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Fuman (China Fuman Toys)
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Chinese People's Liberation Army (1998)
Toylines (chronological order)
1998 Chinese People's Liberation Army
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About Fuman (China Fuman Toys Co)    
When Yamashina Makoto decided to manufacture outside Japan, he knew just the place where toymaker Bandai should build a plant. "China," says the CEO. "It has 300 million children 14 years and younger, almost three times Japan's entire population. Bandai's first non-Japanese manufacturing center opened in the Fujian town of Fuzhou in 1985. When China Fuman Toys celebrated its 10th anniversary, it was employing 2,000 workers in three factories. One of ten Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Ultraman toy figures it makes is sold in China. The others go to the U.S., Europe, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the rest of Asia.
From the News Archive
Griffon 2008 July Ikki tousen - Kan'u Unchou DVDBOX China Dress Ver. PVC 1/7
Kan`u Unchou DVDBOX <b>China</b> Dress Ver. (PVC Figure)
Item name : Kan`u Unchou DVDBOX China Dress Ver. (PVC Figure)
Manufacturer : Griffon Enterprises
Scale : 1/7
Material : PVC
Producer : Masahiro Yamamoto
Original : Ikki Tousen -Dragon Destiny-
Release Date : Late Jul., 2008
Regular Price : 6,500 yen  about 71.68 USD  50.99 Euros
Posted 7/26/2008
Griffon 2008 July Ikki Tousen - Ryomou Shimei DVDBOX China Dress Ver. PVC 1/7
Ryomou Shimei DVDBOX <b>China</b> Dress Ver. (PVC Figure)
Item name : Ryomou Shimei DVDBOX China Dress Ver. (PVC Figure)
Manufacturer : Griffon Enterprises
Scale : 1/7
Material : PVC
Producer : Masahiro Yamamoto
Original : Ikki Tousen -Dragon Destiny-
Release Date : Late Jul., 2008
Regular Price : 6,500 yen  about 71.68 USD  50.99 Euros
Posted 7/26/2008
Sol International June 2008 Ikki Tousen Dragon Destiny - Kan'u Unchou China Dress Ver. (Figure) PVC 1/7
[Back]
Kan`u Unchou <b>China</b> Dress Ver. (Llimited Edition of Exchanged Colors) (Figure)
Item name : Kan`u Unchou China Dress Ver. (Llimited Edition of Exchanged Colors) (Figure) R18 New Item
Manufacturer : Sol International
Scale : 1/7
Material : PVC , ABS
Original : Ikki Tousen Dragon Destiny
Release Date : Late Jun., 2008
Regular Price : 8,800 yen  about 81.62 USD  51.96 Euros
Posted 6/23/2008
Nuremberg Toy Fair Jan 2008 China toy scandals hit registrations
Nuremberg, Germany - Scandals over toxic toys from China, the world's main toymaking nation, have hit the number of Chinese exhibitors at next month's Nuremberg Toy Fair, the chief organizer said Wednesday. This was because the Chinese government had revoked several companies' export licences.
'We have had a slight fall in Chinese registrations,' said chief executive Ernst Kick in an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. Space at the annual fair, to be held February 7-12, is fully booked, he said.
'We have a waiting list with quite a few exhibitors on it,' he said.
The fair, which is the world's key new-product event for toy traders, is to have educational toys as a focus, with a special exhibition of examples and a conference on how to use them.
Kick said consumer attitudes had changed, with parents asking more often where toys were manufactured and how they benefited a child.
China has the lion's share of world toy manufacturing. Beijing has been embarrassed by disclosures that some makers used sub-standard plastics and paints which could endanger child health.
At the fair, two thirds of exhibitors are non-German.
'The outstanding growth market for toys today is Russia, with annual sales increases of 30 per cent,' said Kick. Western industrialized countries were largely saturated with little growth.
Kick defended the fair from complaints about stand rentals, which are to rise from 117 to 123 euros per square metre this year.
He said the rates were below the average of 155 euros for international trade fairs in Germany and well below those abroad.
The Toy Fair is expecting 80,000 trade visitors. Ordinary shoppers - and children - are not allowed into the fair, and Kick rejected calls from the German media for the public to be admitted on at least one day.
'The vast majority of exhibitors want it to stay the way it is,' the Toy Fair chief said.
Posted 1/6/2008
Dec 2007 Obama retreats on China toy ban
'Now, don't get me wrong: As president, I'll work with China to keep harmful toys off our shelves'
On Wednesday, Obama had told voters in New Hampshire: 'I would stop the import of all toys from China,' which supplies about 80% of US toys. 
Posted 1/6/2008 by  Gulf Times 
China Dec 2007 Western non-governmental organizations (NGOs) helping labor...

In the discussions over Recalled toys, no mention has been made of the many hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers who labor under dangerous conditions, making toys and many hundreds of other kinds of export products. If lead paint is used, workers are the ones exposed to lead hour after hour. In numerous industries, all too often workers are exposed to noxious fumes and dangerous machinery. They are poor migrants from China’s countryside, and they endure work days averaging 11 hours, six to seven days a week, to earn take-home pay of $100 or less a month.
In China, a truly frightening number of such workers suffer from occupational diseases and industrial injuries. As just one example, a survey of hospitals in the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong Province revealed that in a recent year they had dealt with more than 40,000 fingers that had been chopped off by machinery. Another Chinese source states, more alarmingly, that in the factories of Shenzhen in a recent year 17,000 limbs were severed.
The neglect of safety standards in these factories used to be more severe before the big brand-name corporations that contract out their production to China-based factories came under attack in the 1990s in an anti-sweatshop campaign by Western non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In response, the Western companies have introduced corporate social-responsibility (CSR) programs and started monitoring their suppliers’ factories. Without such monitoring, there would surely be even more injuries and poisonings today. In the multinationals’ various reports, they never cease to pride themselves on their CSR efforts. But in the lead-paint recalls fiasco, the companies involved became silent on CSR.
Most of the CSR programs have made little headway in improving the conditions of workers who contract occupational diseases or are injured. Bosses simply discard most of them with scant compensation. Traumatized, they are in need of legal, moral and financial support. To secure adequate compensation requires them to run a gauntlet of legal procedures they can ill afford.
Increasingly, they have begun turning to people similar to themselves who have become paralegals. Many of these are former workers who had been injured or contracted occupational diseases and sued their bosses for compensation. After settling their own cases, they began helping others to do the same, and over time they have become increasingly conversant with the law and legal proceedings. In the Pearl River Delta region alone, there are now some 500 such paralegals, known in China as “citizens’ agents.” To support themselves, most of them charge a percentage of the compensation when a case is successful. Some register as a legal counseling service; others attach themselves to law firms, and yet others set up NGOs, though normally these need to be disguised by being registered as businesses
By 2007, these citizens’ agents had become successful to the point of arousing open hostility from some manufacturers, and they had come to the attention of the provincial government. The authorities started to clamp down on their activities by disqualifying them from providing legal representation.
On the same day that Senator Clinton presented her speech, on the other side of the globe in Shenzhen, the Delta’s biggest locus for export industry, Huang Qingnan, a paralegal who headed a labor NGO, was brutally attacked in broad daylight by two thugs, who inflicted a number of vicious stab wounds. One of his legs was repeatedly hacked at and almost severed. At the time of writing, Huang is still in critical condition, and if he survives, may lose his leg. Huang was already badly scarred and deformed due to an industrial fire, which had led him to become a paralegal.

Posted 12/15/2007
China Nov 2007 Chinese toys export rebounds

Customs authorities in Guangdong Province, a major base for the toy-making industry in southern China, said demand for exported toys has rebounded despite a spate of recall dramas earlier this year.Latest statistics obtained from the Huangpu Customs show the value of toys exported by Guangdong slipped by 5.4 percent in September compared to the same period last year, but it regained strength to register a year-on-year increase of 27.6 percent in October.
Customs analysts said the rebound was spurred by rising demands in the Christmas retail season, and it also shows that toy recalls, staged by the US toy maker, Mattel Inc, since summer over lead-contaminated surface paint, proved to have had limited impact on the province's toy exports.
Mattel apologized to China in September that 87 percent of the recalled toys were found to have loose magnets -- a design defect from Mattel itself -- and 13 percent of which contained excessive lead.
In the first ten months, Guangdong exported toys with a total value of US$4.94 billion, up 22.9 percent over the same period last year. About US$3.92 billion, or 79 percent of the total were exported to the United States and the European Union.
Exports to the US alone were US$2.31 billion, up 15.4 percent over the same period last year, while a 53.6 percent hike was seen in exports to Latin American countries.
Guangdong alone manufactures about 70 percent of the total Chinese toys made for export and about half of the world's toys. In order to address the customer uproars over toy safety, the province launched a month-long safety inspection in September over its toy manufacturers.
The provincial Quarantine and Inspection Bureau announced at the end of October it did discover problems like substandard paint and loose parts in toys. The bureau withdrew production licenses from 423 toy makers, suspended licenses of 341 toy companies, and ordered 690 others to improve their working practices.
 
Posted 12/1/2007 by  China Daily 
Kotobukiya Feb 2008 Shana II Shana China Bikini Ver PVC 1/8

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Posted 11/24/2007
Nov 2007 Toymakers target market in China

SHANGHAI, China -- For 24 years, toy maker Yoshiritsu has resisted the pull to move to lower-cost China, sticking it out in more costly Japan to meet the exacting demands of its picky customers.

But that strategy may be starting to pay off in a new market: China itself.

'We came to see what the market is like,' said Hideyuki Noguchi, sales manager for Yoshiritsu, while demonstrating his LaQ brand blocks at the recent Shanghai Toy Fair. 'So far, the reaction is good,' he said, citing a number of inquiries. It was the company's first time at the annual fair, where foreign companies were looking to sell license rights or products to the booming Chinese market.

'Our products are 100 percent made by us in Japan,' Noguchi said. 'We have to use top-quality materials ... and still customers are pushing us to improve quality.'

China's reputation as the world's toy workshop -- it handles 60 percent of global toy manufacturing -- has taken a battering amid recent recalls.

