As some of you may know, Turner Toys exhibited at the Vermont Rails Model Railroad Show yesterday. While we had a great response for our classic toys and educational toys, we were not as successful with our wooden trains and wooden track for children.
If you can’t sell wooden trains at a train show, you know something is wrong.
What we found out from some folks is that they can buy inexpensive wooden track that works with Brio and Thomas the Tank Engine from outlet stores and toy companies on the internet. Where are those wooden trains & tracks made? Not surprisingly, they are made in China. Our wooden trains and track are made by Maple Landmark in Middlebury, Vermont.
Turns out that you can buy kids’ trains and track from these stores for less than we purchase them from Maple Landmark.
Not all made in China toys are bad. We carry the award-winning toy, Woodkins Dressup Doll, that is made in China. We know that there is strict oversight and product safety testing.
In a positive light, cheaper products are an economic benefit to consumers. On the other hand, we know the value of buying made in USA toys. Several sites such as Made in USA Challenge highlight the economic, environmental and cultural value of buying local.
What do you think? Spend more money for high quality, American-made toys that support your neighbors or save money by spending less on products that may or may not be high quality and benefit other economic markets?
What matters most to you?