The cherry-red Radio Flyer Wagon has become a symbol of an idyllic childhood in America. Radio Flyer wagons were originally made in Chicago, but after the company changed their materials from the original metal to lighter, cheaper plastic, they began outsourcing and began to produce out of the country.
The Chicago factory could not create the plastic parts, so in 2004, the company turned to none other than China. Today, though some of Radio Flyer’s products are still made in the Midwestern U.S., around two-thirds are made in China. Amongst other products, Red Flyer also produces scooters, tricycles, and ride-on.
Made Overseas: Melissa & Doug Toys
Melissa & Doug toys are a favorite of consumers for their classic, wooden designs and bright colors. But if you’re looking for American-made toys, Melissa & Doug will unfortunately disappoint. The toy company is headquartered in Connecticut, but they manufacture the toy parts in China. What’s more disturbing is that their toys were found to pose potential health risks.
In both 2008 and 2009, there was a recall of 26,000 of their toys due to the discovery of excessive levels of barium in the surface paint. So, when it comes to purchasing safe toys for your kids, it may be better to buy them closer to home!
Made Overseas: Barbie Dolls
Barbie dolls are some of the most iconic toys not only in America but across the globe. The dolls were originally conceptualized by Ruth Handler to be a 3-D version of a paper doll. Today, the Barbie doll has come a long way from the simple fashion doll.
Now, Barbie dolls are doctors, scientists, athletes, and businesswomen who represent the “American dream” for many young girls. But these “American dream” dolls were never made in America. They were first manufactured in Japan in 1959. And today, being owned by outsourcing giant Mattel, Barbies are made in Chinese, Malaysian, and Indonesian factories.
Made in the USA: Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
Though China produces some of the parts, Little Tikes Cozy Coupe (the toy car for toddlers) is manufactured in Hudson, Ohio. The founder of Little Tikes, Thomas Murdough Jr., originally started the company in Ohio in 1969, and it was one of the first plastic toy cars sold in the United States.
It was considered The Best Selling Car" for more than a decade, leaving Honda Accord behind. The fact that the company remains in the USA over 50 years later is truly remarkable, considering how many companies have factories overseas. The Little Tikes website even features a section devoted to their toys that are made in America.
Made in the USA: Pyrex Glassware
Pyrex glassware is known to be a versatile and aesthetic way to prepare, bake, and store food in the kitchen. The Pyrex brand features a variety of products, from measuring cups to mixing bowls, and has been a staple in American kitchens since its founding in 1915.
As it turns out, the actual glass Pyrex uses is unique, which differentiates this line of products from all others. The sturdy glassware is actually made in Corning, New York, and in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. So you can bake your next casserole with full confidence that your Pyrex glassware was made in the USA.