People are thinking twice about where they shop this season
It's the Sunday before Christmas and all through the streets, not a creature was stirring, not even a customer. This is not poetry or haiku; it's reality.
At Big Fun, we've had some decent "rushes," but not the crowds that we are used to at this time of year. Friends in other cities have shared the same stories. There is still hope. People are starting to think twice about where they shop and who they want to support. Please continue to spread the word and we all will be better for it.
Now for something completely different (I always wanted to say that!). This is something related. At Big Fun, we have thousands of different items. During a lull I decided to do a "study," not a random sampling. Although not professional, it was a pretty thorough examination of all "labeled" items in my store to see how many were actually still made in the good old USA. While you're thinking of this number, I have excluded books, stickers, trading cards, magnets and shirts.
13 Items . . . THIRTEEN is not a lucky number.
I actually stretched the number because for those who may be interested which toys they are:
- Wooly Willy and Hairdoo Harriet. Wooly Willy is toy where you take metal shavings and place "hair" over the bald guy's head - Yes . . . I've tried it. Hairdoo Harriet is Willy's folically-challenged sister. The same company also makes Basket-Bounce and Home Run in the US.
- Slinky and Slinky Jr. created in 1945 are still a big favorite at Big Fun.
- Nose Flutes and Humazoos made locally in Cleveland,Ohio.
- Super Snow (and I'm not talking about the stuff at Boston Mills) is also made in our dear city of Cleveland.
- Silly Putty, formally called Nutty Putty, was originally used in Army Rockets until scientist A. Lazo dropped a sample on the floor and it bounced.
- Gyroscopes are still made in the states.
- Jacks, the "good" metal ones - and there is a difference, are made in southern Ohio.
And finally, my favorite: WHOOPS, the best fake vomit on the market is made by hand, individually (like snowflakes-no two alike) in Chicago.
There are some other items that are labeled "made in the USA," but also say "bag made in China."
I don't know about you, but this really upsets me. I'm not a politician, a scientist or an economist. I am an American and would love to sell MADE IN USA products. I welcome your feedback and better yet, find me some Big Fun-worthy cool toys made here in our country.
If you want to buy Made in the USA products or better yet, made locally by very talented artists, please stop by the HEIGHTS ARTS GALLERY at 2173 Lee Rd. (next to the wonderful Cedar Lee Theatre in Cleveland Heights.) 216-371-3457
If I don't see you have a healthy, happy New Year. 2009 can't get here fast enough.