CPSIA: Russian nesting dolls, paper clips, science kits

The website of the Golden Cockerel import firm includes a rather elaborate warning as to why its matryoshka are not meant for the under-12 set, at least not since the enactment of the calamitous Jan-Schakowskybacked law:

the law requires each batch of toys be tested by a 3rd party laboratory to be sure they are “toy safe.” Such tests can cost well over $1000 per nesting doll set! And sometimes, as with our museum quality one-of-a-kind dolls, a “batch” consists entirely of one doll, or only a few, making it totally unfeasible to test.

CPSIA: reserving treasured toys for strictly adult use since 2008.

More: The CPSC has just sided with purported consumer groups and against pleas from the business community in adopting a broad definition of what constitute “children’s products” under the disastrous Barbara-Boxerbacked law: for example, ordinary paper clips must go through costly separate CPSIA testing when meant for kids’ use as part of a science kit with magnets and similar items [NY Times, AP/WaPo (“Kids’ science kits may take hit from safety ruling”), Commissioners Anne Northup and Nancy Nord]


  • Don’t forget paperclips, too. Ok at Office Depot, a dangerous must be tested item in a kids science kit.

  • oops… I see you just updated the paperclip story. My timing was off!

  • The solution appears to be proper labeling: While this product might appear suitable for children over 5, no child under 12 years old should be permitted to come in contact with it.

  • CT_Yankee: The problem is that if the CPSC feels your product is “commonly understood as being meant for kids” then it will ignore any numbers of labels and warnings and declare that it’s a “children’s product”. See mood rings, which were declared children’s products despite the manufacturer pointing out that the package copy said it was “for testing sexual compatibility”, something you wouldn’t expect an eight-year-old girl to be doing.

  • The Russian Doll people took pride in their assurance that components in their work were absolutely positively lead free. It is unfortunate that such pride is a validation of the concept that minute lead is a hazard. That is not true. Jan Schakowsky and Barbara Boxer demonstate the folly of Women’s Lib. Of course we have Senator Lautenberg to prove the existence of male idiots.