Be Careful Selling Or Donating Old Toys

One has many options at their disposal when it comes to dealing with an owned toy that is being recalled for any of the several reasons toys have been recalled for lately. Some people simply throw the toy out, other people exchange it for a different item and the rest get a refund where available, if the refund is worth the time and money to get.

One thing you shouldn’t do with a recalled toy is try to sell it.

Garage sales are great to clear out some old junk and make some money on the side, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission have the power to monitor garage and other sales of that type to ensure any toys that have been recalled aren’t being sold. Anyone caught selling any toys that were recalled in the past could go to jail reports Bob Barr from the Barr Code.

I guess it would depend on the situation on what could happen, but saying you didn’t know you couldn’t do that isn’t going to get you off the hook. In fact, it would probably get you in more trouble since that would be a common excuse. It’s as they say, ignorance of the law doesn’t make it ok. Toys being sold on the internet are also being watched so that’s not a safe option either if you’re trying to sell.

Even donating toys is getting tougher because of the recalled toys. It’s just slightly a slap in the face to the kids “Here you go, a cheap toy that might put your eye out or stunt your mental development, enjoy”.

Since it’s the Consumer Product Safety Commission regulating this sort of this, you should probably check their website for all recalled toys if you plan on donating or selling toys. It’s not that big of a list although the first recall was back in the 1970s.

That sort of thing is probably just going to deter people from donating toys. I know I wouldn’t want to try and do something good like donate toys only to find out something I donated was recalled and I look bad for donating a bad toy.

I don’t think you can get into trouble for donating a recalled toy, but it would most certainly be frowned upon, defeating the purpose of the donation in the first place. Any toys known or are suspected of being bad would just be kept out of circulation.

Would this keep you from donating or selling old toys?

Lego IR Remote Controls Recalled

Hey, something Lego is being recalled and it isn’t for a choking hazard. With its tiny blocks, I long suspected a choking hazard warning would eventually come up since those blocks could fit down a child’s throat.

Recalled Lego Power Functions IR Remote ControlThe recall doesn’t have to do with a block choking hazard though. It’s about a burn hazard for remote controls used with a train kit.

Lego Systems Inc is recalling about 1,600 Power Functions IF Remote Controls because it needs batteries and the batteries can overheat with almost a half a dozen reports of them overheating. Thankfully no one had the opportunity to yell out “BURN” a la Michael Kelso.

They were sold out of the Lego catalogs and on their website lego.com in April and May of this year, 2009, for 13 bucks and they went along with the Emerald Night Train and the Power Functions kit.

People who purchased the remote control should contact Lego Systems Inc to find out if their unit was part of the recall, usually determined through a serial number or something, and they can get it replaced if they got a bad one.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has the full report here.

Toys Recalled in January 2009

Unfortunately, I got a couple months behind in my toy recall updates. I tried to write-ups for all the posts I missed to catch up, but that was about a month ago and I haven’t done any since.

At this point, I can only catch up if I just do a quick listing of all toys recalled each month for the first few months of the year until I am caught up.

So here are the toys that I hadn’t posted yet recalled in January 2009 for those who didn’t know about them.

Lion and Lamb Grabby Rattles
Infantino Infant Lion RattleApproximately 131,000 rattle units were recalled on January 15th and 20,000 were previously recalled in March of 2008. They presented a choking hazard to children because the tail on the rattles could come off.

They were manufactured in China and they were sold at Wal-Mart and Babies R Us between May 2007 and September 2008 for 3 or 4 dollars.

Spa Factory and Aromatherapy Kits
Spa and Aromatherapy KitsHere’s one of the more rare recall reasons, explosion and projectile hazard. Several different spa and aromatherapy kits, around 516,000 units total, have an issue with with containers for bath balls and bath fizzies. The lids on the containers don’t have holes in the top so carbon dioxide pressure can build up and pop the tops off. The lids can become projectiles when enough pressure builds up and chemicals used can irritate eyes with splashing with some reports of injuries.

These kits were sold at Wal-Mart, Target and Sam’s Club among other toy stores between August 2008 and January 2009 with the cost of the various kits ranging from 13 to 50 dollars and they were made in China.

People who purchased the kits can trade their caps without vent holes for new caps with vent holes. This prevents the pressure build up. If that’s all you can do, I would just drill vent holes on the caps that don’t have them already.

