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I like watching my three-year-old son play with his cars and trucks. I often wonder what he is thinking about as he moves cars across the living room floor, complete with sounds and songs and crashes and proper lines.
The smaller cars--Hot Wheels and Matchbox--are fairly indestructible. About half of his bigger cars are second hand and have a few battle scars on them. They are not likely to last beyond my son's usage. The other half are new--and some of them are not likely to find their way into the second-hand market. These toys are not built well.
But they cost $10 to $20, something that many parents can justify spending. If higher quality is desired, the costs could rise $40 to $60.
I say we should go in that direction. True it is that many families will not want to spend $50 for one toy car. But the wealthier people will. If the toy is well built, it should survive a few generations of toddler boys at play. The less than wealthy will be looking at the second hand market to get their toy cars. And when their boy moves on, the toy can be resold (or given away) second hand-----again and again.
A high quality toy should last 10 to 20 years before it is landfilled. Most toy car today are lucky to make two years.
Not only that, local artisans could probably make a living handcrafting high quality toys for $50 a piece. If more people are employed in a creative fashion rather than being robots on an assembly line, that is a sign of a more contented society.