Meet The Chinese Workers Building Your Cheap Christmas Toys

Photographer Michael Wolf took these shots back in 2006, showing some Chinese toy factories responsible for the kind of cheap plastic crap that lines store shelves and Christmas stockings all over the world.

If you thought most of the work on that toy car or Disney figure you're giving away was done by robots, you appear to have "cheap toys" confused with "expensive luxury motor vehicles".

The full gallery of images can be seen, along with many other wonderful examples, on Wolf's site.

Factories [Michael Wolf, via Laughing Squid]


    seriously this is the stuff that makes me want to smash through uni so I can get a ridiculously high paying job so I can go around and just help people. The world sucks in this way, it really does. Someone does have to go through and do certain things, don't get me wrong there's always going to be tedious mundane jobs but stuff like this makes me mad.....

      The problem exe. is that once you reach that pinnacle, you would have forgotten this pledge.

    Sleeping on the job, this isn't as bad as sweatshops sound.

      meanwhile in Australia, union bludgers are complaining about working 70 hours spread out over 2 weeks.

        Maybe you would prefer to live and work in a union-free country? Feel free to move to China, where you can be just as happy and fulfilled as the people in the above photos.

        Nah, they just want their blank cheques back.

        Sooo, you'd rather work more hours for less pay, is that what you're saying?

    What's the moral here. Would you rather they have no jobs? Would you rather we buy local? Is there a point to this? I don think anyone was under the impression people in china are thrilled to make our cheap crap

      I think 'buy local' could be a good message to take away. Or simply a reminder that our 'cheap' things have an often unseen human cost (i.e. poor working conditions for others).

    It actually doesn't look too bad, I wouldn't want to do it, but then I'm fortunate enough to live in a country where I have options. Maybe the ones after the link are worse, but these scream boring assembly line work to me not "OMG slave labour". That said there is no context for the pictures (we don't know what there paid, what their conditions are like).
    If you look at the photos you can actually see:
    a) Safety equipment is provided (Masks and coveralls)
    b) Cooked lunch provided
    c) not one shot of a security gaurd or the like keeping them in line (heck there is someone sleeping on the job)
    Sure they don't look happy, but do you look perpetually happy at work? (and you're not an assembly line worker)
    All in all this seems reasonable, if you want BAD go read up on Foxcon (who make all those smart phones and tablets we all need).

    Like Joe (above) said crappy job, or no job? (and keep in mind even if their pay seems increadibly low by our standards, most of the day to day expenses are also increadibly low by comparison)

    This may not be the best job in the world but it certainly doesn't appear to be the travesty some (I'm looking at you "exe") think it is.

    Kotaku - the one-stop website for pictures of sad Asians!

    Ignorance must be bliss.. if you'd done any research into how these places work, I think you'd see things differently.. the ones "sleeping on the job" have no doubt finished their 11 hour daily shift (including weekends since they only have 1 day off per month) and are too tired to return to the tiny room they share with 8 to 12 other workers for sleep... nobody gets to sleep DURING their shift..

    so by "meet" you meant have a look at pictures of? pictures from 2006?

    Wasn't this on a couple of weeks ago? Or was this Reddit? - Honestly confused.

    Since when does everyone walk around streets in China beaming a great smile? Put those same people in a factory and suddenly we're supposed to think they are super miserable?

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