So far, the uproar has had little impact on toy exports, which are up 28 percent in the first eight months of the year compared with the same period in 2006, according to Chinese government figures.

Brands like LaQ can't compete with Chinese factories on price, Noguchi admits.

But toy makers are finding that the greater focus on improving standards offers them hope of making inroads into this still undeveloped market. The closer international and domestic scrutiny could mean that retailers and consumers are more willing to pay a bit more for better quality.

'The potential for the toy market here is huge,' said Alice Tang, managing director for AT Licensing & Merchandising Ltd., a Hong Kong-based company that acts as licensing agent for Tezuka Productions and other brands.

Chinese families tend to spend less on toys for children than parents elsewhere, but with increasing household wealth, demand is growing. China's policy of limiting most couples to one child means that parents have more cash to splash out on the best for their one and only progeny.
Posted 11/24/2007
Nov 2007 Hillary Clinton digs in on toxic toys after China's 'slander' charge

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton Friday slammed China for calling her criticism of made-in-China toys 'slander,' and urged Washington to take 'immediate, decisive steps' to protect US children.
Clinton's statement came a day after China railed against her warning Tuesday of a dangerous tide of Chinese-made gifts, saying that 'any slander or exaggeration of facts is irresponsible.'
'This is the same government that just this month revoked the licenses of more than 750 of its toy companies because of quality control problems and ordered another 690 to renovate or improve their facilities, even as it asserted that 99 percent of toy exports met quality standards,' Clinton said in her statement.
'And the Chinese government's watchdog agency reported earlier this year that 20 percent of the toys made and sold in China pose safety risks. That is unacceptable.'
Clinton also took up China's claim that the majority of problems with Chinese toy exports were due to 'design faults by (foreign) importers and designers.'
The New York Senator said US companies 'have to do a better job at every stage of the process ... to make sure that the toys they are bringing into this country -- and profiting from -- do not pose risks to children.'
'As the holiday shopping season begins,' Clinton said, 'our government should be taking immediate, decisive steps to ensure that the toys we are importing from China and other countries are safe.'
China is the world's top toy exporter, selling 22 billion toys overseas last year, or 60 percent of the globe's total.
Chinese-made products ranging from seafood to car tires have been targeted in a spate of overseas safety recalls this year, with toys in the spotlight in recent months.
In one high profile case, US toy giant Mattel recalled 18 million toys in August, including Barbie Dolls and Batman action figures, amid concern the toys had been made with toxic lead paints and magnets that posed a choking risk to children.
 
Posted 11/24/2007
Europe Nov 2007 says China making progress on toy safety
BRUSSELS, Nov 22 (Reuters) - China has made 'considerable progress' in tackling exports of dangerous toys and other products after a string of recalls, the European Union's consumer affairs chief said, backing down from threats of a ban.
Consumer Protection Commissioner Meglena Kuneva on Thursday also proposed measures for EU business and governments to reduce the risk of dangerous goods entering the market.
'In this world you cannot give 100 percent guarantees. But you can make sure the system is fit for the purpose,' she said.
China is due to introduce soon a new domestic alert system modelled on EU procedures and was already more active in investigating problems, the European Commission said in a statement.
Kuneva had previously raised the prospect of a ban on toy imports if China failed fully to address her concerns.
However, she told a news conference: 'There are still significant problems, especially at the lower end of the market. Further efforts are definitely needed.'
She launched a review of EU toy safety standards in September after the recall of millions of toys this year due to excessive levels of lead paint and other unsafe components.
Toy safety is due to be discussed at an EU-China summit on Nov. 28.
The world's biggest toymaker, Mattel Inc, has recalled over 21 million Chinese-made products in the last four months.
A report published by Kuneva's officials on Thursday said the 'first legal responsibility to put safe toys on the market lies with industry' and there were still problems with some companies in ensuring product safety.
This view was echoed by the European consumers' organisation BEUC, which said it 'welcomed the Commission's efforts to improve the situation in China'.
'But we stress that the primary responsibility for the safety of products rests with the manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers who put the products on the market,' it said in a statement.
'Whether they chose to have the products made in China or anywhere else, it is they who are responsible, and legally liable, for ensuring that their products are safe.'
Priority action should include a full audit of safety measures in the toy supply chain to be concluded in the first three months of 2008, the EU's executive Commission said.
The EU executive also said it would come up with 'appropriate warnings' about the danger of magnets in toys while EU governments should enhance cooperation between customs and market watchdogs and improve traceability of consumer goods.
Furthermore, the 27-nation bloc and the United States, which have worked together following the recent recalls, would jointly study ways to improve product and import safety under their new Transatlantic Economic Council, which brings together top-level policymakers from Brussels and Washington.
Toy Industries Europe -- representing toymakers such as Mattel, Hasbro and Hornby -- said it broadly backed Thursday's report, in particular Brussels' move to highlight the increasing dangers of magnets.
Posted 11/24/2007 by  AlertNet 
Kotobukiya Feb 2008 Shakugan no Shana2 - Shana China Bikini Ver. PVC
Shana <b>China</b> Bikini Ver. (Completed Figure)
Item name : Shana China Bikini Ver. (Completed Figure)
Manufacturer : Kotobukiya
Material : PVC
Original : Shakugan no Shana2
Release Date : Feb
Regular Price : 4,800 yen
Posted 11/9/2007
Mattel Nov 2007 Guangdong govt may help toymakers sue Mattel - China Daily

Guangdong govt may help toymakers sue Mattel

By Liang Qiwen and Jiang Wei (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-11-06 10:50


The government of South China's Guangdong Province is likely to help local toy manufacturers file a lawsuit against the world's biggest toy company, Mattel, for destroying their reputation, a top official of the provincial fair trade bureau said yesterday.
Mattel recalled more than 21 million China-made toys from the market this summer. But an investigation later showed 85 percent of the products were recalled because of design flaws, for which the US-based company apologized in September.
'The incident has stained the reputation of Chinese toy manufacturers and made a large number toy factories in Guangdong lose a great deal of money, even though Mattel has apologized to China,' Guangdong fair trade bureau director Chen Lipeng said.
'A simple apology cannot compensate for our losses,' he said. Chen is now in talks with American and Chinese lawyers on how to file a suit against Mattel in a US court.
If a Guangdong toy company wants to sue Mattel, the bureau will provide it legal assistance.
Hao Junbo, a lawyer with Beijing-based Lehman law firm, urged domestic toy manufacturers to file a complaint against Mattel in a US court because only by doing so they can redeem their losses.
But Chen said: 'The plan is still under discussion because a lot of preparatory work has to be done if we really need to file charges against Mattel following US judicial procedures. I do not know when a real suit can be filed.'
A Lida Plastic Toy Co manager surnamed Xie said: 'A lawsuit may help us reclaim part of our loss resulting from Mattel's actions. But it will be a long-term process. We prefer to resume our business before filing any such case.'
The Foshan-based company has been making toys for Mattel for a long time and is the biggest victim of Mattel's recalls because it has been forced to suspend production.
Since Mattel has already apologized, a lawsuit may necessarily have to seek financial compensation.
The cumulative amount of compensation will probably run into billions of dollars, said Chen Beiyuan, a senior lawyer in Guangzhou-based Bohao Law Firm. Hence, the preparations have to be foolproof.
Posted 11/9/2007
Moose Enterprises & Spin Master Nov 2007 Bindeez & Aqua Dots - China-made toys contain 'date rape' drug

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HONG KONG — China-made toys seized in Hong Kong were being tested Thursday after scientists in Australia found that similar ones contained a chemical that converts into a powerful 'date rape' drug when ingested, officials said.
At least five children—two in the United States and three in Australia—have been hospitalized after swallowing the toy beads, which are used in arts and crafts projects. They can be arranged into designs and fused when sprayed with water.
Australian scientists say a chemical coating on the beads, when ingested, metabolizes into the so-called 'date-rape' drug gamma hydroxy butyrate. When eaten, the compound—made from common and easily available ingredients—can induce unconsciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and death.
The toys were sent to a laboratory in Hong Kong for tests, a customs official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of policy. If the tests come back positive for the chemical, suppliers of the toy in Hong Kong could face a year in jail and fines of $12,877, she said.
The latest toys under scrutiny are called Aqua Dots in the United States and Bindeez in Australia, where they were named toy of the year at an industry function.
Retailer Toys 'R' Us Inc. said it issued a 'stop sale' on the entire Spin Master Aqua Dots product line on Tuesday.
A company spokeswoman for Moose Enterprises' Hong Kong office said the production of the toy was outsourced to a mainland Chinese factory. She refused to elaborate and referred all further requests for comment to the company's head office in Australia.
'Our Hong Kong office is only responsible for operations such as logistics and shipping arrangements, we don't have any firsthand information,' the employee, who would only give her surname, Lo, told The Associated Press.
Moose Enterprises said Bindeez and Aqua Dots are made at the same factory, which is in Shenzhen in southern Guangdong province. Last week, the government announced an export ban on more than 700 toy factories in the region because of shoddy products.
The company said the product is distributed in 40 countries.
The toys were supposed to use 1,5-pentanediol, a nontoxic compound found in glue, but instead contained the harmful 1,4-butanediol, which is widely used in cleaners and plastics.
The Food and Drug Administration in 1999 declared the chemical a Class I Health Hazard, meaning it can cause life-threatening harm.
Both chemicals are manufactured in China and elsewhere, including by major multinational companies, and are also marketed over the Internet.
It's not clear why 1,4-butanediol was substituted. However, there is a significant difference in price between the two chemicals. The Chinese online trading platform ChemNet China lists the price of 1,4 butanediol at between about $1,350-$2,800 per metric ton, while the price for 1,5-pentanediol is about $9,700 per metric ton.
The two U.S. children who swallowed Aqua Dot beads went into nonresponsive comas, commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said Wednesday. A 20-month-old has recovered, while the other child, whose age was not known, has been released from a hospital after five days and is recovering, he said.
 
Posted 11/9/2007 by  WFAA-TV Dallas 
Oct 2007 Now, the noses on most stuffed playthings coming out of China's factories are stitched or embroidered.

