Friday, March 6, 2009

CPSIA - Visions of the Future!

From: Rick Woldenberg

Sent: Fri 3/6/2009 6:06 PM

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Subject: CPSIA - Visions of our Future!

As we prepare for the post-CPSIA world, we have come to realize that our products may become obsolete because of a Congressionally-inspired need to keep children and classrooms ultra-safe. Obviously, times have changed, and our virtually spotless 25-year record of safety and concern for consumers is just not good enough anymore. The CPSIA rocked the market with its innovative new safety standard for children's products in 2008. Okay, it's arbitrary and unrelated to risk of injury, but boy-oh-boy is it safe! Because of the CPSIA, products that were considered safe on February 9 suddenly became extremely dangerous on February 10 (now THAT'S an innovation!). While our "old" products (those dating back to, oh, four weeks ago) were simply colorful, content-rich and engaging, drawing children into a love of learning with hands-on experiences, we know now that no one would be crazy enough to hold counting blocks in their hands or directly experience the world these days.

What will teachers and parents expect from a responsible children's products company in the future? Inspired by the example set by Congress, we are certain that tomorrow's consumers will not want to take a chance of ANY possible injury, heck even a hypothetical or imaginary one. As some friendly consumer groups have taught us, there is no reason to take a chance because we're talking about safety. What a great lesson for us manufacturers! A truly modern design of cutting edge children's products will need to reflect this shift in favor of a "no risk" bubblewrap childhood. We, for one, contend that fun can still be part of the equation - just no touching.

So, drum roll please!, we are here today introducing our fabulous new Future World Collection of exciting educational materials for the post-CPSIA world. See Our products will be lead-free and phthalates-free and in the case of most products, entirely play value-free. [Ed. Note: As required by Federal Law, the Constitution and certain Congressional staffers, I must remind you that lead is a well-established neurological toxin, and phthalates have been linked to developmental disorders. Please go wash your hands now.] Explore the world at arm's length with our new Hands-off Learning toys! Extra extra safe because that's how Congress wants it.

For sales or other inquiries, please feel free to contact us at

Richard Woldenberg
Learning Resources, Inc.
Follow my blog at or


Anonymous said...


I just added my own "visual" on my blog today - - I hope you'll stop by and see both yesterday's post and today's "visual."

Also, I left a pretty funny note on Whimsical Walney's site one day - about the new made-for-t.v. movie of the classic Bubble Boy original (as altered by CPSIA). If you need to laugh, there's that, too.

Tristan Benz
Maiden America

Nom de Blog said...

My 8 year old looked at that and said "Really, are the toys in the future going to be like that?" The 11 year old, who doesn't have Asperger's Syndrome and thus doesn't take everything literally, thought it was funny. The 4 year old wanted to see them again, though.

sassypackrat said...

Brilliant! My 16 year old just looked at the image and said "Wow that sucks!" I think that sums it up.

Mars Feeney said...

I think the opponents of CPSIA have got it all wrong. What we need is not to repeal CPSIA but instead we need another law that complements it. Let me explain by way of example:

Take swimming - clearly the act of swimming is far more dangerous than any lead or phthalates that might be found in masks, snorkels, and fins. All the money spent on testing swim products could be saved by simply banning swimming for children.

The same may be true for bicycle riding, skateboarding, ice skating and many other activities.

Clearly the problem is not just swiming or bicycle riding. The problem is ACTIVITIES. Nobody in this country actually knows how safe our childrens activities are. NOBODY! This is appalling! I am suprised (and disappointed) that Ralph Nader isn't all over this.

I propose a new agency: CASC (Child Activity Safety Commission) and a new law CASIA (Child Activity Safety Improvement Law). If we could just delay CPSIA long enough to get these two rolling then we could save a bundle by not having to test all the products related to all the newly banned activities.

And with this money saved we could all buy more phthalate free Barbie's from Mattell which in turn would grease the rails of our economy - in short: save our money, save our children, save our economy!

And on that hot August day when you would have taken your child swimming you could instead visit the CASC's website for a list of safe and approved activities for children, such as, for example spending the day making ice cubes with your child. And, very cooly, the CASC website would link directly to their sister site from CPSC where you could find a list a ice trays that are safe for children's use.

I can't see a downside. But if you do, don't worry. You can rest assured your representatives in Washington won't.

Jen said...

Rick, I hope those gloves the kids are wearing are pthalate free.

Rick Woldenberg, Chairman - Learning Resources Inc. said...

Jen, while you may hope the gloves are phthalate-free, Congress has determined that it doesn't matter. Apparently, children only absorb phthalates from TOYS, not gloves. Somehow phthalates may only be absorbed during play, too, so kids' pleasure centers must have something to do with it. These gloves are not "toys" because CLEARLY the gloves aren't fun and have no apparent play value (check out the photos). Our legal department parsed this very carefully, as Congress must have. We take great pride in our compliance with this very well-intentioned and well-thought-through law. It's a learning experience every time we think about it!