Friday, November 30, 2007


Here are some links to MADE IN USA toy companies.

One of the best seems to be Holgate Toys of PA. Their website says they have been in business since 1789! Wow! The toys are wooden, well-crafted and awesome. Unfortunately, they seem to be overloaded with orders this year and so they have a disclaimer stating that shipping may take a little longer to process.

Here are some other interesting USA toy makers/sellers:

Fat Brain Toys have an online "Wizard" (database) of toys you can search by interest, age, gender, price ranger and country of origin. Just click on the USA map or the link next to map on any of their pages.

North Star Toys, located in NM. A family owned and ran business since 1979.

Maine Toys, located in Maine, since 1973. They sell wooden, handcrafted, lead free toys both online and in local stores. For a list of their local retailers, click here. (powered by The Detroit Free Press) has published an article entitled "Not Made In China: Toy shoppers worried about lead can find wonderful gifts in new places" which lists safe toys manufactured in the US but also some made in other countries such as Germany and Mexico. I say, buy US if you can. Support your country and your economy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I looked at the tag inside my granddaughter's soft-sided lunch box and guess what I found? Of course, it said made in China. So, I began a search for lunch boxes made in the US.
Here is what I discovered:

Aladdin has been an America company for more that 90 years. The first character lunchbox it made, Hopalong Cassidy, was manufactured in 1933.

At the bottom of this message is an email response I received from Aladdin industries when I asked which of their products are still made in the USA. Sadly, the answer is NONE.

The company sold out and moved to China in 2001.

THERMOS Brand hard plastic lunch boxes, on the other hand, are still manufactured in the USA and they are inexpensive (usually about $5). I received an email response from the company rep, John Golden ( stating:
Thermos LLC has manufacturing facilities domestically and in Asia. All
Vacuumware, Soft-Sided Coolers and Lunch Kits are manufactured in our Asian facilities and the Hard Plastic Lunch Kit is manufactured domestically.

I repeat, only the Thermos hard plastic lunch kits are made in USA, not the soft-sided.

Email from Aladdin:

From: Belinda Steele

Date: Nov 26, 2007 12:26 PM

Subject: Re General Inquire

Aladdin Industries was sold in 2001 and at that time, all manufacturing
was moved to our factories in China.

We have maintained the same workmanship and quality as when the products were made in the States.


Belinda Steele Consumer Customer Service Rep. U.S.
DIRECT 615-750-1909 - MAIN 615 750 1900 - FAX 615 370 0546
PMI - Aladdin - Stanley -
Aladdin and Stanley are registered trademarks of PMI. Property of PMI -

When replying, please include all previous correspondence.

Additional thought: Several brands of soft-sided or vinyl lunch kits (even those made in the US) have been shown to contain lead or other toxins. Many parents have opted to purchase safer and more eco-friendly options like canvas bags or handmade non-toxic bags such as those on Other options are to visit your local thrift shops, garage sales and/or FreeCycle groups to search for "vintage" metal lunch boxes made by Thermos...and sometimes, if you're lucky, maybe Aladdin. We have several at our house (made in the 80's & 90's) which were found at thrift stores for a dollar or two.