Some elves need to be fired over this

You know what's annoying? When you go online to compare prices for the one item that your kid really, really wants for Christmas, and find that previous buyers of this particular product have given it abysmal reviews. It's poor quality, it falls apart, it doesn't do what it's supposed to do, it's a complete waste of money (and it's a lot of money, for a toy).

So what do you do? Do you go ahead and buy the thing and hope for the best -- when the worst, in this situation, is a waste of $80 and a kid who's disappointed on Christmas morning? Or do you try to convince your kid to change her mind and go for something else?

And the real question is -- why don't the toy companies do any kind of quality control? Do they not have testers, in their factories in China? Or are they just hoping for the best themselves (the best, in this situation, being that people won't go to the trouble of returning their crappy toy once they've gone to the trouble of assembling it?).

It really makes me mad.


aimee said...

I hear ya!

Chris said...

The real problem is, frankly, the cost of oil. Seriously. Not only is petroleum a primary component of most modern plastics, but it also affects the cost of shipping and manufacturing toys from overseas, like Hong Kong. Toy companies are feeling the pinch with the rising costs of oil, so they're passing the cost onto the consumer. The result is more expensive toys that are made of cheaper quality. That Barbie jet, if made 10 or 15 years ago, would have been much sturdier and cheaper, and would have been much more durable than the ones made today. But the companies are forcing their designers to "revisit" their old designs and redo them to be made cheaper, then ironically, they'll charge more for it. So you're paying more for less. Welcome to 21st century economics. Add to that the fact that toy sales are slumping overall because of the economy, and it's not going to get any better.

Yes, I realize I know entirely too much about the toy industry. I am a nerd.

Michelle said...

I remember being absolutely crushed the year I got the Barbie Totally Hair Styling Head. The makeup was a joke and the hair never looked better than an old dirty mop! It was a hard lesson learned, but it has stuck with me all these years later. My girls learned their lesson with Moon Sand albeit it was considerably a cheaper lesson.