Thursday, May 08, 2008

It's... a... difficult responsibility...

A friend of mine, who hinted at wanting this for her birthday, turned me on to Curiobot, and now it's one of my new faves. In fact, I've subscribed to a daily feed so I can see new, off-the-wall, totally bizarre offerings. The site reminds me of the King Novelty catalogs of yore, where one could purchase X-Ray vision glasses, Sea Monkeys and rubber chickens. But Curiobot pulls from all over the Internets, so the offerings are vast. Is Fido in need of a set of pooch slippers? Does your little one have hopes of being a TSA employee one day? Here's the perfect gift for practicing. How about a Shockalot Vault for keeping your highly coveted cookies safe? There's no end to the wackiness.

It's fun to peruse online, but when I'm in need of replacing my Toast Wallet, I shop at the local Archie McPhee in Ballard. And when I want a heaping helping of curio, with a side of Bush bashing, I head to the Not a Number gift store. Not only do I enjoy playing with every single toy in these shops, I also prefer to support my local retailer whenever I can.

I have to admit, though, that I'm faced with a quandary: if this bill passes, these local stores will have problems staying afloat. I'm totally in favor of making kids' toys safe, but I'd really hate to see them go under because they couldn't pay the exorbitant toy testing fees over which toy giants Mattel and Hasbro are up in arms, while other, mid-sized toy manufacturers are threatening to stop shipments of toys in Washington State altogether.

I'm not sure what the solution should be, but I am in favor of having the government step-in to create a federal regulation. Once the little toy retailers go under from this bill, and the mid-sized toy makers stop sending toys to our state, we would have make our purchases in other states where the regulations aren't as stiff. And aside from that being a ridiculous notion, it would make us a pretty boring place to be!

No comments: