Hard To Open Gifts

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Toys wrapped in hard plastic make for a nice presentation, but cause aggravation during the holiday season and all year round.

Todd Braswell is aggravated with hard to open items, and says, "They make some toys with that hard plastic and it's hard to open, I cut myself last year trying to do it for my nephew."

Micky Hammond says he even cut himself. He says, "Oh sure, I know it's aggravating, I used to use scissors across the top, and all that gets aggravating."

Consumer reports came up with some reasons why manufacturers use these hard plastics. For one thing, they say plastics are cheaper and harder to open, and federal safety laws require seals that will show evidence of tampering. Retailers say they lose $15 billion a year thanks to shoplifters. Most products are now made overseas and must be able to endure long trips. Lastly, children are usually touching toys so this prevents any breakage before purchase.

Thomasville resident, Joan Denham, says, "A lot of the things that are packaged are hard plastic and there's no tearing it open with your hands, you have to get scissors or a knife, and you end up cutting yourself."

In fact, consumer reports show these hard to open packages lead to more than 6,000 trips to the emergency room every year. But officials at Fisher-Price say they are working on some changes consumers will see come Christmas 2007. Packaging engineers at Fisher-Price say for this year, skip the scissors and have a pair of wire cutters handy for these hard to open packages.