Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Melissa and Doug Toys

First of all, congratulations to Melissa and Doug who are expecting their 5th child.

I just spoke to Rob from Melissa and Doug Toys regarding safety concerns. He assures me that Melissa and Doug is very concerned about safety. They manufacture toys in China, Vietnam, Thailand and the United States. They have had their safety testing system in place for twelve years. At each manufacturing facility, they have an on-site Melissa and Doug employee who inspects the safety of everything - not just paint. Every batch is tested both at the manufacturing site and when it arrives in the United States. They meet or exceed all U.S. safety standards. The testing is done by a third party testing facility. Rob tells me that Melissa and Doug manufactures over 800 products, so if you get one with a loose screw or chipping paint call their customer service at 1-800-284-3948 (the number is on the back of the package).

I do own some Melissa and Doug products. They are for many of us an easy to find alternative to plastic, and I do like the puzzles.




Linnea enjoys these big simple puzzles because she can almost do them by herself. I bought them for Arielle and they are hard to find now. I sometimes see them at T.J. Maxx.

Arielle still has fun with the Farm and Construction chunky puzzles ($9.99) because she can take the pieces out and play with them individually, although the puzzles are pretty easy for a three year old.


While I'm very happy with my Melissa and Doug Puzzles, my feelings about other Melissa and Doug toys have been mixed. The pizza, toaster and dish set are a lot of fun and get played with often, but the paint has not held up well, and the pizza tray leaves green streaks on the play table. Rob's response was that paint will show wear, but I can be assured it is non-toxic. Hmmm....
So, my thought is that Melissa and Doug toys are readily available, probably safe, affordable and not plastic. But, they are sometimes made in China and the quality varies. I will very likely buy more puzzles for my own children, and I'm really debating the Learn-To-Play Piano. Linnea really enjoyed playing with it at her cousin's house.

And I've heard really good things about the Wooden Chomp and Clack Alligator Push Toy.

My take home message is that the quality of Melissa and Doug toys varies from toy to toy. The company assures me that the toys are safe. However, there are other alternatives (such as Plan Toys) in the same price range. Melissa and Doug makes excellent puzzles, but I would not consider Melissa and Doug for toys that will be mouthed because of the chipping paint issue. You decide for yourself.

10 comments:

mama k said...

The M&D debate has been going on since the beginning of the recalls. LOL
I DO love that they are so easy to find. We have a puzzle and a train that we got at Hallmark this summer!
I think it is important to note that it is possible to make decent stuff in China, the factories just need to be properly overseen and supervised.

Amanda said...

I love Melissa and Doug Toys. I love that I can get it at the local Babies R'Us.

We bought my daughter the Wooden Chomp and Clack Alligator Push Toy for her first birthday and she loves it. She loves pushing the toy back and forth between the door and the baby gate. I would highly recommend the toy to anyone was looking for a push toy for their child.

kristen said...

I just can't feel comfortable with my little one putting a block with chipped paint in his mouth. When you compare these toys to Wonderworld, Voila, or Plan Toys they just come up short. These are the companies with similiar prices, obviously, if you compare M&D to Haba they're not in the same league. I don't buy the arguement that they are easy to find...we all have a computer, we can find anything and everything.

kristen said...

I just can't feel comfortable with my little one putting a block with chipped paint in his mouth. When you compare these toys to Wonderworld, Voila, or Plan Toys they just come up short. These are the companies with similiar prices, obviously, if you compare M&D to Haba they're not in the same league. I don't buy the arguement that they are easy to find...we all have a computer, we can find anything and everything.

kristen said...

I just can't feel comfortable with my little one putting a block with chipped paint in his mouth. When you compare these toys to Wonderworld, Voila, or Plan Toys they just come up short. These are the companies with similiar prices, obviously, if you compare M&D to Haba they're not in the same league. I don't buy the arguement that they are easy to find...we all have a computer, we can find anything and everything.

Anonymous said...

We have the Chomp & Clack Alligator toy, too - our son is 1 year old and has had it since he was 10 months... he LOVES it. Highly recommend it!

Sara said...

Kristen, I totally agree. M&D Toys are NOT in the same league as Plan or Voila. And definitely nowhere near Haba league. I brought up quality when I spoke to Rob and he wa quite defenive. I review them up only because many of us already own M&D toys, and are trying to decide do we include them in our MIC purge or keep them? I also am not happy with my child putting any chipped paint in her mouth (Is there really such a thing as non-toxic paint?). I personally will be replacing our toaster with a Plan toaster and the pizza ha gone on the shelf until I can find a better alternative. But I am keeping the puzzles.

kristen said...

Hi Sara. I love your blog. I am a total toy addict (lucky for my kids) and have loved A Toy Garden for years. I was thrilled to find some new stores on your website..Palumba is awesome! Check out Bajo toys and Wonderworld toys, if you haven't already. They are both great! I didn't know how to write directly to you so I figured I would just post it.

Anonymous said...

SO glad you posted this. I had a few friends who were unable to get a response from M&D regarding the safety of the toys. Like you, I really do like the puzzles, but every other toy I have from M&D has chipped paint after only a few months of wear. I'm going to sell all the M&D pretend food items on our local parents network (where I know they'll have great resale value despite my misgivings about quality) and replace them with Voila and Plan Toys.

Anonymous said...

Please visit Healthytoys.org to check out your child's toys toxicity levels. I was shocked to find some Melissa & Doug toys are rated "Toxic". Please be aware....