Construction Play Set
Construction Play SetIt’s back to the original problem with this toy construction site, excessive lead hazard with 3,000 units being recalled. They were sold during the last few months of 2008 for about 20 dollars.

These sets were made in China and sold at hardware and farm stores all over the nation. No injuries were reported and customers should take the sets away from their kids and return it for a refund.

State Farm Bears Recalled

This recall from today comes from your good neighbor, State Farm Insurance, in the form of a cute and cuddly, but not so kid-friendly advertisement toy.

Recalled State Farm BearThe State Farm Good Neigh Bears®, another product manufactured in China, were given away for free by agents and during some sponsored events between September 2005 and March 2007. The stuffed animal bear’s eyes can fall off and pose a choking hazard to children, with one report of a child putting the eye in her mouth. Over 800,000 bears are included in the recall for the United States and Canadians have 27,000 to worry about.

Because these toys were given away, and were free, the only thing you can do with them is take them away from the child and dispose of them. Or, for those people who are daring, actually just sew the eye back on!

Is it just me or should the art of sewing be somewhat perfected by this point? Honestly, unless they are making a big deal out of everything these days, you’d think they’d have a way of securing eyes onto stuffed animals by now.

Wouldn’t be ironic if someone filed some form of insurance claim to some incident regarding one of these bears?

Read the CPSC report here.

Land of Nod Xylophone Toy Recall

I’m a little behind on toy recall reporting so the next little while will be catching up on whats been going on in the recall sector this past little while. Looks like there’s been eight CPSC recalls since my last reported recall.

This time it’s a xylophone, one of those ones on wheels that you can pull along, and it’s being recalled for a choking hazard. The pegs can break and be swallowed by children.

Recalled Land Of Nod XylophoneAt the time of recall, there were 22 broken peg reports, but no one filed an injury report. The recall affects about 500 units that were last sold in March of 2008 from the Land of Nod Catalogue, their website and various store, so it’s kind of late since it was almost a year ago they were even last sold.

As usual, it’s best to take them away from the kids. You can return it to the company and get a purchase price credit (it was about $45) and a gift certificate worth $10.

At a first glance, you’d think there would be a lead paint issue, I mean honestly, it looks like it’s made of candy. Look at the pinwheel sucker wheels, licorice lace pull string and the xylophone sticks look like Chupa Chups. Kids are probably sucking on the thing.

Watch the flash animation on the Chupa Chups website and see if you can count the number of possible copyright infringements. So far, I recognize the Rolling Stones(Lolling Stones?), Star Wars, Apple Computers(Pear?), Back to the Future, Pac-Man, Bill Clinton and possibly the Spice Girls.

Oh, and if you care, they were made in China.

View the full CPSC recall report here.

TDI International Toy Car Recall

It didn’t take long into the New Year to find another toy that needs to be recalled and it won’t be surprising to know the reason, a violation of the lead paint standard.

The maker of the toy car, TDI International, cooperated with the CPSC to recall about 150 High Speed Pull Back Toy Cars because the surface paint contained excessive amounts of lead paint. No injuries were reported, but any injuries wouldn’t be apparent for quite some time so it’s better to take them off shelves.

High Speed Pull Back Toy Car

The toys were made in China and they were sold at small retail stores in Texas during the months of June and July 2008. The usual “what to do about it” is in effect. People who bought the toy cars can contact TDI International for a refund or a replacement toy, but the toy was only two dollars.

I don’t know why the importing companies don’t open up an imported toy and test them before they make them available to buy. Is it really that tough to test a toy before offering them?

Before 2006, it may not have been necessary, but this has been going on for quite some time. They should be testing the toys they get, especially ones from China, and they should be dealing with the companies they do business with personally when these issues arise.

Read the CPSC report here.

Toys Recalled For Toxic Barium Hazard

A new threat has emerged in the constant struggle that is the toy recall saga. Toy recalls are up 40 percent this year and some of those toys were recalled because barium was found on the toys. Seven toys have been pulled from shelves this year after tests found barium used in the paint on those toys. Barium testing was not conducted last year, so this could open up another can of worms on toy recalls if toys are now tested for high barium levels.

Barium is used in paints to create pigments and it’s used rarely in kid’s toys made in Canada because of the hazardous product legislation, but the standards aren’t the same when trading with other countries.

The barium was found mainly in wooden toys that have brightly colored paint. This is another problem with the wooden toys since wooden toys were already being recalled for a choking hazard.