SHANGHAI, China — Coming soon to a toy store near you: plush teddy bears with altered noses.
Reeling from global recalls, China's toy factories are scrambling to ensure the safety of their products, down to the venerable teddy bear.
src=http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2007/10/23/2003970730.jpg
Mostly gone are the old-style black vinyl or plastic noses, which contained chemicals. Now, the noses on most stuffed playthings coming out of China's factories are stitched or embroidered.
Toy retailers and manufacturers are hurrying to contain the fallout from recalls that terrified parents, damaged toy companies and gave Chinese toymakers a black eye. Toy manufacturers now strive to show that they've improved quality, even if it means costs will rise.
At the Shanghai Toy Fair, producers eagerly demonstrated design changes. They tugged on seams of stuffed toys to show double stitching and pried at plastic eyes to demonstrate how they wouldn't fly off. Materials such as artificial leather, which can contain noxious chemicals, no longer appear. Sales agents pulled out certificates to prove that paint they used was found free of toxic lead content.
Posted 10/27/2007
Oct 2007 Sweatshop Toys? China's Goods Flood U.S.

With a spate of safety recalls already drawing scrutiny to the multibillion dollar toy industry and products manufactured in China, a Senate panel heard grim testimony Thursday on another aspect of toy production -- the plight of workers in China who work in toy factories.
A panel of international labor activists said workers in toy factories are forced to work 14-hour shifts for six or seven days a week, with no job security and for extremely low pay -- as little as 53 cents an hour.
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who is pushing legislation that would make it illegal to import or sell goods in the United States that are made abroad in sweatshops or by prisoners, said American consumers should consider the working conditions in foreign countries just as they consider the safety of products made abroad.
'It seems to me, after what we've done to pull ourselves up and create a middle class and insure working conditions in this country,' Dorgan said, 'we should not allow the products of sweatshop labor to be brought into America and sold on our toy shelves.'

Billions in Profit, Hours of Sweatshop Labor


Americans are preparing to spend billions on toys during the holiday season.
The largest toy distributor in the United States is Wal-Mart, and Bama Athreya, director of the activist group International Labor Rights Forum, claimed the discount chain will sell $7 billion worth of toys this year.
It is that company's ability to demand lower costs, she argued, that has contributed to some of the poor working conditions in China.
'Wal-Mart bears a lion share of responsibility for pushing the toy industry to a place where worker health and safety are basically nonexistent,' Athreya testified to Congress.
She also criticized toy companies like Mattel, Hasbro and the Walt Disney Company, the parent company of ABC News.
Dorgan said he invited representatives for Mattel and the toy industry to take part in the hearing but they declined.
But present at the hearing was Peter Eio, who is a past chair of the Toy Industry Association and now sits on the board of the International Council of Toy Industries, a toy industry funded group that works with Wal-Mart and certifies toy factories for compliance in ethically treating workers.
The group has given its seal of approval to 669 factories worldwide. But Eio said it will be a years-long process to get all of the thousands of toy factories certified.
 
Posted 10/27/2007 by  ABC News 
Oct 2007 Product quality being ensured - China Daily

The country is enforcing strict export standards to regain full consumer confidence in Chinese products after reports of substandard goods, a top product safety official said Wednesday.
chinadaily.com.cn/china/images/attachement/jpg/site1/20071018/0013729e48090880d9b403.jpg align=center md5=sourcedescription=编辑提供的本地文件 sourcename=本地文件>
Li Changjiang, minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, faces a medis scrum after a group interview at the Media center of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing on October 17, 2007. [newsphoto]
Despite a wave of recalls, orders for Chinese toys are on the rise in the run-up to Christmas, said Li Changjiang, minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
He made the remarks during a group interview on the sidelines of the ongoing 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
Li said factory owners in the manufacturing heartland of Guangdong Province told him that business was booming and 'the workers have to work overtime to meet the order deadlines'.
'The number of orders for toys shows that companies are still happy to manufacture in China,' Li said. 'Most of the toys exports are of good quality and substandard goods constitute only a tiny part'.
He noted that quality problems are a global issue and criticized some media and foreign governments for 'playing up the issue'.
'I am sorry to see that some countries have used this (product quality issue) for trade protectionism and trade conflicts,' Li said.
'It not only affects China but also benefits no other country,' Li said, commenting on price rises of toys in some countries as a result of short supply.
'I heard that the prices of Barbie dolls in the American market are expected to rise 10 percent. The restrictions on Chinese products are not conducive to the local market and people,' he said, apparently referring to the United States.
China is the world's largest toy manufacturer, and exports about 20 billion toys every year, contributing to nearly 60 percent of global toy trade. But it has come under the spotlight amid a spate of export toy recalls this year.
The world's biggest toymaker, Mattel Inc, recalled about 21 million of its Chinese-made toys. A senior Mattel executive last month apologized to China for the trouble the recall had caused, an action Li praised.
'We think this is a practical and responsible attitude.'
Li said that 87 percent of Mattel's recalled toys had design problems.
'But of course, some of the recalled toys have excessive lead,' he said, adding that inspections of lead paint will be strengthened to meet advanced global standards.
Posted 10/18/2007
Mattel Sept 2007 Apology to consumers in China
MORE than two million toys were recalled in a span of five weeks by the world's largest toy maker, Mattel. The toys, ranging from Barbie dolls to toy cars, were made in China and distributed around the world. The recalls damaged China's reputation and were seen as proof that Chinese-made products were not up to international standards.

China had been under scrutiny by American and European policymakers. The European trade commissioner and American leaders were hectoring the Chinese because of the growing trade deficit. Thus, the recall of toys made in China for their “poor quality” and “endangering children” was a “clear sign” and reason to put greater pressure on Beijing.

Many joined in the chorus condemning China for poor quality products made by workers who earn a fraction of what their counterparts in the developed world take home. China has also been accused of unfair trade practices, and there is constant pressure for Beijing to appreciate its currency to reduce “unfair competition” with its “cheap labour'.

Thus the recall of millions of toys in such a short span of time provided more ammunition to those who were bent on making China a scapegoat and blaming it for the growing US trade deficit. There were calls in the US and the European Union for a ban on other products “Made in China', such as toothpaste and seafood.

This lent credence to the arguments of those who had been lobbying for a probe into production practices in China following the toys recall. They were therefore disappointed by the personal apology delivered to the Chinese by a high-ranking Mattel executive.
China-bashing, in particular with regard to the poor quality toys, came to an abrupt end with a sudden turn of events last Friday. The problem, as it turned out, was not the quality of Chinese workmanship and manufacturers but design flaws by the world's largest toy maker, the American company - Mattel itself.

The unprecedented and extraordinary apology from Thomas A. Debrowski, Mattel's executive vice-president for worldwide operations, to Chinese product safety chief Li Changjiang, must have caught many by surprise.

“Our reputation has been damaged lately by the Chinese recalls,” Debrowski said in Beijing. “Mattel takes full responsibility for these recalls and apologises personally to you, the Chinese people and all of our customers who received the toys.”

He added that he realised the damage that had been done to the reputation of Chinese goods. “But it is important for everyone to understand that the vast majority of those products that we recalled were the result of flaws in Mattel's design, not through a manufacturing flaw by Chinese manufacturers.”

A total of 17.4 million toys were recalled because of loose magnets, while 2.2 million toys were recalled over impermissible levels of lead. As it turned out, Mattel in a statement clarified that the magnet-related recalls were due to the design and had nothing to do with the toys being manufactured in China.

The American toy giant added that it had also recalled more toys than was justified, adding that was because it put safety first. “Mattel is committed to applying the highest standards of safety to its products. Consistent with this, Mattel's lead-related recalls were overly inclusive, including toys that may not have had lead in paint in excess of the US standards.”

Follow-up inspections confirmed that some of the toys recalled complied with US standards. The company's mistake, he added, was in not overseeing sub-contractors in China.


Posted 9/29/2007
Sept 2007 China toy scare sparks safety testing frenzy - Reuters

HONG KONG, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Armed with pruning clippers, a worker in a white lab coat snips a plastic Hello Kitty play set into lentil-sized bits that will be bathed in chemicals simulating gastric acid.
Down the hall, teddy bears are torched to clock how fast they go up in flames, dolls are dropped to the ground from varying heights and tiny green toy soldiers are jammed into metal cylinders with the circumference of a child's oesophagus.
The product safety testing business is in overdrive in the wake of a string of high profile recalls of made-in-China toys, including Barbie doll sets by industry giant Mattel Inc recalled earlier this month due to excessive lead in paint.
'We've worked extra shifts (since) the day after Mattel started putting out their notice,' said Ian Anderson, the Asia-Pacific director of testing for toys and similar goods at Swiss inspection services firm SGS.
The recalls have come amid a string of safety scandals in China fanning worries across the board -- among consumers fearful of lead in their kids' toys, among major brands concerned about their reputation and share price, and among contract manufacturers in China who rely on those big brands for business. To the companies that make their money from product safety testing -- such as SGS, Intertek and France's Bureau Veritas -- the safety scandals, most due to faulty design rather than substandard craftsmanship, have translated into a windfall. Cardboard boxes full of toys stacked along the walls of SGS's lab in Hong Kong attest to the huge opportunity, especially as toy factories in China work at full capacity to fill and ship orders to the West in time for the Christmas season.
'It's good for the inspection and testing business, yes. Anything that comes with additional tests is good overall for our type of business,' Anderson said.
Posted 9/29/2007
Mattel apologizes to China - Los Angeles Times

Mattel apologizes to China

Thomas A. Debrowski, Li Changjiang
Andy Wong / Associated Press
Thomas A. Debrowski, Mattel's executive vice-president for worldwide operations, left, meets with Chinese product safety chief Li Changjiang during his visit to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) office in Beijing.
The Chinese call it guanxi, and it refers to the relationships that are so crucial to doing business in their country.

To many observers, it helps explain why a high-ranking Mattel Inc. executive appeared with Chinese government officials Friday to publicly apologize for having to recall more than 19 million toys because of lead paint and dangerous magnets.
The toys had been made in China. So why was Mattel eating crow?

