Friday, August 17, 2007


These dolls were being sold by a street vendor right by the stairway of Quiapo's pedestrian underpass the other day. Despite their endearing looks, they somehow reminded me of the major toy recall that is going on in the States right now.

Discovering excessive amounts of lead used by its Chinese vendor, toy-maker Fisher-Price issued a worldwide recall of about 967,000 plastic preschool toys sold in the United States between May and August. This involves about 83 types of toys — including the popular Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and Diego characters.

It is a first recall by Fisher-Price Inc. (parent company of Mattel Inc.) that involves lead paint. Mattell is looking at about $30 million charge for this recent recall -- the largest for Mattel since 1998 when Fisher-Price had to recall about 10 million Power Wheels.

This is, undoubtedly, another alarming incident that only heightens global concern about the integrity of products manufactured in China.

And with all these recalled toys eventually heading back to China, I am most concerned that some Chinese smugglers might later try to slip most of which into some unwitting Asian markets.
God forbid we end up seeing some of these US-banned toys in Divisoria's 168 Mall, or out in the streets of Quiapo right by the stairway of the pedestrian underpass.


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:56 AM


Blogger Unknown said...

O my gulay! Ano po kaya ang exact effects of lead in toys sa mga bata. They usually kiss and hug their toys and sometimes bite these. God forbid that they swallow some small parts.

There was a warning issued before about dangerous toys.

August 17, 2007 10:15 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

"Young children under the age of six are especially vulnerable to lead's harmful health effects, because their brains and central nervous system are still being formed. For them, even very low levels of exposure can result in reduced IQ, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, behavioral problems, stunted growth, impaired hearing, and kidney damage. At high levels of exposure, a child may become mentally retarded, fall into a coma, and even die from lead poisoning. Within the last ten years, children have died from lead poisoning in New Hampshire and in Alabama. Lead poisoning has also been associated with juvenile delinquency and criminal behavior."

You may check out this URL also, Daisy, for more info:

Yes, those easily removable parts of toys are perilous to children.

August 17, 2007 10:27 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

This is now a big strain in US and China relationships, consumer items being a big part of Chinese exports to this country.

Problem is at this time Chinese authorities remain adamant, choosing instead to blame the US and media for the big fuss.

First it was Chinese milk, pet food, and now this.

August 17, 2007 10:49 AM  

Blogger Urbano dela Cruz said...

There is this to think about.

August 17, 2007 11:11 AM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

ooh, dolls! sometimes i imagine they come alive at night...

i was quite surprised when the news of the recall of food and toys made in china came out. what made those manufacturers include deadly substances in the production? i feel sorry for one chinese toymaker who committed suicide, though. if i remember correctly, it was one of his closest friends who sold him fake paint for the toys.

August 17, 2007 11:40 AM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

OMG, I bought my girls these dolls a few months ago. Have you heard them laugh? Scary!!

Also, I found that we had 2 of those "banned" toys from Mattel. Sadly, they were some of my kids' favorites.

August 17, 2007 11:54 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To me this is a perfect opportunity for Mattel to get jobs back in the US. They can do it if anyone can! Start the cycle, get on the road to recovering the US and the Job market, and changing the way things are done around here. US needs Mfg. back here. Michigan is hurting for jobs, put a factory there. Decrease joblessness there, and poverty. PERFECT MATTEL!Great idea!

August 17, 2007 12:07 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I was truly astounded, Amadea, to have discovered that most of the items I purchase while living in NYC were manufactured in China -- from clothing at Banana Republic to those gadgets at Brookstone. There was a time when products made in the Philippines were quite abundant in the States, but before noticing it, most offshore manufacturing seemed to have been commissioned to China's factories.

Nonetheless, it is highly arrogant of the Chinese to shift the blame elsewhere when it would do more good to address every individual issue accordingly. Their arrogance is only causing deaths worldwide.

Japan once suffered a similar stigma, but recovered; and so did Korea of late. Now, why can't China create an overall positive quality control program?

August 17, 2007 12:55 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wow! Certainly lots to ponder upon.

Many thanks for the link, Urbano!

August 17, 2007 12:58 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Now, that was rather devious of that man to sell fake paint to his friend which caused great misfortune. Unbelievable :(

Dolls coming alive at night? Scary thought, Carla ... hehehe.

August 17, 2007 1:00 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Oh, no! Did you throw those banned toys, away, Scrooch?

These dolls are really cute! The vendor was doing quite a brisk business.

August 17, 2007 1:01 PM  

Blogger John Halcyon von Rothschild said...

I work in the Toy Industry and this has been such a mess. I remember my old toys in Manila...well not really toys. We would buy Watusi at the sari sari store and those wooden guns that made noise.

August 17, 2007 2:32 PM  

Blogger christine said...

It's alarming, indeed! It's so hard to imagine how something so cute and innocent-looking and can evoke such joy from children such as toys can be harmful and even potentially lethal.

August 17, 2007 2:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I heard about the recalled toys as well on the news. Let's hope that they will not be smuggled out because it'll be dangerous if kids do get their hands on those toys. Hmmm ...

The dolls are cute!


August 17, 2007 3:06 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Flint, Michigan, I think to date, is one of the most economically depressed cities in America, when in fact, it was once a thriving town during the heyday of the American car manufacturing. That is, until most of its manufacturing shifted to Mexico.

Unfortunately, Lauren, in terms of labor costs, nothing beats that of China's, which makes it a prime manufacturing resource.

