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Uncle Goose Planet Blocks

Why don’t Uncle Goose blocks cost more?

Sometimes, we’ll get the question “Why do your blocks cost so much?” But it’s the wrong question.

A better question is “Why don’t your blocks cost more?” An even better question is “Why are competitive toys so cheap?”

Your Uncle Goose handcrafts toys in the United States. Our workers earn a living wage. And we all work in a safe, but costly, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulated environment.

Our raw materials are all sourced from within the United States. We also use fast-growing, sustainable basswood in most of our products. And Uncle Goose uses a third party to test our inks and paints, to make sure they do not detect the presence of heavy metals or phthalates.

So why don’t our blocks cost more? It’s because we need to stay competitive. The market is flooded with cheap Chinese toys that set the standard for what a reasonable price is. But why are these competitive toys so cheap?

Let’s think a toy factory in China. That Chinese toy factory might very well use prison labor to manufacture products. And even if it doesn’t use prison labor, the pay is still much lower than it is in the United States.

Without the presence of OSHA regulations, how many Chinese fingers, arms, or lives does it take to make cheap toys for U.S. buyers? It’s impossible to say, but not hard to imagine the tragic consequences of unsafe working conditions.

Now let’s think about the raw materials that go into making that toy from China. Is the wood sustainable? We can’t say for sure, but probably not.

Do tests show that some Chinese toys test for the presence of heavy metals? Yes. The Federal government allows for trace amounts of some heavy metal contamination in toy paints and inks.

But not your Uncle Goose. We keep to a higher standard of safety than required by the Federal government.

Uncle Goose crafts blocks that will last several lifetimes. They’re heirloom products. If you treat them with care and kindness, they will last generations. We craft our toys in a sustainable way to help make sure there’s a planet left in 100 years.

And yet - your Uncle Goose still needs to stay competitive in an environment that’s swimming in a sea of cheaply made, environmentally unfriendly toys. You would not believe the markup on toy products from China!

US distributors of Chinese toys often sell to retailers at a 4x to 8x markup. Your Uncle Goose doesn’t even charge one full markup! While our competitors enjoy obscene profits, your Uncle Goose is content to make a modest profit on hand-crafted, sustainable, American-made toys that will last several lifetimes.

So please don’t ask the question “Why do Uncle Goose blocks cost so much?” They don’t. They’re modestly priced so that families can enjoy them for generations.

A better question is “Why are competitive toys so cheap?” That’s a question that can yield more insightful answers.


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