'It's the whole concept of guanxi -- cooperation -- and face saving,' said Mark Allenbaugh, a lawyer who consults with companies doing business in China. 'Mattel has developed relationships over the years, with the factories and with government officials. That can all disappear very quickly if Mattel went the other route and blamed the Chinese manufacturers as being the bad guys here.'

Few companies would know better than Mattel about the importance of guanxi.

The El Segundo toy maker imports 65% of its products from China and, unlike most others in its industry, owns the factories there that produce many of its goods.

Because so much of its business is based in China, it's especially important for Mattel to be on good terms with the Chinese government, noted Allenbaugh, who also owns an Irvine manufacturing company that imports products from China.

'The Chinese government can make it very, very difficult and expensive for a company like Mattel to continue to do business in China,' he said.

But as news of the meeting circulated Friday, Mattel had the difficult task of trying to quell a brewing storm -- a week before Chief Executive Robert Eckert makes a trip to China to personally inspect the company's new manufacturing safeguards.

'China should be apologizing as well to consumers around the world for exporting shoddy products and dangerous food,' said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a quickly issued statement.

Placed on the defensive, Mattel said the meeting between Chinese officials and Thomas Debrowski, Mattel's executive vice president for worldwide operations, had been 'mischaracterized.'

A spokeswoman said after the meeting that the company's appearance in Beijing was no different from similar testimonials before the U.S. Congress and European Union officials.


Posted 9/22/2007
Mattel Apologizes to China Over Recalls
'We understand and appreciate deeply the issues that this has caused for the reputation of Chinese manufacturers.'
U.S.-based toy giant Mattel Inc. issued an extraordinary apology to China on Friday over the recall of Chinese-made toys, taking the blame for design flaws and saying it had recalled more lead-tainted toys than justified.
The gesture by Thomas A. Debrowski, Mattel's executive vice president for worldwide operations, came in a meeting with Chinese product safety chief Li Changjiang, at which Li upbraided the company for maintaining weak safety controls.
'Our reputation has been damaged lately by these recalls,' Debrowski told Li in a meeting at Li's office at which reporters were allowed to be present. Read more
Published 9/22/2007 by  The Associated Press 
China Sept 2007 Opens Factory To Foreign Media

GUANGZHOU, China (AP) — Stung by global recalls, China opened toy factories and a toy-testing lab to foreign media Tuesday, showing off workers in white lab coats scraping paint off plastic toys and twisting the legs and arms of action-figure dolls.
China's manufacturing reputation suffered damage last month when Mattel Inc., the world's biggest toy maker, recalled nearly 19 million Chinese-made items. The products included dolls, cars and action figures that were contaminated with lead paint or contained small, powerful magnets that could damage a child's organs if swallowed.
''China's toy-making industry is actually very good. It is not messed up like the Americans say,'' said Zhong Dechang, director general of the Guangdong Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.
The one-day media tour through the booming southern province of Guangdong comes as the government launched a crackdown on unqualified manufacturers, part of a four-month campaign to improve quality in all steps of production.
Toys have not been China's only problem products in recent months. Toxic chemicals have been found in exports ranging from toothpaste to pet food ingredients.
The epicenter for the toy recall controversy has been Guangdong, where 5,000 toy-making enterprises accounted for about 80 percent of China's toy exports last year, according to the provincial industry association quoted by state-run media.
About 1.5 million people are employed by the factories that produced 121.9 billion yuan (US$16.1 billion; euro11.8 billion) in toys last year, the association was quoted as saying.
Six of the factories are run by Jetta (China) Industries, which started in Hong Kong in 1977 and opened its first plant in Guangdong in 1983.
Eddie Shum, senior manager of Jetta's quality department, said paint is quarantined when it arrives from a supplier until it can be tested for lead by the plant's independent lab.
''If the paint is substandard, we will send the whole lot back to the vendor,'' Shum said.
The plant on the edge of Guangzhou city in an industrial park surrounded by lush green banana fields makes a range of toys, including Little Mermaids for Disney, Spiderman figures for Hasbro and rubber duck bath toys for Fisher-Price.
Jetta employs 40,000 people and Managing Director T.S. Wong said his business had not been hurt by worries surrounding the recent recalls.
''It hasn't affected our business at all,'' he said. ''In general, the toy industry in China is a well-regulated industry. So far, the system has been growing and improving. The future of the toy industry in China is good.''
Government officials also took reporters to a smaller factory employing just 100 people. The Ball Star Toys Co., Ltd. makes toy soccer, rugby and footballs that are commonly given away as promotions.
Standing near a promotion case that had a ball with the words ''Scottish Rugby'' on it, General Manager Lin Zhongjiang complained that the whole industry was being blamed for isolated cases.
''If there is a problem, they should look at the specific problem and investigate. They shouldn't say all Chinese manufacturing has problems,'' he said.
Asked if there were factories making substandard products, Lin answered, ''This I don't know because I am busy with my own business.''
The southern Guangdong lab visited Tuesday was housed in a huge new building with gray marble pillars in front and two large stone dragons at the entrance way.
''We're one of the nation's five top toy-testing labs,'' said the facility's deputy director, Chen Yang.
He said 6,000 different types of tests can be carried out, ranging from analysis of paint and plastics to testing electrical parts and sound tests.
 
Posted 9/10/2007
Griffon Enterprises Oct 2007 Ikki Tousen - Kannu Untyou China Dress Ver. PVC 1/6
Kannu Untyou <b>China</b> Dress Ver. (Completed Figure)
Item name : Kannu Untyou China Dress Ver. (Completed Figure)
Manufacturer : Griffon Enterprises
Scale : 1/6
Material : PVC
Producer : Masahiro Yamamoto
Original : Ikkitousen
Release Date : Oct
Regular Price : 8,500 yen 
Posted 9/2/2007
Toys 'R' Us Aug 2007 recalls China-made wood coloring cases - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Toys 'R' Us Inc is recalling 27,000 wooden coloring cases that were made in China and sold under its Imaginarium brand because lead was found in the printed ink on the art set's outer packaging and in some watercolor paints.
Photo
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which announced the recall on Thursday, said the 213-piece coloring set includes crayons, pastels, colored pencils and water colors that were packaged in a light tan wooden carrying case.
The printed ink on the outer packaging of the case contains lead, and some of the black watercolor paint contains excessive levels of lead, the agency said.
The cases were sold at the toy retailer's stores and on its Web site from October 2006 through August 2007 for about $20. Of the 27,000 cases that were recalled, Toys 'R' Us said 8,300 were sold to customers during the recall period.
It marks the latest in a string of recalls of Chinese-made products due to lead paint, including Mattel Inc's recent recall of Pixar Sarge die-cast toy cars, and Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer toys.
Lead paint has been linked to health problems in children, including brain damage.
The spate of recalls has sparked concern over the quality of products made in China, and the U.S. House of Representatives' subcommittee on commerce, trade and consumer protection will also hold a September 19 hearing on how to protect U.S. children from toys, jewelry and other imported products containing lead paint.
Toys 'R' Us said in a statement that the lead was found after it had an independent testing firm retest hundreds of products sold in its stores. The retailer said all Imaginarium-branded items passed the retest except for the wooden art set.
Toys 'R' Us said it has terminated its relationship with Funtastic, a unit of FPL Group of Hong Kong, which manufactured and sold it the 213-piece set.
 
Posted 9/2/2007
Mattel Aug 2007 'China Barbie' takes on Mattel - Asia Times Online

Mattel, which makes Barbie dolls, was forced this month to recall millions of toys that were made in China because of lead paint and loose magnets.
So what's Mattel's next step in recovering from possible lost revenues? To attack porn star 'China Barbie' of ChinaBarbie.com, of course.
Rather than focusing on its own legal problems, the major US corporation has decided to take aim at suing US porn queen China Barbie for her comparatively nominal monetary assets.
'The site's been up for like five years, so it's like, why are they coming after me right now?' she wondered recently of the trademark-infringement lawsuit leveled at her website ChinaBarbie.com by the California-based toymaker.
'It's because they're in trouble right now with the lead-poisoning thing, and everyone's been Googling it and that's how they found out about the site,' she told Hasani Gittens of the New York Post in a recent interview.
'I'm not marketing myself to children, in any way shape or form,' said China Barbie, whose real name is Terri Gibson.
Regardless of what the outcome of this lawsuit will be, longtime fans of China Barbie are rallying around, many through her website and her Adult Yahoo Group.
The tactic being undertaken by Mattel is especially questionable in this case. Often intellectual-property owners who file lawsuits in similar circumstances lose the case.
The US Patent and Trademark Office and US federal courts generally opine that personal names meant and used as the identification of an individual do not give rise to infringement or damages unless the individual is seeking to identify with and purposefully using intellectual property of the complainant - which China Barbie is not.
'Barbie' is a common name but is also a trademark owned by Mattel for certain purposes, and has certain limitations. 'China', of course, cannot be trademarked for myriad reasons but basically because it is the name of a country and thus too 'generic'.
The mixed 'word mark' of 'China Barbie' would likely be a valid registration - if it weren't the current subject of objection. One can bet that Mattel's intellectual-property lawyers are working overtime to register 'Barbie of China', 'China Barbie', 'Chinese Barbie', or similar word marks to arm themselves in this campaign.
But this still overlooks the fact that Miss Barbie is using the name as a personal moniker without seeking to use or infringe on Mattel's intellectual property. Any long-term court battle would likely end up ruling against Mattel, in Barbie's favor.
Even the domain name that Mattel is fussing over - which is part of the lawsuit - does not enhance the claim. The Domain Name System registrar that allowed China Barbie to register and use ChinaBarbie.com stands strongly on a first come, first served basis.
Mattel had the opportunity to spend its millions long before China Barbie to buy up any domains it felt might represent a threat to its intellectual-property (IP) rights. That might sound ominous for owners of intellectual property, but it is not; if Miss Barbie had used the domain in question to infringe somehow on the IP rights of Mattel, the company could contest it. However, usually the first step is to make a complaint to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy board, an arbitration panel provided by the Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers, before taking it to the courts.
In either case - for successful prosecution by the plaintiff - she would have had to use Mattel images, products or advertising to promote her site, which she hasn't.
Unlike Barbie, Mattel doesn't have legs in this case. So why is it bothering to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to prosecute it?
Posted 9/2/2007
China Aug 2007 sets up recall systems for unsafe food, toys
BEIJING — China on Friday officially put in place systems to recall unsafe food and toys, one of its strongest steps yet to deal with recurring quality problems.

