Here’s an intriguing article about how toy production has moved around over the decades, and how that often relates to the world’s emerging economies.

If you want to know where the world economy is headed, look at the bottom of this toy car

In early 2022, Mattel — which makes Hot Wheels and Matchbox toy cars — made a move to “near-source” some production, bringing its supply chain closer to the United States and away from Asia and China: It announced an injection of $50 million to its factory in Mexico. So I expected to start seeing toy cars manufactured in Mexico. […] This past holiday season, my children and I took turns visiting the toy section of a large store just outside Washington. It was like a game: find a random car, take a picture of the box and the car’s underside, send it to our group chat. We found none from Bangladesh, Ethiopia or Mexico. They came from Malaysia, Thailand and, surprisingly, China, still. In the journey toward the inevitable transformation of economies, it seemed the world had taken a few detours.

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