A damning report – Chinese parents favor foreign-brand toys – has recently revealed that middle-class parents in China are shunning Chinese toys in favour of foreign brand names.
Hot on the heels of the recent lead paint scandal which rocked the Chinese toy industry, the report by the Associated Press showed that parents aren’t willing to take chances with Chinese toys.
One mother, a professor at a renowned Shanghai University, stopped buying Chinese toys after her daughter was found with increased levels of lead in her blood. "I dare not buy cheap wooden toys or toys with paint" she told AP. "Sometimes they have indescribable odours."
If that wasn’t enough, the article mentions several reasons for the shift towards expensive foreign toys- some of which cost 50% more than their Chinese counterparts. An increase in living standards, the one-child policy, and poor quality control are all cited as reasons for the shift in attitude.
"I can only assume most of the expensive brands are foreign, and therefore are guaranteed to have better quality" said one of the parents interviewed.
It makes sense, in a way. Even though many of the foreign-brand toys are made in China, the companies producing them demand high standards due to their international reputations. After all, who wants to buy a doll, only to get home and find the head’s fallen off?