China, a major global supplier, has been facing growing pressure to improve the quality of its exports after toxins were found in a long list of goods such as toothpaste and toys.
The recall systems — put in place by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine — follow an earlier system set up for defective cars in 2005.
The administration oversees all products made in China and the measure appears to be targeted at goods manufactured for both domestic and global consumption.
AQSIQ will force a recall and issue a consumer alert if manufacturers fail to take actions or if a food safety incident occurs, the statement said.
The toy recall system requires producers to stop making and selling toys that are confirmed to have problems even if they are made in accordance with Chinese laws and standards, the agency said.
The manufacturers are also required to tell retailers to stop selling the products, it said.
It will 'provide a powerful legal weapon for protection of children's health and life safety,' AQSIQ said.
While authorities were initially reluctant to address the issue, the government has in recent weeks launched several sweeping measures to improve shoddy manufacturing practices and crack down on illegal businesses that have been at the heart of recent safety scandals.
Officials at all levels have promised to step up inspections in the country's long and murky supply chain, in which it is often difficult to trace the exact origin of components, chemicals and food additives.
Chinese state television launched a weeklong series of programs dedicated to defending the country's reputation as a safe maker of global goods.
The State Council, China's Cabinet, also issued with unusual speed a new regulation on food safety and set up a panel to oversee and improve overall quality.
This summer, Chinese-made toys have come under greater scrutiny after a series of high-profile recalls by Mattel Inc., the world's largest toy maker.
The latest involved 18.2 million Batman and Polly Pocket dolls and Barbie play sets, which were pulled from the shelves because of a revision of international standards in May that required safety warnings for toys with magnets or magnetic components not attached tightly.
Another 436,000 toy 'Sarge' cars, based on a character from the movie 'Cars,' also were recalled because they contained lead.
Two weeks before, Mattel ordered a global recall of 1.5 million Fisher-Price infant toys made in China because of lead-contaminated paint. In June, about 1.5 million Thomas & Friends wooden railway toys, imported from China and distributed by the RC2 Corp., were recalled because of lead paint.
Chinese officials have said that Mattel should share a large part of the blame because of insufficient inspections and poor product designs on its part.
AQSIQ also announced Friday that it had detected harmful pine wood parasites in 13 batches of wooden packages used for goods imported from the U.S. this year.
China has announced more substandard imports from the U.S. in the wake of the accusations it was exporting defective goods.
Posted 9/2/2007
England Aug 2007 Hamleys turn to British after China toy worries - Telegraph.co.uk
Hamleys, the world's most famous toy shop, is turning to UK manufacturers for children's toys following a spate of safety concerns about cheap imports from the Far East.
  • Managers at the famous Regent Street shop have already held meetings with British toy makers as part of plans to revitalise the country's ailing toy-making sector and help reassure parents over the quality and safety of their children's toys.
  • Nick Mather, chief executive of Hamleys, told The Sunday Telegraph: 'We are trying to source more product out of the UK... a brand as famous as ours requires us to do everything we can to ensure the safety of our products. 'It is a pretty difficult thing to do because the vast majority of the UK toy industry has come to a grinding halt. For anything plastic, we, like the rest of the industry, are still beholden to China.' The Hamleys move comes as concerns spread across the British high street about its overwhelming dependence on cheap mass-produced -Chinese imports. As many as 80 per cent of the world's toys are made in China in huge -factories, with increasingly suspect safety records. Last week, US toy company Mattel revealed it was to recall millions of mass produced toys including Barbie Dolls and Batman play sets because of fears over lead paint contamination and unsafe parts. While this is very bad news for the US toy giant and its Chinese suppliers, in the UK it marks the biggest opportunities home grown toy makers have been offered in years. UK companies, such as Orchard Toys and Noah's Ark Toys, makers of board games and wooden toys respectively, have confirmed a surge in interest from both parents and retailers. David Plagerson sole trader and owner of Noah's Ark Toys said: 'We are getting lots of enquiries from customers for British made toys and -Hamleys have been in touch.' A resurgence in interest in UK toy manufacturers will not come too soon for the beleaguered industry. It estimated that the UK produces just £35m of toys per year against total sales in the country of £2.2bn. Cheap mass produced toys from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China dominate the playrooms of Britain. John Bouquet, of Orchard Toys, a company which employs around 35 staff from its base in Norfolk manufacturing toys costing as little as £5, said: 'The problem is the market is shrinking. We used to consider that the age group for toys went up to 12 or 13, but that has dropped to seven or eight, after which children get interested in mobiles and fashion.' To succeed in the UK companies such as Orchard Toys have had to stick to their core high value 'Made in Britain' market and resist the temptation to cut costs and outsource production to China. 'We have been approached by US retailers who asked us to supply them, but only if we would manufacture from China,' he said. 'But we are not prepared to abrogate our responsibility over the production process to someone else. The only way we can guarantee standards is if we manufacture our games here.' Safety experts say parents concerned about the safety of their children's toys should contact the Trading Standards Institute, which carries a full list of all toy recalls on its -website.
    Posted 8/26/2007
    Aug 2007 Dutch chain recalls beds from China - Taipei Times
    Dutch chain recalls beds from ChinaTOXIC: Beter Bed Holding said it was destroying a shipment of 728 foam mattresses from China after tests showed they contained toxic insecticide


    A chain of Dutch bed stores said on Friday it was recalling more than 1,300 Chinese-made foam mattresses amid fears they were sprayed with toxic insecticide.
    Beter Bed Holding announced the recall after tests on a shipping container holding more than 700 mattresses found they contained poison, possibly as a result of being sprayed to kill insects in wooden packaging.
    'Given its contents, the container ... should not have been sprayed,' the company said.
    It said it was destroying the shipment of 728 mattresses and recalling 1,310 from earlier deliveries, which were sold by its BeddenReus chain. Shoppers were urged to return the items to the stores for a refund.
    News of possibly toxic mattresses is another blow to the already tarnished product safety record of Chinese exporters following a string of scandals including tainted dog food and toothpaste and lead paint on toys.
    Beijing attempted to repair some of the damage on Friday by releasing a policy paper that touted its past food safety record and a current campaign to crack down on poor -- and potentially dangerous -- food processing practices.
    Ironically, the spraying may have been part of a Chinese move to ensure exports were not infected.
    'You can do that with solid stuff, but not of course with food, textiles, stuff people sleep on,' Beter Bed spokesman Richard Neve said. 'If you put a chemical compound on a [foam] sleeping mattress, like a sponge it fills itself up.'
    The mattresses were found to be tainted when Dutch government inspectors checked the container at Rotterdam port, said Jan-Jaap Eikelboom, a spokesman at the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment.
    'The first check showed they were poisonous, exactly what [the poison is] we still have to check,' Eikelboom said.
    Although the ministry has yet to deliver a verdict on what the toxic material is, Beter Bed said it believed it to be benzene, a carcinogen, and a chemical compound called ethylene dichloride.
    Eikelboom said he did not know where in China the shipment of mattresses originated.
     
    Posted 8/19/2007
    Aug 2007 China product safety concerns have high far-reaching effects

    First pet food. Then toothpaste and tires. Now toys.
    The cascade of defective imports from China in recent months reached a peak last week when toymaker Mattel Inc. recalled nearly a million Chinese-made toys coated with toxic lead paint. The move prompted governments and corporations on both sides of the Pacific to scramble to fix the problem without slowing down the surging process of globalization or triggering a trade war between the United States and China - major powers whose economies are increasingly intertwined.
    The stakes are high. There are billions of dollars in U.S. investment in China, rich contracts between U.S. corporations and Chinese contractors to produce goods for export, and the health and safety of millions of consumers in the balance.
    It can even be a matter of life and death. China executed the head of its State Food and Drug Administration last month for taking bribes, and the head of a Chinese contractor for Mattel reportedly took his own life last week after the massive toy recall.
    The import safety scare has rattled both consumers and retailers.
    In San Francisco's Chinatown, shopkeepers are on the defensive. 'People know where things come from. Why should they ask? Have you ever seen a toy that is not made in China?' snapped the owner of a souvenir shop who did not want to give his name.
    Martina Cheesman, 36, visiting from Austin, Texas, would still go for the plush Hello Kitty on display in the window of the Rainbow Station, but she is less sure about other products made in China. 'We are mostly worried about food,' she said.
    Worries over product safety and other issues such as labor standards have spurred some U.S. companies to act.
    San Francisco apparel-maker and retailer Gap Inc. severed its contracts with five Chinese factories in fiscal 2005-06 when the factories failed to meet the company's product safety, environmental or labor standards, according to a report issued by the company last week.
    Gap does about 20 percent of its manufacturing in China using local contractors and subcontractors, according to Dan Henkle, Gap's senior vice president for social responsibility. The company has 90 inspectors, most of them locals who know the language and customs of host countries, he said. They inspect factory working conditions, according to Henkle, who added that Gap also tests export products for the presence of toxic materials.
    Some companies and wholesale importers in the Bay Area were reluctant to answer questions about their operations in China.
    'The factories named by Mattel in relation to their recalls are not used in the Leapfrog supply chain,' read a statement issued Thursday by Leapfrog, an Emeryville toy producer. In the statement, Leapfrog said its 'ongoing testing and auditing processes exceed the industry's strict manufacturing requirements.' When a Chronicle reporter asked the company to detail the methods its uses to ensure safety standards in China, Leapfrog declined to comment.
    Heightened international scrutiny and the threat of lost business have driven the Chinese central government to announce a series of measures intended to clean up the manufacturing of a range of exported products, from cosmetics to apparel, toys and food.
    On Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said customs, border protection and other agencies within his department will do more to ensure the safety of imported food and other products.
    Posted 8/19/2007
    Aug 2007 Fake safety permits that allow China’s toxic toys into Britain

