The Best Christmas Toy Ever For 2007: Miniature Windmill By Lehman's
This toy windmill is as good as it gets for budding TreeHuggers. Made out of steel in the good old USA. No poisonous, plastic parts from China (although we did not examine the small red hub pictured). And, it would look nice even on a balcony railing or in a flower pot on the deck. Small enough that the child would not have to live in the suburbs to enjoy its functioning.
The only drawback is, this model isn't set up to add a mini-generator to drive a motor or pump.
Lehman's online catalog lists it for US$17.95 and it was in stock at the time of this posting.
Kids can assemble the Lehman turbine toy, but it looks as if adult involvement would be needed: a good time to engage in a "teachable moment."
Green shopper caution: we considered including a photo of the KidWind project toy wind turbines in this post because that project offers a variety of toy wind turbine kits and spare parts. Unfortunately, most of the KidWind turbine and stanchion materials are apparently PVC, as shown in this link.
Might be possible to add the ancillary generation parts from KidWind to the Lehman's turbine, and skip the potential for exposing kids to Chinese-made vinyl containing lead stabilizer compounds?
Note:Lehman's windmill "Takes about an hour to assemble and a tweezers is highly recommended (Many small screws.) # 16 ¾"H, 1 ft. to 1" scale."
Clarification:: This writer has no problem with PVC components of any kind being included in commercial wind turbines. Kids are not exposed to them. There's no problem, either, with kids being given age appropriate toys with rigid PVC parts if lead stabilizers are demonstrated not to be present. But, given this year's experience with Chinese made toys containing lead colorants and Chinese formulated vinyl commonly containing lead stabilizers, until it is demonstrated that the KidWind kits are lead-free, we can't in good conscience, suggest them as gifts.
Summary: Made In The USA, and Lead Free are the qualities that make Lehmans a "Best Ever" unless someone points us to a better model, in which case we'll make a correction or addendum to this post.