The product testing focus was on lead content, but this year testing has included other hazardous metals like mercury, antimony and arsenic. It seems the problem goes a little bit deeper than once thought and it’s becoming a serious concern.

The seven toys that have been recalled for the barium use are:

  • Geometric Stacker
  • Toy Dump Truck
  • Stacking Train
  • Wooden Alphabet/Number Blocks
  • Zolo Zippy
  • Pop Up Toy
  • Big Top Flippity Flops

Importing is part of the problem with safety standards for toys. Not all countries have the same safety standards and it’s widely felt that when importing from other countries, the standards should be the same to avoid problems like this since many of the recalls were from toys made in other countries.

Many of the toys are made in other countries, like China, which is contributing to the size of the toy recall problem. Their standards are different.

For more details, read the Canadian Press article here.

Woodstock Percussion Toy Drum Recall

Well, it’s Christmas Day and kids everywhere have already opened their presents. Hopefully they got all that they wanted this year and hopefully they didn’t get this toy drum that is part of the most recent toy recall.

The Calypso Steel Drums made by Woodstock Percussion Inc. in Shokan N.Y. have been recalled for a lead paint standard violation. They used paint on the surface that contains high levels of lead in the paint. Oddly enough, they weren’t made in China, they were made in Trinidad.

The surface of the drum is painted black with the notes clearly indicated. The sides of the drum are painted red. It also comes with two drum sticks and a wooden stand. The rim has a #5 or #6 stamped on the side. Apparently, only some of the #5 models are being recalled. It’s not mentioned how to tell the difference.

The recalled Calypso Steel Drum

They were sold out of mail order catalogues, from websites and some retail stores from December 2006 till December 2007. These drums were pretty costly, ranging from $50 to $100 and only about 2,800 were recalled.

The usual solution is in effect, take the toy away from the child and return it to the manufacturer however, there’s no mention of a refund. Instead, people will get a replacement drum and a $5 credit/payment and I find that a little frustrating. For $50 to $100, they should have the option for a refund and what if the replacement is bad to?

Find the full CPSC report here.

All we need now is a recalled toy microphone to go along with the recalled Rage Wireless Guitar and you can make the toy version of Rock Band or the newest Guitar Hero game. It would be the version of the damned though since they were all recalled.

Xtreme Toy Zone Dinosaur Recall

There’s a voluntary recall of some toy dinosaurs sold on the Xtreme Toy Zone website. The recall is due to, wait for it, a violation in the lead paint standard. The paint on the exterior of the Dinosaur Epoch toys was tested and found to have unacceptable levels of lead paint. See, I told you it would be the last toy recalled for a lead paint standard violation.

There are two models of the dinosaur toys included in this recall, the Dinosaur Brachiosaurus and the Dinosaur Carnotaurus. These dinosaur toys are battery operated. They move around and have sound effects, but they don’t need a remote control. It should be no surprise they were manufactured in China.

Recalled Dinosaur Toys

“If I eat you, will I get lead poisoning?”

They were sold from the Xtreme Toy Zone website from May 2008 till October 2008. The recall is taking back 480 toys, a lower number than usual, so either only that many were made or that many were sold. The suggestion is to take the toy away from the child and return for a refund or an exchange. Since they were being sold for around $20 bucks, most people are probably going to return them for a refund.

The full CPSC report is here.

Now we know what really happened to the dinosaurs. ;)

Top Ten Hazards Of Recalled Toys

A toy is recalled when a factory defect or other problem presents a danger to children, even when it has only a remote chance of happening. No parent wants their child to be playing with a toy that could permanently injure or kill them. Unfortunately, they have to rely on product standards in place and trust that products they find on store shelves are safe.

With the countless recalls over the past two years, parents are becoming skeptical of the toys available since many of those toys have yet to be tested. Knowing what toys have been recalled for can help to identify possible threats to your children from the toys they currently have. Some of them might have a slim chance of actually happening and be a complete fluke, but they could happen.

10. Arm Entrapment
Arm Entrapment Hazard
The occasional toy will have places a child’s limbs could get trapped and unable to be freed without injury. Activity centers are a potential threat depending on how they’re built. If they include tubes and tunnels, kids who shove their arm into them might find it harder to get it out. The Learn-Around™ Playground Activity Center was recalled two years ago for that reason.