    THE forgery of British safety certificates is rife among Chinese factories exporting toys to Britain, according to businessmen involved in the trade. They say the frauds include altering the date of tests on toys and using computer graphics to change “fail” to “pass”.
    “Fake certificates are rife,” said a British buyer who sends millions of pounds of goods to the UK every year.
    The certificates, coded EN71, are required for all toys to protect children against the danger of toxic paint, sharp edges and small parts that a toddler could swallow.
    Thousands of Chinese toy factory workers have just lost their jobs after the American giant Mattel recalled 18m toys, including Barbie dolls, because of lead paint and small magnets that a child might choke on. It had earlier pulled 1.5m toys from the shelves.
    The US distributors of Thomas the Tank Engine were forced to recall more than 1m wooden trains, all because of lead paint.
    It added to a disastrous few weeks for the “made in China” brand after the exposure of fake diabetic test kits made for Johnson & Johnson and the discovery of baby bibs contaminated with lead at Toys R Us.
    Anxious British companies are now examining the documentation for millions of toys already on the high seas to reach Britain in time for Christmas, say exporters in China. The items were loaded onto ships bound for Britain before the Mattel scandal broke.
    “There’s panic in the industry,” said a British businessman who spoke on the condition he was not named. “We’re handling dozens of e-mails every day asking about the safety certificates.”
    Many companies know that counterfeiting, fraud and the use of toxic materials are endemic in the Wild West money-making atmosphere of China.
    Certificates in China are usually issued by one of the three highly reputable international inspection firms, SGS, Intertek and Bureau Veritas.
    A factory receives the certificate after supplying a sample product to be tested to ensure it conforms with European Union regulations.
    All the main inspection firms provide customer hotlines for purchasers to check the validity of certificates against a register. But many buyers never bothered to check with the issuers, several businessmen claimed, focusing mainly on the price.
    A plastic toy that is sold to a British consumer for 99p typically costs just 22p when it leaves the Chinese factory, making the margins attractive for everybody except the manufacturer.
    When the cost of raw materials is deducted, the factory may get as little as 7p to cover labour, overheads and profits. That is why the Chinese manufacturers are tempted to cut corners. Lead paint gives the toy a brighter, glossier look – and is also almost half the price of safer paint, the businessman said. “Red and orange are the giveaway colours and they are also the ones which most often fail the safety tests,” he said.
    The bustling wholesale markets of southern China are places where almost anything can be done at a price.
    “Okay, what certificates do you want for Britain?” inquired the vendor of bright red die-cast London buses at the Yidelu wholesale toy market in Guangzhou. “We can provide anything you need in a day or two. Just let us know what you need to see. Anyway, we have the Chinese state bureau certificates, so you don’t need to worry about safety.”
     
    Posted 8/19/2007
    China Aug 2007 Toy Shops selling Pirated Version of Bandai's Gundam scale models, and more
    Hot on the heels of First Grade and Speed Grade comes 'Model GD'...

    Or maybe not. These are pirated versions of Bandai's 1/400 scale models. Packaging has been redone and the Bandai logo removed.
    Max Watanabe took these photos on one of his regular trips to China.
    Toy Shops
     
    Below: More Model GD.
    Toy Shops
     
    Below: Stack O pirated Gunpla.
    Toy Shops
     
    Below: Obviously not only Gunpla gets pirated. Although I do prefer the color of the B-Chiku on this Ryofu though ^^;
    Toy Shops
     
    Below: More pirated figures.
    Toy Shops
     
    Below: Mizuho gets the pirated treatment too.
    Toy Shops
     
    So what can you do to avoid buying pirated stuff? Well you need good photos and advice so go to the Comrades section and look for comrades who categorized themselves under 'Figures' or 'Gundam.' You will find a list of most coolsome blogs who know their thing when it comes to figures and Gunpla. They give informative reviews and you can also see a bunch of detailed photos too. Also have a look under the 'Otaku' category. Figure.fm is also a place you want to check out too.

    OK, I'm off to the Wonfes now and will be back in the afternoon to upload some coverage. Then its off to the Good Smile offices. See you in a bit.

    Posted 8/11/2007
    Aug 2007 China bans exports by 2 toy makers - Los Angeles Times
    China announced Thursday that it had banned two toy manufacturers from the export market after their products were found to contain lead paint. The action was the latest in a series of damage-control measures aimed at quieting an international uproar over tainted Chinese products.

    China has unveiled a raft of measures in recent weeks aimed at cracking down on shoddy or dangerous merchandise and tainted food, even as it has insisted that Chinese products in general are reliable and safe, and that concern about unsafe goods is vastly overblown.

    The export ban announced Thursday applies to companies that sold toys to Mattel Inc., which marketed them under the Fisher-Price label, and to RC2 Corp., which sold the Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway toys.

    The Fisher-Price products included plastic Big Bird and Elmo characters from 'Sesame Street.' News that they were being recalled because they contained potentially toxic levels of lead paint caused an uproar in the United States and elsewhere.

    In its announcement, China's General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said the restrictions on Lee Der Industrial Co. and Hansheng Wood Products were temporary.

    'They have been asked to evaluate and change their business practices,' the administration said in a notice on its website.

    The agency said police were investigating the companies' use of 'fake plastic pigment.'

    Officials at Lee Der and Hansheng, both located in the southern province of Guangdong, said they had not heard about the export ban and refused to comment further.

    It was unclear whether the companies could continue to sell goods on the domestic market. Wang Youkai, a professor of public administration at the China National School of Administration, said he would not assume that they would, although he added that 'we have a stricter standard for exporting products.'

    Wang echoed the Chinese government's view of the entire tainted-products scandal, saying he thought it 'has something to do with a trade dispute' and was being overblown.

    'If we are all tolerant, some problems probably could be tackled without rousing so much attention,' he said in an interview.

    Still, the government has been rattled by reaction to the discoveries of tainted goods, which have included a toxic substance added to pet food, toothpaste laced with a harmful chemical and contaminated seafood. Last month, it executed the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Xiaoyu, for accepting gifts and bribes from drug companies.

    Among other measures, China also said it would cut the number of small, poorly regulated food producers in half, and announced Wednesday that it was spending $1.1 billion to build new testing labs and other facilities needed to upgrade its food and drug safety network.

    The government placed part of the blame for the lead paint recall on Mattel and RC2, suggesting that they should have exercised more oversight.

    'To prevent loopholes in quality control, overseas brand owners should improve their product design and supervision over product quality,' the watchdog agency said.

    El Segundo-based Mattel recalled 967,000 Fisher-Price toys made by Lee Der last week, although about two-thirds of them were caught before they reached store shelves. In June, Oak Brook, Ill.-based RC2 recalled 1.5 million wooden Thomas the Tank Engine toys made by Hansheng.

    Posted 8/11/2007
    Fisher-Price Aug 2007 Recall Factory in China Banned - Newsinferno.com

    The Chinese government will no longer allow the factory that manufactured recalled Fisher-Price Toys to export any more products until it improves its quality standards. The factory was one of two that the Chinese General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine banned from exporting goods in a crackdown meant to bolster confidence in the “Made in China” label. In recent months, a number of Chinese products have been recalled in the U.S. for dangerous defects.
    The Lee Der Industrial Co. Ltd was responsible for more than one million toys that Fisher-Price recalled last week. That recall covered more than 80 varieties of Fisher-Price toys, including some based on popular TV characters like Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants. Fisher-Price discovered in early July that the factory had used lead paint on the toys. Mattel, the parent company of Fisher-Price, maintains that its contract with Lee Der specified that only paints produced by Mattel-certified manufacturers could be used on the toys. For some reason, the factory failed to comply with this provision.

    China also banned exports from the Hansheng Wood Products factory. That factory made 1.5 million Thomas the Tank Engine toys for the RC2 Corporation that were recalled earlier this year. Like the Fisher-Price toys, those items also were contaminated with lead. The agency did not say how long the ban might last, but on its website, it said that it had asked the factories to evaluate and change their business practices. The Chinese said that the police were investigating both factories for the use of a “fake plastic pigment”. The Chinese administration also warned other manufacturers that their products will be banned for export if they do not meet overseas safety standards. Last month, the same Chinese agency revoked the business licenses of two other factories that had made a melamine-laced pet food ingredient that was linked to the deaths of several animals in the U.S.
    But the Chinese are still not taking all of the blame for the recent recall debacles. On its website, the administration said that foreign companies that do business with Chinese factories should take more responsibility. “To prevent loopholes in quality control, overseas brand owners should improve their product design and supervision of product quality,” the administration’s statement read.
    All of these efforts are part of an attempt by the Chinese government to restore confidence in its exports. In the past month alone, toothpaste, tires, ginger and seafood from China were found to be dangerously defective and recalled. When the rash of recalls started earlier this year, the Chinese tried to downplay the concerns. But with exports to the U.S. worth billions to the Chinese economy, the government is starting to take a tougher stance. The Chinese are also anxious to clean up the country’s image ahead of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The crackdown has included new safety legislation, as well as the arrests of individuals implicated in some of the contamination incidents.
    Posted 8/11/2007
    Mattel Aug 2007 China defends its brand as Mattel recalls toys

    The recalled toys made for Mattel's Fisher-Price unit include popular preschool characters like Elmo and Big Bird and dozens of other items. The case is the latest in a deluge of product safety scares that have tainted the 'made in China' brand.
    Vice Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng repeated the government line that Chinese products were overwhelmingly safe, and called on foreign media not to hype the problems of a small minority of goods or companies.'When problems occur, we never shirk, have always sought truth from the facts and responsibly deal with them,' Gao said in a statement on his ministry's Web site (www.mofcom.gov.cn).

