now it’s just delayed their pain somewhat. Particularly given today’s economy they still need manufacturers to certify that their products meet the regs, as there’s a likelihood some of this will still be on the shelf in Feb 2010.
A local article about the new regs:
Fort Collins Now – The Law of Unintended Consequences
and now this:
USA Today – Judge upholds Congress’ ban on toys with certain chemicals
Maybe we should stop this madness and assume that the US consumer has some intelligence. Immediately enforce the ban on leads and phthalates in toys especially for children less than 3 and in particular those items that will likely end up in a child’s mouth. On other items, go with something like a Prop 65 or small parts warning approach for the next year or so. For those craft makers, resale stores- put labels on the products stating there are no known issues with this product but it has not been tested according to CPSIA regulations. For those products like Burley trailers and swim googles, state this product contains phthalates that may have these effects on your child, please do not allow your child to place this in their mouth. Put in place a timeline that phases these products out of the marketplace taking into account the various manufacturers’s issues and the potential for a child’s exposure. Let’s have some logical approach to this instead of swinging the pendulum back and forth to each extreme all the while delaying some aspects of this bill that could help protect our kids.
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