August 17, 2007 3:42 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I was into toys up until I was in second year of high school -- collecting Matchbox cars and those model cars, John. I think I remember those wooden guns you speak of :)

A friend in NYC once worked for the toy industry, offices of which were mostly located on 24th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. However, he was more in the Christmas ornament sector of it. February is their busiest month in which buyers from all over would come to place their Christmas orders.

August 17, 2007 3:47 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's right, Christine.

But those chemicals used in putting together those innocuous toys turn out to be the culprits; endangering the safety and health of our children. Those easy to remove parts which toddlers may swallow are also some of the things to be wary of.

August 17, 2007 3:54 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, Kyels, those dolls are really cute!

Scrooch bought these dolls for his daughters.

August 17, 2007 3:58 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Some years back, some quarters claim that 80% of WalMart's inventory was from China. With that, WalMart decided to open stores in China which then enjoyed more successes than the home-grown stores.

Stayed in Michigan for a while and its unemployment is in double digits. Very sad to see manses boarded up because they were abandoned.

But we do not write off Michigan yet. The auto industry is enjoying a resurgence with new and modern factories. Drove through an entire area, more like an entire city, built by GM from the ground up where the most technologically advanced factory is situated.

August 17, 2007 11:01 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That would be wonderful, Amadeo, if Michigan overcomes its economic depression. Incidentally, Roger Moore hails from that state. He first achieved wider national attention with his film documentary, "Roger and Me."

On another note: It is quite staggering how Sam Walton's love for the retail business created the largest and powerful chain store in America. This man who started as a clerk at Sears Roebuck & Co became the darling of Wall Street before Bill Gates came along.

Ironically, the middle America that he served with his initial chain of stores, and who, in turn, enriched it with its patronage, is also the same middle America that suffered when local manufacturing shifted to foreign countries.

August 18, 2007 6:38 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

damin talagang product recall ngayon, imagine kahit malalaking company like Nokia Japan and Fisher-Price ay nagkakamali rin.

August 18, 2007 9:32 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice shot... I love the symmetry :)

Man, this Chinese reports of adulerated products really scare me :( Not only with toys but food products, medicine and what not . Now they'll making GM cars in China. I wonder if their quality control could meet the standards.

August 18, 2007 10:28 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ay tama ka, Iskoo. Pati na nga din battery ng Nokia cellphones napasama sa mga nangyayaring product recall. Ano ba yan?

August 18, 2007 1:54 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Some electrical components with fake name brands had also infiltrated the markets of Manila, BW. I wouldn't be surprised if ome of these had already causes raging fires. Indee, very scary.

Jeez ... GM cars made in China? Whoa!

August 18, 2007 1:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So these manufacturing companies are sending these products to China because labour is cheaper there, right? But at what expense? The Chinese I guess are using materials that are also cheap but dangerous.

Can't help but notice that the dolls in your picture have darker complexion. When I was a kid, I remember dolls there have a lighter complexion. Not that I had that many dolls. Actually I don't think I ever played with plastic or porcelain dolls, only paper dolls. :)

August 20, 2007 9:17 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I noticed also these dolls' darker skin tone which made me think that these were probably intended for the Asian markets. Yes, my sister's dolls when we were young were mostly of western features. She only had two I think.

What truly disturbs me, Irene, is how people can have the temerity to risk the lives of consumers just to make that extra buck. And I am not only speaking of these Chinese toy manufacturers. Some American manufacturers were guilty of this as well in the past -- such as those tires that blow up at certain speeds.

August 20, 2007 10:46 PM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

Taken individually, the dolls may be cute, but en masse like in this pic.. it could be stuff for horror films :)

China actually reitaliated with their own "investigations" and bans on imported products. Of course it would be small economies like the Philippines which would get hurt, rather than US. But in fairness to the Chinese, their government has the willpower to immediately implement trade reforms if they like to.

August 22, 2007 1:58 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

But I remember when most of the Gap clothes in the US were made in the Philippines and quite very good at that, and then, as if overnight, everything was coming from China.

Perhaps, China's lack of an overall quality control program may create new opportunities for the Philippines and other Asian countries.

Yes, can you imagine a bunch of these dolls turning into baby Chuckies? Hehehe!

August 22, 2007 6:31 AM  

Blogger  gmirage said...

2 Timothy 3:1-5 But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money.... having no natural affection....betrayers....

Just to gain many even to harm the little ones...heartless! =(

August 23, 2007 1:47 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...


Despicable acts that bear only anguish in the end, G. Mirage

August 23, 2007 2:21 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I showed this pic to Gem. Takot siya! And even screamed! She remembered all the Barbie dolls she "beheaded". But to tease her even more, I printed the pic and posted it at her bedroom door. hahaha!

September 29, 2007 12:57 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Now, why would you do that to Gem, Rhoda?

You're going to scare the wits out of the poor girl.

September 29, 2007 2:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hehehe. I'm a mean mom sometimes. But it's okay - just teasing her naman, eh. Y'know, nagbibiruan at nagtatakutan. And she's grown immune now. Not scared anymore.

Forgot to tell you pala, I used this entry as source for an editorial... reprinted it, actually. Hope you don't mind. Thanks. Have a happy rainy weekend, Eric.. :)

September 29, 2007 3:40 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Okay, as long as she won't require years of therapy after all those scary tactics ... hehehe.

Sure, thanks!

September 29, 2007 5:36 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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