    Mattel has two sprawling plants in Guanyao, an hour's drive south of Guangzhou, capital of the booming southern Chinese province of Guangdong, but it was not immediately clear if they were connected to the tainted toys.
    'I've heard others talking about this,' one young worker told Reuters as heavy lorries, cement mixers and cargo containers rushed by on the dusty road between Guangzhou and Foshan. She did not elaborate.
    Mattel said on Wednesday the toys were made by a contract manufacturer using a non-approved paint pigment containing lead.
    Lead paint has been linked to health problems in children, including brain damage.
    Mattel is asking U.S. consumers and sellers to return 967,000 plastic toys and is recalling another 533,000 from other countries, including Britain, Canada and Mexico.
    Mattel's senior vice president of worldwide quality assurance, Jim Walter, said the recall could hit all its markets and traced the problem to a single manufacturer.
    'The disappointment here was we had a single contract manufacturer that we had a long-standing relationship with, who did not do what is required by Mattel,' Walter said.
    'PR NIGHTMARE'
    The recall comes amid heightened concern worldwide about the safety of China's exports. Many of the previous problem products have involved smaller manufacturers, but now a major company in a sensitive sector has been hit.
    'Nobody wants to face that PR nightmare,' said Kent Kedl, the Shanghai head of Technomic Asia, which advises companies sourcing out of China. 'But the reality is that things slip through the cracks. And the cracks are a little bit bigger here in China.'
    Walter said the toy maker had launched an investigation. Mattel had stopped producing and shipping toys from that manufacturer, but said it would wait for the findings of the investigation to decide whether to keep doing business with it.
    China has fought back against consumer concern by promising tough quality controls but also accusing foreign media of 'alarmist' reporting that could stoke a protectionist backlash.
    'Over 99 percent of China's export products are good and safe,' Commerce Minister Bo Xilai said in Beijing on Wednesday, according to the ministry Web site (www.mofcom.gov.cn).
    Mattel said it became aware of the problem in early July and was working with retailers to remove the toys from shelves. It also said it was intercepting shipments to avert further sales.
    Of the nearly 1 million products recalled from the U.S. market, Mattel said about 30 percent had reached store shelves.
    It declined to identify the manufacturer. In China, offices of Mattel's suppliers referred inquiries back to its head office.
    President George W. Bush has ordered a review of U.S. rules intended to keep out harmful imports following a series of scares involving Chinese goods this year.
     
    Posted 8/5/2007
    Mattel Aug 2007 Mattel India sends toys back to China - Times of India
    NEW DELHI/NEW YORK: Mattel India MD Sanjay Luthra said the company had got the toys from China and they are being sent back. 'Not many of these toys, which are in the price range of Rs 400 and Rs 500, went out to consumers in India. We just sent 20 to 30 pieces in (each of the) eight to 10 big cities,' he added. This number, said the company, represents 0.005% of its business in India.

    But the toy major clearly has a bigger task at hand abroad. The recalled toys were made from April 19 to July 6. Many of them feature Sesame Street and Nickelodeon characters including Elmo Tub Sub, Dora, Explorer Backpack and Giggle Gabber, a toy shaped like Elmo or Cookie Monster that toddlers shake to hear giggles and funny noises.

    According to Mattel, it prevented over two-thirds of the 9,67,000 affected toys from reaching consumers by stopping them in its distribution centres and contacting retailers, like Wal-Mart, Target and Toys R Us, late last week. But more than 3,00,000 of these toys have been bought by consumers in US alone. The toys are also being recalled from Britain, Canada and Mexico.

    Mattel is not the first manufacturer to encounter a breakdown in the Chinese production chain. Recently, there were accusations of poisonous pet foods in the US and risky car tyres made in China. These have resulted in calls in US for a legislation mandating more inspection of imports from China even as officials in Beijing said they were working to improve their product regulations.

    The manufacturer used non-approved paint that may contain too much lead, which has been linked to many children's health problems, including brain damage. Mattel's shares were down 14 cents at $23.44 in morning New York Stock Exchange trading.
    Posted 8/5/2007
    Aug 2007 China Blacklists 400 Exporters
    China has blacklisted more than 400 of its exporters amidst growing international concerns about the safety of Chinese food, drug and other products.

    The Commerce Ministry announced Aug 4. that 429 firms were on the list and had been punished for violating export regulations. No details of the punishment were given.

    The list includes two pet-food manufacturers that had sent tainted pet food to the U.S. that caused some animal deaths earlier this year.

    Earlier this week, U.S. toy-maker Mattel which makes two thirds of its toys in China, recalled 1.5 million Chinese made toys because of concerns that their paint contained excessive levels of lead.

    The list form the Commerce Ministry is the latest of series of administrative measures and exemplary crackdowns by the Chinese authorities to defuse the concerns about consumer safety and minimize the risk of it developing into a trade issue (See ' Food Fight').

    Earlier this week, the official People's Daily reported, police detained a further 17 members of a gang in Heilongjiang province producing counterfeit medicines. In an earlier raid on the gang, authorities seized 10,000 doses of bogus rabies vaccine, 20,250 bottles of a fake version of a medicine used to treat cardiovascular disease and 211 bottles of blood protein. In all, the paper said, police confiscated fake versions of 67 medicines produced by 53 companies.

    Posted 8/5/2007
    Kotobukiya April 2004 Pia Carrot 3 - Kinoshita Takako China Dress Ver PVC 1/7 scale
    Kinoshita Takako <b>China</b> Dress Ver. (Completed Figure)
    Item name : Kinoshita Takako China Dress Ver. (Completed Figure)
    Manufacturer : Kotobukiya
    Scale : 1/7
    Material : PVC
    Producer : Gen Ishizuka(Morattara Kezuru)
    Original : Pia Carrot 3
    Release Date : Mid Apr., 2004
    Regular Price : 5,800 yen
    [close]
Kinoshita Takako <b>China</b> Dress Ver. (Completed Figure) Package1
    Posted 7/21/2007
    July 2007 Transformers toys hot property amid record-breaking China debut

    BEIJING (AFP) - Prices of 'Transformers' toys in China have soared amid hype over the Hollywood blockbuster's debut here, with the movie also smashing box-office records across the country, state press said Friday.
    The price for a well-preserved Fortress Maximus toy made in 1987 and on sale at a shop in Beijing has soared to 16,000 yuan (2,114 dollars), 80 times the price 20 years ago, the Beijing Daily Messenger reported.

    Some other robots are currently selling at 900 yuan, about double the price from the beginning of the year, the report added.
    Fans collecting the toys are normally aged between 25 to 40, who grew up as the Japanese cartoon on which the movie was based dominated television screens in China during the 1980s, the paper said.
    The Steven Spielberg-produced action film made its debut in China Wednesday night and immediately raked in 224 million yuan, breaking the ticket-box record for foreign movies in China formerly held by Spiderman 3, the Beijing News said.
    Photo
    Transformer is seen at the premiere of the Paramount film 'Transformers' at Mann's Village
    Posted 7/15/2007
    June 2007 China Exports Lead Poisoning

    China exports lead poisoning
    From eye shadow to glazed pottery, products pose danger to U.S. kids
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chinese eye shadow has been found to be tainted with both lead and microbiological contamination
    WASHINGTON – In the wake of scandals involving tainted food and toothpaste from China comes word of a new concern from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as well as the Food and Drug Administration – toys, makeup, glazed pottery and other products that contain significant amounts of lead.
    While lead poisoning among children was once mainly caused by old paint, U.S. manufacturers long ago banned the ingredient. Today, a new rash of high lead levels in the bloodstreams of American kids is being caused by foreign products – mainly from China.
    So serious is the resurgence of lead poisoning among U.S. children that the Iowa Department of Public Health is working on writing a new law to require mandatory testing of those entering school for the first time.
    Lead poisoning, once a concern mainly in dilapidated urban areas, can cause learning disabilities, kidney failure, anemia and irreversible brain damage in children.
    Rita Gergely, chief of Iowa's bureau of lead poisoning prevention, specifically cited concerns about children's jewelry imported from China.
    Because of lead contamination, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of several children's items all imported from China:

    High School Musical toys
    Children's metal jewelry was found to contain high levels of lead. About 103,000 multicolored necklaces, bracelets, earrings and charms imported by Tween Brands Inc. of New Albany, Ohio, were affected. Some of the jewelry have the words 'High School Musical' printed on them or include pictures of the popular movie. Others have frogs, hearts, stars, dogs with dog bones, flowers, and monkeys that hang from silver, black or brown chains or cords. The jewelry was sold at Limited Too and Justice retail stores nationwide.
    Toy drums coated with red paint were found to contain excessive levels of lead. About 4,500 of the Eli's Small Drums and Liberty's Large Drums were recalled. They were sold in gift and collectible stores nationwide and were imported by Boyds Collection Ltd in Pennsylvania.
    About 3,000 action figure toys called 'Invincibles Transport Converters' contain surface paints with high levels of lead. They were imported by the Army & Air Force Exchange Service of Dallas.
    Children's turquoise rings imported by Cardinal Distributing in Baltimore were found to have high lead levels. About 300,000 of the silver-colored rings were recalled.
    About 5,000 bamboo game sets called 'Anima' were found to contain lead paint. The products were imported by and sold in Target stores nationwide.
    About 132,000 children's necklaces using a fish symbol, popular among Christians, were found to be contaminated with lead. They were imported by the Oriental Trading Company Inc., of Omaha, Neb.
    Multi-colored and solid-colored sidewalk chalk packaged in a clear plastic backpack-type carrying case and imported by Toys R Us were also found to contain significant levels of lead. The label reads: 'Chalk To Go … 24 pieces, sidewalk chalk in different colors, fun chalk shapes.'
    Posted 6/11/2007
    China May 2007 Tighter quality control on toys