9. Impalement or Puncture
Puncture Hazard
This hazard is due to sharp objects on toys that could impale or puncture a child. The infamous lawn darts, or jarts, are an example of an impalement toy should they be thrown and actually hit a person, which is why they were banned in most countries. Some toys are fine until they come apart unexpectedly. Toy cars with metal axles could puncture children’s fingers if the wheels come off and they pick it up the wrong way. Lego recalled toy trucks for this reason in 2006.

8. Chemical Burn
Chemical Burn Hazard
It might sound like an odd hazard to be wary of unless your child has a chemistry set, but even then those shouldn’t be hazardous. The chemical burns come from leaking batteries already installed within a toy or the potential for batteries to leak when installed the wrong way. Batteries already within a toy are generally poor quality and one batteries should be installed by an adult.

The rage wireless guitar is one example of a recall due to the possible injury from batteries installed the wrong way. They would overheat and leak from the incorrect installation.

7. Intestinal
Intestinal Hazard
This is another hazard that will make people think how. How could a toy cause intestinal problems? Well, if a toy has tiny magnets, like the magnetic dart set, those magnets could fall off.

If a child swallows them, they might be small enough not to cause choking, but they could cause problems further down the road. Trying not to be too graphic here, if more than one tiny magnets are swallowed, they could attract each other inside the body. If they happen to attract each other with, lets say, the intestinal wall between them, that’s not good. The above mentioned toy had to be recalled early this year.

6. Burn
Burn Hazard
It might seem like the burn hazard would be associated with the fire hazard, well it is. Obviously you could get burns if a toy started on fire, but you could also get burns from touching a surface on the toy that has gotten really hot, usually from a battery or needing to be plugged in. The toy speed boats are one example of a toy recalled for getting hot under the collar.

5. Laceration
Laceration Hazard
Toys with moving parts could potentially lacerate children or toys that come part and expose sharp edges. Some penguin toy figures were recalled because they could come apart and expose just such a hazard.

Toys with moving blades could also lacerate children. One of the worst examples of that type of toy are the Sky Dancers flying dolls, with their spinning blades and helicopter-like action. You aren’t supposed to touch them while they are spinning, but I wouldn’t want one of them flying at me. Yeah, so recalled.

4. Strangulation
Strangulation Hazard
These toys have strings or cords that could potential to be accidentally wrapped around a child’s neck. The standard for any string or cords on a child’s toy is supposed to be 12 inches long. Some Earthentree wooden pull toys have been recalled for cords longer than the 12 inch standard. If you have a 12 inch army guy, strings and cords shouldn’t be taller than him.

3. Fire
Fire Hazard
It might be funny on the Simpsons when things just spontaneously combust, but this is NOT a situation to kill anything with fire. Any toys with electrical components could potentially start a fire and those are the ones that need to be used safely. Several remote controller helicopters and cars needed to be recalled because the battery pack would overheat and could have started fires.

2. Choking
Choking Hazard
Some toys are small(Micro Machines), some toys include small parts(action figure accessories) and some toys break apart into pieces(Lego) that could fit into a child’s mouth. Many children like to put things in their mouths and when swallowed, these toys get stuck in the throat and cause the child to choke. A recent example of this recall is the Ja Ru toy train.

However, if all it takes is toys to have small pieces that COULD be swallowed, why are they still allowed to make the extremely popular Lego toys? Just sayin.

1. Lead Paint
Lead Paint Hazard
This is the king of reasons for toy recalls. If you haven’t heard of this toy recall hazard, you’ve “been living on Mars for the past decade. Under a rock in a cave. With your eyes shut and your fingers in your ears“. High lead paint levels on toys can cause developmental problems in children and can cause problems for adults as well. Too much lead is not good for you, but lead paint is used on toys because it’s cheap, simple as that.

The latest recall for excessive lead paint levels was the OKK Trading Army Figure toys, but don’t expect it to be the last recall for lead paint.

It’s Tough Being A Kid
Many of those hazards sound like something you would only hear about in relation to committed crimes. Parents need to keep an eye out for potential hazards. Kids don’t know any better when it comes to potential dangers and with the recent toy recalls, parents need to be aware of them more than ever.

Poor quality standards have put companies in a bad light and they’re going to have to work to gain the consumer’s trust again. It’s not just dollar and discount store toys, other companies and big name stores have had their share of recalls to, but some would argue that many toys have potential to harm if used incorrectly and parents should be supervising when their child plays with their toys anyway.

Do these toy recalls make you consider your toy purchases now or are some of the reasons for toy recalls a little ridiculous?