Melissa and Doug Melissa and Doug First Bead Maze

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Melissa and Doug First Bead Maze- Not for Our Home

Aug 11, 2009 (Updated Aug 13, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Disappointing

  • Durability:

Pros:strong suction, colorful and easy to use

Cons:potential arsenic in red wire

The Bottom Line: Due to the potential risks of the toy, I have discontinued use.


Having a child opened me up to a new world of toys however I have limited  how much we have in the home just because we don't have the space nor patience for tons of toys in our home.  I also wanted my daughter to have a good mix of plastic and wooden educational toys.

Of the First Bead Maze, Melissa and Doug.com claims, "Sitting in a high chair is much more fun with this fantastic bead maze. Featuring brightly colored, multi-shaped beads that spin and slide along red and yellow wire pathways that are anchored by a strong suction cup base. Encourages color recognition, hand-eye coordination and fine motor development through play!"

The Melissa and Doug First Bead Maze is a colorful wooden toy from the manufactureer Melissa and Doug.  Melissa and Doug is known for their extensive collection of wooden toys and I assumed these would be better than plastic toys for my child.  I'm no fanatic by any means when it comes to plastics but I try to live my life using sustainable prouducts and challenged myself to cut down my plastics consumption.  Because of this many of my daughters toys are made from wood.  

I purchased this bead maze at a local toy store and my daughter and played with it off and on for a few months.  She liked to push the beads together to hear them click and I often put the suction on our floor so she had better control of the toy.  She also liked to spin the beads although the yellow square bead would often stick since it was a tad bit too large to smoothly slide between the wires.  At this point she likes to drag her dollies and teddies around more than a bead maze so it has been sporadically used since it is very easy to suction the bottom to the floor.  I should also say that the suction is very strong and my kid can't remove it once it's stuck to a surface.

My problem with this toy is that it was tested by Healthytoys.org and scored a Medium on the level of chemical expsoure rating score.  I did some more research on the site and found that this product has a 51 parts per million of Aresenic in the the red wire.  Now I know that toys have to go through vigorous testing before they make it to market but toys with aresenic are not allowed in my home, and especially not in my child's mouth.
 
I want to note that Healthytoys.org is a non profit organization and does not test to see if any chemicals will seep out of the toy nor do they test to see what kinds of reactions children will have if they play with this toy.  The Toy Industry Association claims that Healthytoys.org is misleading because "The mere presence of inaccessible substances in trace amounts does not mean a product is harmful." However just knowing the arsenic was there was enough for me and I removed the toy from her room and replaced with a different kind of toy. I personally believe that it's important to do your own research on the issue and then determine what is right for your family.

Melissa and Doug make lots of other toys that had great scores on healthytoys.org and I generally love the products but did not want my daughter pklpaying with this particular one. 
Tiffy0380
2009


Recommend this product? No


Amount Paid (US$): 9.99

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