Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Two Swings, a Hit, and a Miss

I buy most of Margaret's toys online. Better deals, and a wider range of BPA-/phthalate-free options. We usually stick with toys that make the child do the work like puzzles and shape sorters and blocks, because those types of toys keep them quiet longer enrich and stimulate their growing minds. ;)

Yesterday was a rough day, though. She was bored. I was tired. We were both cranky. So we popped over to Target and picked up a couple new toys in hopes of pushing us both into better moods. One did the job just swimmingly. The other will be going back to the store tomorrow.

The first toy we bought was the Playskool Busy Ball Popper. I'd heard good things about its magic baby-engaging powers and looked to buy it many times, but I have this weird hangup about Playskool toys as most contain BPA and phthalates and who knows what else (I know I'm sounding like "one of those moms" right now. I promise I let my kids eat cookies and crawl in the dirt and wear flame retardant-covered jammies. This is just one of my "things."). I figured, though, that we're careful enough on a day-to-day basis to reduce Margaret's contact with those chemicals that one toy probably wouldn't hurt.

And, man, did she love it! She quickly figured out how to start the air and music herself and had a blast for probably 45 minutes straight catching the balls, putting them through the hole, and punching the start button.

Proof - just watch her dancing at the end!

(The balls were having trouble popping out, because we had old batteries in it. I put fresh ones in this morning, and it worked much better.)

It seems to be a pretty solidly-made toy. The balls are kind of thin and flimsy, but I think that's so they'll pop out easier. Overall, I'd give the toy a 10 (if it wasn't for those stupid phthalates).

The other toy we bought was the Fisher Price Lil' Zoomers Chase 'n Race Ramps. This is where I feel embarrassed, because I totally became a marketing pawn. I had seen a commercial earlier that day for the Lil' Zoomers line of toys, and the baby on the commercial was having so much fun. My gushy Mommy heart said, "Aww, Margaret needs one of those so she can have fun too!" I know, I am shamefaced.

Anyway, the toy is garbage. It's made of cheapo plastic, and it's impossible to get the cars to roll down the ramp. They get stuck nearly every time, even for an adult, and they're hard to dislodge.

Toy fail.

I'm actually a bit relieved. I've had this self-righteous boycott on Fisher Price toys going for some time, as they refuse to take accountability and release data on BPA and phthalates in their toys like nearly all their competitors have done. Now I can take this toy back, happily knowing Fisher Price still hasn't gotten any of my money.

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