Tag Archives: recall

Handmade Toys Under Threat From New US Law

Wood Toys

Image by Serendigity via Flickr

Early in the new year a new law will go into effect in the US that may have severely damaging effects on small, independent toy makers.

The new law, called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, was designed to prevent unsafe toys (like the made in China toys that seemed to be under constant recall last year) from entering the marketplace. Unfortunately, it appears that the new law is a blanket law that will impose strict mandatory testing of all toys in the marketplace, regardless of where they are made.

A group called the Handmade Toy Alliance fears that this will have a devastating effect on independent toy makers, not only in the US, but small scale international toy makers who sells products in the US market

For small American, Canadian, and European toymakers, however, the costs of mandatory testing will likely drive them out of business.

International toy makers like Selecta Spielzeug, who are already governed by strict regulations in their home country of Germany, have already announced they will no longer be selling their products in the US because of the law.

On their website, the Alliance spells out a couple of different scenarios.

  • A toymaker, for example, who makes wooden cars in his garage in Maine to supplement his income cannot afford the $4,000 fee per toy that testing labs are charging to assure compliance with the CPSIA.
  • A work at home mom in Minnesota who makes dolls to sell at craft fairs must choose either to violate the law or cease operations.
  • A small toy retailer in Vermont who imports wooden toys from Europe, which has long had stringent toy safety standards, must now pay for testing on every toy they import.
  • And even the handful of larger toy makers who still employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety problems of 2007.

While it is nice to see a government act to prevent threats to our children’s health, I would sure hate to see small, independent toy makers who make safe, high quality toys hurt in the process. The amendments that the Alliance recommends (things like exemptions for toys made from trusted countries and for toys made from raw woods and food grade materials) seem like a good starting point to make sure there are alternatives to Fisher Price and Mattel in the marketplace.

Thanks to Craftsbury Kids for the info.

Pirate’s Gold Milk Chocolate Coins may be Contaminated with Melamine

Just in case you didn’t hear this warning a few weeks ago, I thought with Halloween in a couple days a repost of a warning from the Canadian government that some chocolate coins may be contaminated with melamine would be timely.

The affected product, Sherwood Brands Pirate’s Gold Milk Chocolate Coins, is sold in 840g containers containing 240 pieces per container bearing UPC 0 36077 11240 7 and lot code 1928S1.

This product is sold nationally through Costco stores and may also have been sold in bulk packages or as individual pieces at various dollar and bulk stores across Canada.

One guess as to the country of origin of the candy coins.

300,000 car seats recalled in Canada

We had an Eddie Bauer 3 in 1 car seat. 6 months ago, we noticed the strap was beginning to wear and it wasn’t tightening correctly. So we contacted the manufacturer, who told us to pack the seat up and ship it off to them and they would send us a replacement. 3 days later we had a replacement.

Seems we weren’t the only ones having problems as this weekend Transport Canada issued a recall on three brands of car seats after concluding a defective strap can loosen and endanger children during an accident.

The following makes and models sold between November 2003 and December 2005 are affected:

  • Cosco Alpha Omega: 22C15BNP, 22C15CRK, 22C15ROR, 22C15TUX, 22C26BNG, 22C26GRH
  • Cosco Alpha Omega Elite: 22C51HMR, 22C51TRP, 22155CSPH
  • Eddie Bauer 3 in 1: 22C75AFD, 22C75ARD, 22C75EBN, 22C75MPB, 22C76SHL
  • Eddie Bauer Deluxe 3 in 1: 22C71BGL, 22C71BLD, 22C71MAC, 22756CLRS, 22756CBAL, 22757CMRC, 22757CLKM
  • Safety 1st Enspira: 22C50TWL, 22C50WFD
  • Safety 1st Intera: 22C46BDF, 22C46BDN, 22C46BKY, 22C46GEO

If you have one of these models, you can contact the Dorel Juvenile Group at 800-219-0540 if yo8u have one of these seats and they will replace the strap.