As a parent of a 3 year old boy, it goes without saying that Thomas the Train is a big part of our lives. Not only can Max tell you the name of every train in the collection (so can I at this point), he owns at least half of them.
Which is why every parent that I know is now completely freaking out by the recently announced Thomas the Train recall.
So, just like everyone else, I got home that night and went through Max’s toys and confiscated all the yellow and red trains. Poor James, he was always proud of his red coat. Ivo Hugh, on the other hand, wasn’t on the list for some reason. But he is red, so you’re out, buddy.
Then, I went back and read the details of what the problem was. Turns out, some factory in China is still using lead paint! This is just great. The DailyKos does a quick write-up on the problem.
For those who don’t know anything about Thomas trains, there is one detail you should understand: these are not cheap trains. If a matchbox car costs about a dollar, each of of the affected trains below probably costs somewhere between 5 and 10 bucks. So, the fact that the manufacture of these toys involves some factory somewhere that has no quality assurance around the paint they use is a bit insane.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this fiasco plays out. I can’t imagine how expensive the replacement will be for this company. But more importantly, how will they survive the PR impacts of their brand now meaning "cheap dangerous manufacturing process that has shipped poison to children for the past 2 years".