Parents shopping for their children this holiday season need to be vigilant and check toys carefully before buying, as recalled and counterfeit toys are being sold online, a consumer report said Thursday.
The 37th annual toy safety report “Trouble in Toyland” by the Denver-based US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) warns parents to be extra vigilant about this hidden hazard.
PIRG said it was able to purchase more than 30 recalled toys from several US-based online sellers in October, noting that it is illegal for retailers and online marketplaces to sell recalled toys.
The report also states that the toys are counterfeit and do not necessarily meet mandatory US safety standards continue to be sold in stores and online.
The group was able to purchase nearly a dozen different types of toys that had been recalled – for various reasons Choking hazard, risk of injury to possible poisoning – from sellers on Facebook Marketplace and eBay as well as several online toy stores.
Toys included stuffed animals, action figures, toddler activity balls, musical toys, bath toys and a toddler horseback riding toy, and a majority of these were purchased new in their original packaging or new with tags.
“None of the other sellers flagged, stopped or warned any of our other purchases of recalled toys,” the report said.
The recalled toys, which PIRG says it was able to buy online, included:
— DigitDots 3mm and 5mm magnetic spheres from HD Premier: These were recalled in March 2022 for injuring the digestive system if two or more magnets were swallowed.
— Kidoozie play tents and playhouses by Epoch Everlasting Play: These were recalled in July 2022 because the fabric playhouses and play tents do not meet industry flammability standards.
— Forky 11″ plushies from Pixar’s Toy Story: The toy was recalled in July 2019 because the plastic googly eyes can detach from the toy, posing a choking hazard to small children.
— Early Learning Center Little Senses Lights & Sounds Shape Sorter Toys by Addo Play: The toy set was recalled in October 2022 due to the red cube’s ability to fall apart and release a small white ball which poses a choking hazard.
— Communicorp 6″ Aflac Plush Ducklings: The plush ducks were recalled in June 2022 because the components contain excessive levels of toxic phthalates, which are dangerous because they can affect young children’s brain and physical development. The recall affected a variety of the plush duck figures, including Accident Duck, Business Duck, Fishing Duck, Police Duck, PGA Duck, One Day Pay Duck, Heisman Duck, and Lifeguard Duck.
— Blue’s Clues Foot to Floor Ride-on Toys by Huffy Corp: The toy was recalled in August 2022 because the ride-on toy can tip forward when a small child rides on it, creating a risk of falling and injury.
When the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and a toy manufacturer announce a recall, it means the toy must be removed from store shelves and online marketplaces immediately. Federal law prohibits the sale of products that are subject to a CPSC-ordered recall or a voluntary recall by the company in consultation with the CPSC, the report said.
PIRG offered this advice on the best way to avoid counterfeit toys: If the only place to buy a popular, hard-to-find toy is a Website you’ve never heard of or looks sketchy, there may be a reason for that.
The toy may not be genuine, the report said, and may not meet safety standards for fragile parts or toxins common to plastic toys.
Correction: In a previous version of this story, the location of US PIRG’s headquarters was incorrect.
The CNN Wire
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