CPSIA, board games and hobby gaming

Trask at Living Dice explains; more here and here. And in response to a comment:

The “it does not apply to hobby games because they are for older people” probably will not fly. I cannot imagine the government will let industry decide what game is for over 12 year old players. If they did that even “Chutes and Ladders” will become “for 12 and older” to save on the testing. Well, that may be an exaggeration, but you get the idea. No, I think the books and games that are playable by early teens will probably get scooped up in this definition as well. Sadly, that covers most hobby games.


  • Sadly, this is going to be a major problem with game publishers. As a wargamer, most games have an age listed on it. Yet, the industry can only continue to thrive by getting kids to play the simpler games. Most wargames have small print runs in the 1000’s. This would dramatically increase the price and force many smaller companies to close.

  • […] on the same subject I wrote on yesterday, while Walter Olson continues his sterling coverage here. In short, a “consumer product safety” bill that goes into effect next week, supposedly protecting […]

  • What are the lead figures made of now? I used to paint lead figures (as an adult admittedly, but I painted them…)

  • The RPG industry is notoriously low budget and filled with many small companies. They usually do not have much to pay their writers and artists, much less testing books.

    Wikipedia says most “lead figures” are made using non-lead alloys now. But I’m sure I played with those as a kid.

  • My mother tells me a Federal Judge of her acquaintance (they grew up together attending the same small school system) as a youngster used to make lead soldiers- he melted the lead, poured it in the molds, and later painted the soldiers (I wonder if the paint also had lead in it?).

  • There are some companies that still sell the molds for cast-your-own.

    Most of the pre-cast figures are made from “lead-free” mixes. Unfortunately, those mixes are rather expensive and (IMHO) have some properties that make them less than ideal. For example, a piece of lead can be bent many, many times before it breaks, but the new alloys break after maybe a half dozen bends — a big problem when things get bent in shipping.

    At least one US manufacturer of miniatures has made an attempt to return to a lead-based alloy, primarily because of the cost of tin, but also because lead-based alloys “capture every subtle detail as well as allow for maximum metal flexibility for straightening and posing”.

  • Better to fix the law than “fix” the language by making words mean what they don’t mean.

  • Only the government could create a situation where blogs about role-playing games and legal excesses agree! Amazing how stupid, ill-considered laws really bring people together. 😉

    Thanks for the links.


  • […] If you’re interested in older board games you may have gotten into the habit of haunting thrift stores, but over at leading gamer site Board Game Geek, they’re noticing that things are changing for the worse as shelves empty at many stores. Our earlier coverage of CPSIA’s likely impact on gaming is here. […]