Safe Toys for the Holidays

Toy Expert Recommends Made in U.S.A., Eco-Friendly, and Phthalate-Free Toys

Dec 04, 2007, 00:00 ET from Child's Play Communications

    NEW YORK, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Stumped about what to buy your kids
 this holiday season? Massive toy recalls have left many parents feeling
 anxious and confused about what is safe to purchase, and sorting through
 the latest headlines is enough to turn even the most avid holiday celebrant
 into a bit of a scrooge.
     "Thankfully, there are still lots of safe, quality toys on the market
 that kids will love," says toy expert Tim Walsh, who is offering safe toy
 purchasing guidelines to help parents with their holiday shopping.
     "This holiday buying season is a stressful one," continues Walsh,
 author of the book Timeless Toys. "Parents are trying to be diligent,
 reading packaging labels and researching products online, but it can be
     To simplify things, Walsh recommends looking for toys that fall into
 one of three popular categories: made in America, eco-friendly, and
 phthalate- free. Following are his top picks from each.
     Made in America:
     K'NEX Brands, one of the world's leading construction toy companies,
 manufactures all of its core building pieces in Hatfield, PA. Top choices
 from K'NEX include the 15th Anniversary Tub ($19.99), a 400-piece
 construction set which includes ideas for more than 20 models; and the
 Serpent's Spiral Coaster ($59.99), an impressive 5.5 foot roller coaster
 and the recipient of a Lead- Free Platinum Toy Award from the Oppenheim Toy
 Portfolio. Available at
     SEE Toys is a multi-patented product line from Zen Design Group and the
 first eco-friendly, kid-powered toy line. Each toy features a
 power-generating motor and unique power crank that kids use to convert
 their own energy into electricity -- no batteries required. SEE Toys are
 manufactured under the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances)
 Directive, which restricts the use of toxic substances such as lead,
 mercury and cadmium. Top choices from SEE Toys include Dynafly ($29.99), a
 buzzing firefly with fiber optic wings and a glowing tail; and Dynacar
 ($24.99), a sleek racecar with working headlights and taillights, which
 makes 6 realistic car noises. Available at
     The Parents licensed toy line is filled with fun, educational products
 for the infant/toddler/preschool set. Winner of more than 40 industry
 awards, the line is also phthalate-free. Used in plastic toys to yield a
 softer texture, the hazardous chemical was recently banned in California,
 with many other states expected to follow suit. Parents eliminated
 phthalate from its toys 3 years ago, well in advance of any state or
 federal regulations. Top choices from Parents include Kitty Keyboard ($30),
 a whimsical feline-shaped keyboard, and Water Works ($20), a mess-free
 drawing tablet that uses leak-proof water pens. Available at
     For more information about Tim Walsh and his book, Timeless Toys, visit
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SOURCE Child's Play Communications