A Close Shave… with a sword

The pic is blurry because he would not keep still!

On a school trip to Hampton Court Palace today (I am a teacher) I though that I would take the chance to buy a little present for our son Lucan. I saw a lovely looking plastic knights armour set and naturally turned it over to search the small print. As with most plastic toys, I sure was that I would see a label that said it had been made in the Far East. You can imagine my astonishment to be presented with an announcement that this particular toy had been manufactured in the UK. It was such a cute set, and I was so excited by this find, that I instantly bought it for Lucan without a further thought.

It was only when I showed the children what I had bought that I saw in horror the dreaded words ‘Made in China’ moulded into the actual pieces of the toy. The cardboard label clearly said ‘made in the UK’ but the actual toy said ‘made in China’!!! Needless to say I was pretty cross with this mislabelling,  and at myself for not having looked more closely. However, I was very lucky that I had not ventured far from the shop and took it straight back. The shop staff were very understanding and were happy for me to swap the plastic set for a lovely wooden sword and scabbard. I had already eyed this up earlier and it had clearer labelling saying ‘Made in Britain’.

This incident is set to make me look much more closely again at labels. What was more concerning though is that it was a very near failure in our project – even if an unwitting one.

On the plus side Lucan seems to love his sword and has spent all evening pretending to be a knight.

– Emily


  1. Surely this contravenes the Trade Descriptions Act.

    Perhaps you should report the retailer to the OFT.

  2. ‘Manufactured in UK’ from parts ‘made in China’ perhaps.
    Putting it into ‘made in UK’ packaging in the UK from parts bought in also fudges the origin quite nicely.

  3. This kind of thing is not new I worked in a motor garage in the 1970’s, opened a spark plug box that said made in England on it, (although the company was American). The spark plug inside said “assembled in USA from parts made in Japan”. By the way the spark plug was invented by Lodge in England.

  4. Cheek!

  5. saw something on Midlands today about china being labelled as made in uk but apparently they are just painted here – they did mention a company called Churchill china that is properly and completely made in UK – so its good that there is a proper alternative and lets hope you always find one.http://www.churchillchina.com/

    • I used to collect Wedgewood china but thought they had gone out of business until last year when I found some here in Canada. I did some googling and discovered that Wedgwood had been bought by another company who were using the patterns. I dropped a hefty hint to my beloved that I would like some for Christmas. Which was duly received. Imagine my horror to see ‘Made in China’ stamped on the bottom.

  6. Lizzie Baker says

    It doesn’t seem right to me that the outer label should say made in UK when the inside parts say made in China. But at least you managed to find a replacement and there’s one happy small boy who may or may not sleep well tonight after the excitement.

  7. My wife and I are very careful about the origin of the goods we buy. What we have found these last couple ofr years is that it can be very difficult to find the origin of many of the things we want to buy.
    This kind of thing is pretty common, don’t let it wear you down.

  8. Phew, well spotted. Was the wooden one made by this company…
    All their products are superb.

  9. If you ever visit Stratford on Avon & the Shakespeare houses, everything you see in the gift shop at Hall’s Croft is handmade – not only in the UK, but locally to Stratford.

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