Steffi Love

I am not a fan of the so-called "Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act". I don't want to go all "activisty" so I've tried not to mention it.

However, I just read that Simba, the large German toymaker who produces, among other things, the Steffi Love doll and the Disney Princess fashion dolls that are sold throughout Europe, is pulling out of the US market because they can't afford the testing required by the CPSIA.

This isn't happening because Simba produces "dangerous" toys that don't comply the new requirements. You don't get to be one of the top-five toymakers in the world by producing toys that pose health hazards to children. This is only happening because they can't pay for the excessive, pointless testing required by the CPSIA and still remain profitable in the US. Their market share here is too small.

That's the fatal flaw of the CPSIA. It doesn't just shut down manufacturers who create hazardous products - it shuts down everyone who doesn't have the benefit of huge profit margins that can help them shoulder the cost of testing while still turning a profit.

I know someone who used to donate handmade baby blankets to a local children's hospital. Now it appears to be illegal for her to do that. Because of the CPSIA, if she wanted to donate a blanket, she'd have to go a store and buy one from a brand-name manufacturer, which was most likely produced in a factory overseas, because they can afford to have their items batch-tested to prove they're "safe". She can't. Component testing isn't allowed, so even if she makes her blankets from supplies that have been tested and passed, she still can't donate them.

Forcing people to rely on mass-produced items is just one of the ways the CPSIA is "protecting" people in the United States.

Anyway. I haven't actually seen any Steffi Love dolls around here in a long time. Now I know I won't be seeing them in the future either. The sad part is, Simba isn't the first manufacturer who's had to pull out of the US because of the CPSIA, and they absolutely won't be the last.

Filed Under: General Dollstuff
Doll Diary 03 April 2009