    China will ban the sale of toys that fail to pass a national compulsory safety certification beginning from June 1.
    Starting from June 1, toys that 'could have a direct effect on the safety of babies and children' have to bear the mark of 'CCC' (China Compulsory Certification) before they can be sold in China, according to a statement issued by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ) and the Certification and Accreditation Administration (CAA) on Thursday.
    The targeted toys including baby carriers, shooting toys, dolls, electric, plastic and metal toys, according to the statement.
    'Some baby carriers have sharp edges that could cut kids and small parts can easily be swallowed by children,' said Zhu Guangpei, CAA's deputy director.
    China exports 70 percent of the world's toys, yet safety remains a major problem for the giant toy manufacturing country.
    On May 18, the European Union Rapid Alert System for Non-food Products issued warnings to consumers of China-made zebra rattle toys after an Ireland child reportedly cutting his mouth on the toy.
    On May 15, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled about 200,000 units of kid's metal jewllery, also made in China, as the material contained high levels of lead, which is toxic when ingested.
    'I choose brand name toys if I can afford them. At least the quality can be guaranteed,' said Cheng Rong, mother of a one-year-old daughter.
    China unified its compulsory inspection system by setting up the 'CCC' product certification system in 2003 as part of its commitment for entry into the World Trade Organization.
    A little over 80 percent of the toys on the market have been certificated by the end of April, according to statistics with the quality watchdog.
    The two administrations urged more toy manufacturers to apply for the certificates, adding they would also launch a crackdown on counterfeit certification symbols.
    'I hope the inspection can be a long-term measure instead of a temporary one, specially for the Children's Day,' Cheng said.
    Posted 5/27/2007
    Dec 2006 China's toy industry feels growing pains - USA Today
    DONGGUAN, China — At the North Pole, the elves are bustling to fill Santa's sack with toys for the world's children.
    In the real world, Christmas looks like Dongguan: a grey, industrial city in South China, where mile upon mile of factories house mile upon mile of uniformed young women toiling on production lines. Within a single generation, they have swept up the global toy business. But are they bustling hard enough? Reports suggest that America's hottest Christmas toys, such as Mattel's T.M.X. Elmo, are running short this year. And some place the blame on China, where rising labor costs and electricity blackouts have disrupted production. Labor shortages, too, though hard to imagine in the world's most populous country, now affect U.S. firms sourcing from China. 'Wages have gone up, the availability of labor is not as plentiful as before, and power shortages continue to happen,' says Tom Debrowski, Mattel's executive vice president of global operations. But Debrowski denies that China's growing pains have hit the Christmas plans of the world's largest toymaker. The real reason for Elmo's scarcity: an 'incredible early takeaway in September that surprised us,' he says. American consumers have surprised other toymakers this season. Sales of the $60 Vertical Vengeance Coaster are 35% ahead of forecasts, says Michael Araten, president of Hatfield, Pa.-based K'Nex Industries. 'We've had to fly in some product (from China) to meet demand … but it's worth it even if we're just breaking even, to keep our customers happy,' says Araten. Although U.S. toy retailers are getting better at anticipating inventory needs, and manufacturers are testing new toys earlier in the year, there are 'pockets of excess demand,' says Carter Keithley, president of the Toy Industry Association (TIA), a trade body representing 85% of all toy sales in the USA. 'Nobody makes money on bare shelves,' but predicting sales is 'still a gamble in some areas; there is no crystal ball,' Keithley says. Planning is growing more complex. China's low-cost, compliant labor has lured American companies for two decades. Now, those companies face a raft of new challenges as minimum wage laws raise production costs, raw material prices rise and ethical trading concerns force their Chinese partners, already operating on wafer-thin profit margins, to treat the workforce more fairly. But, 'There's a comfort level about China now — they have the investment and infrastructure, and meet U.S. and European safety standards,' K'Nex's Araten says. You hardly need look for that 'Made in China' stamp. 'Consumers are shocked that something is made (in the USA),' says Araten, who still makes the bulk of his toys' rods and connectors in the USA, but assembles 90% of the final product in China.
    Posted 12/21/2006
    Toys-R-Us opens first China branch - KPLC-TV

    Toys-R-Us opens first China branch
    KPLC-TV, LA - Dec 8, 2006

    SHANGHAI, China Toys-R-Us is launching its first store in China, just in time for the holiday season.The store is in Shanghai and it's run by a Hong Kong-based trading company that operates 47 Toys-R-Us stores in eight Asian markets.
    China makes about 75-percent of the world's toys. And as Chinese families grow increasingly affluent, they're spending more money on toys for their children. China has other toy stores, but few, if any, operate on the same scale as Toys-R-Us.
    The Toys-R-Us Web site says the company has more than 700 stores in the U-S and another 650 outlets in 31 other countries....
    Posted 12/12/2006
    Toys 'R' Us opens Shanghai store - China Daily

    Toys 'R' Us opens Shanghai store
    China Daily, China -

    Toys 'R' Us, the world's largest retailer of toys and infant and juvenile products, opened its first flagship store on the Chinese mainland in Shanghai on Friday, bringing the total number of outlets in Asia to 47 and expands its network to 31 countries.
    The newly opened store in Pudong New Area is 2,500 square meters and has more than 4,500 different kinds of toys, making it the largest toy store on the mainland.
    Posted 12/9/2006
    Toys 'R' Us Opens 1st China Branch
    First China Toy 'R' Us Branch Opens
    Friday December 8, 8:46 am ET
    Toys 'R' Us Opens First Mainland China Branch in Shanghai in Time for Christmas
    SHANGHAI, China (AP) -- The world's biggest toy workshop is getting a Yuletime taste of American-style toy retailing with the grand opening Friday of the first mainland China outlet of Toys 'R' Us.
    The store, in Shanghai's Super Brand Mall in the riverside Lujiazui financial district, is run by Hong Kong-based trading company Li & Fung Retailing, which runs 47 Toys 'R' Us stores in eight Asian markets.
    Toys 'R' Us has more than 700 stores in the United States and another 650 outlets in 31 other countries, according to the privately owned company's Web site.
    China makes about three-quarters of the world's toys, until recently largely for export. But as local families grow increasingly affluent they are spending growing amounts of money on toys for their children.
    Many foreign-invested department stores in China offer large arrays of foreign brand toys such as Barbie dolls and Legos, but there are few if any toy stores that operate on the same scale as Toys 'R' Us.


     
     
    Posted 12/9/2006
    G - Taste Yuki China Dress


    3768215
    G - Taste Yuki China Dress



    width=15  12,00 EUR
    Posted 11/10/2006
    Max Factory ’s Ignis is Finally Leaving China! (Oct 2006)

    Delay upon delay, that’s what us figurine collectors have had to endure for Max Factory’s Ignis. She was supposed to be released in July but rescheduled to September and then to November. Apparently there were issues with the mirror-type base.
    But now, she’s all ready and being shipped! But it’s seem almost a year since I pre-ordered it. I’m no longer sure which store I ordered her from :( . Oh well.
    src=http://www.riuva.com/figurereviewpics/ignius/maxfacignisshipa.jpg
    Hardworking dudes putting in guts and effort

    Posted 10/23/2006
    CHINA: Toys 'R’ Us To Open First Store In Country - Namnews
    CHINA: Toys `R’ Us To Open First Store In Country
    Toys ‘R’ Us will open its first store in China in early December, according to Li & Fung Chairman Victor Fung, with the first outlet in Shanghai's Pudong district. The Shanghai store will occupy floor space in a mall, and is expected to break even in two years after opening. Fung said he also hoped Toys ‘R’ Us Asia, a franchise operation owned by Li & Fung Retailing, will soon expand to other mainland cities.
    Posted 10/9/2006
    Superman Fights China Pirates
    To combat DVD piracy in China, CAV Warner Home Entertainment announced that it is distributing DVDs of Superman Returns there two months ahead of the rest of the world, Variety reported. The U.S. DVD release is slated for Nov. 28.
    Published 10/1/2006
    Toys “R” Us to open in China - Kids Today

    ToysRUs to open in China
    Kids Today, NC -
    ToysRUs will open its first store in China in the Super Brand Mall at Lujiazui in Shanghai in November. The 2,400 square ...
    Published 9/27/2006
    Toys R Us aims for China store opening in Nov - Reuters

    Toys R Us aims for China store opening in Nov
    Reuters -
    SHANGHAI, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Toys R Us will launch its first store on the Chinese mainland in November, drawing on an increasing demand for educational toys ...
    Toys 'R' Us opening mainland China store
    Published 9/26/2006
    Toys R Us aims for China store opening in Nov - Washington Post Published 9/25/2006
    First Toys R Us To Open In China - Pacific Epoch Published 9/21/2006
    Toy maker seeks HK listing - China Knowledge Online Published 9/21/2006
    China Attracts New Wave Of International Retailers - Wall Street Journal Published 9/1/2006
    Duff sisters design Barbie clothes for Japanese dolls - China Daily Published 8/19/2006
    China labor pains and holiday woes - CNNMoney.com Published 8/9/2006
    Anger explodes at ”Happy Meals” toy factory - China Worker Published 8/2/2006
    McDonald's, Mattel Rebut China Labor Expose - CattleNetwork.com Published 7/31/2006
    Toys 'R' Us to open first China store in Shanghai - Reuters Published 7/28/2006
    Toys from Spain on display for children of all ages, nations - China Post Published 7/5/2006
    Playtime is over for China's toy industry - Asia Times Online Published 6/20/2006
    Shipping industry sees a slowdown in growth - China Post Published 6/19/2006
    6 Inch Titanium Figures Out In China Published 5/8/2006
    China bans Thai 'voodoo dolls' - Nation Multimedia Published 5/3/2006
    China's Boss Comes to America - Korea Times Published 4/20/2006
    China's boss man comes to America - Asia Pacific Media Network Published 4/15/2006
    Safety of toys tested Updated: 2006-04-14 17:00 (China Daily) Posted 4/14/2006
    China to clean up booming domestic toy manufacturing industry - NewKerala.com Published 4/3/2006
    Toy industry gets improved regulation - China Daily Published 4/2/2006
    Action Products Opens Sales and Sourcing Office in China Posted 3/31/2006
    Appalling conditions continue in China’s toy factories - Bay Area Indymedia Published 3/26/2006
    Once-isolated Urumqi bustles in China’s booming economy - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (subscription) Published 3/16/2006
    Mickey Mouse take son China knock-offs (CNN.com) Posted 3/10/2006
    Superman, Mickey Mouse take on China knock-offs - Reuters Published 3/10/2006
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