Why do most toys don’t come with batteries included

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Why do most toys don't come with batteries included
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Vintuitive

We’ve all heard the dreaded line: “Batteries, not included”. It’s always been quite an irritating moment to get something and find out you can’t use it.

Not unless you fork over more money to get appropriate batteries. And for some toys like R/C cars and so on, you could end up needing several batteries and the costs add up.

So, why is that? Why do so many toys even today don’t include batteries in the package? Some do, but most don’t.

Well, it’s mostly about safety. And costs, of course. But mostly safety. Batteries are full with chemicals and if they are damaged during shipment, it could be a big problem and a fire hazard.

Also, toys generally tend do sit around in warehouses and stores for quite some time. Over time the chemicals in those batteries lose their efficiency. You’ve probably have had bought brand new toys or electronics with included batteries only to find out they either don’t work at all or are weak and last a very short amount of time.

That’s because the batteries were sitting unused for so long that they started to expire. So, you end up needing new batteries anyway, but now you also have “included batteries” which are wasted and that’s bad for the environment.

And if the batteries sit around for way too long, they can corrode and leak. This is quite the hazard, as you can imagine. Plus, no batteries, means lower costs.

And another reason is to make sure kids don’t just unpack the toys and swallow or mishandle the batteries. Where there are no batteries, they have to ask their parents for help.

Of course, if a company has a very popular toy on its hands, which sells quickly, it can afford to include batteries. But you can’t really know which toy will really conquer the market and which won’t. So, it’s just better and easier for the companies to not include batteries at all. It’s basically a case of better be safe than sorry.