Global commerce is neatly wrapped for Christmas on the streets of Toytown.
In cardboard boxes.
Thousands of the corrugated containers filled with Chinese-made vinyl dolls, plastic action figures, electronic gadgets, video games, clothing and die-cast cars pour daily into wholesale and retail toy shops in a dozen-block area on the eastern edge of downtown Los Angeles.
When they’re empty, the boxes are flattened, trucked out of Toytown and shipped back to China, where the cycle begins all over again.
Inexpensive toy knickknacks and knockoffs, along with electronic gear and apparel, are Los Angeles’ biggest Chinese import. And China-bound cardboard and other scrap paper have turned into a huge export.