As if we hadn’t seen enough toy recalls this year, Tornoto-based Spinmaster Toys (their websites were entirely inaccessible this morning) is now recalling its entire Aqua Dots line after it was discovered that the coating on the plastic used in the dots “can turn toxic if swallowed” according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Meanwhile, news reports reveal that the chemicals in the coating are actually those in a common date-rape drug and can cause seizures, depressed breathing, coma and even death. I’m shocked, to say the least, as the news continues to come out about this latest recall and am now officially overwhelmed. At least two children in North America and several more in Australia have become violently ill or slipped into comas after swallowing the beads.
I recently had a long talk with a local toy store owner, who revealed that nearly every toy out there is made overseas and it is now becoming all about getting to know toy manufacturers personally in order to understand what is being stocked on shelves. As usual, nothing is easy. But, it does continue to bring to light the importance of empowered shopping.
I see a return to the local wooden toy maker, hand-knitted stuffies and paper dolls. Those toys are always so beautiful anyway. Wouldn’t it be fun to see the old skool make a comeback?
Can we be 100% sure of everything? Never, unfortunately. But, this latest recall – in my opinion – reaches much farther and deeper into the risks some in the toy industry are willing to take with our children. Putting a toy in my daughter’s hands these days is unnerving. Even when I ask the questions, “Where do these toys come from? Who makes them? What is the quality control?” I’m handed questions in return. I honestly don’t think it’s because retailers are trying to be deceptive. They are just as stumped as the rest of us.
To rub salt in the wound, the CPSC also released seven additional toy recalls due to the violation of lead paint standards along with the Aqua Dots recall.
Northern Tool & Equipment is recalling its Big Red Wagon sold since July.
International Sourcing Ltd. is recalling about 7,500 dragster and funny cars sold at National Hotrod Association events and through Matco Tools since March.
Dollar General Merchandising Inc. is recalling about 380,000 Super Wheels and Super Racer toy cars sold at Dollar General stores since April.
Schylling Associates is recalling about 3,500 duck family collectible wind-up toys sold since January. Also, after an initial recall of spinning tops in August, the company is recalling an additional wooden-handled 6,600 Winnie The Pooh spinning tops sold in 2003.
Schylling has two more toys on the list of recent recalls. First, it is pulling 1,300 Dizzy Ducks Music Boxes from the shelves. Second, 2,600 of its Robot 2000 collectible robots
have also been recalled.
I have to say that I have always loved the old skool feel of Schylling toys (they make the Thomas The Train line). But, whoa, they are going to need one serious PR campaign to resurrect their business after this year. Cripes.
Again, if you have ANY of these toys in your house, remove them. Contact the manufacturer and return the toys. Full refunds or replacements are available on a majority of these products.