AC Alert for October 1, 2012 Here Comes the Holiday Season: Time For Making a Toy List -- and "Checking It Twice" AC Alert for October 1, 2012 Here Comes the Holiday Season: Time For Making a Toy List -- and "Checking It Twice"

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AC Alert for October 1, 2012 Here Comes the Holiday Season: Time For Making a Toy List -- and "Checking It Twice"
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 12:00pm

CONTENT: Newsletter

October has arrived -- the holiday season is not far off now -- and for many families, this is the time of the year when parents and caregivers think about the gifts they will be buying for children. If children are younger in age, toys of all kinds will no doubt head up that list. In keeping with this, many of the major retailers have started releasing their lists of the top toys for 2012. Some toys are new; others are old favorites.

What is not new:  consumers' concerns about the safety of the toys that they give to children. As retailers step up promotion, we will we see a rising number of headlines about the safety of certain toys that may be on our shopping lists.

Reports Bloomberg Business Week:  "High-tech gadgets like tablet computers are hot picks for this holiday season's top toys. But so are low-tech favorites, including dolls and Legos(r), the perennial construction set favorite that has occupied children for more than 50 years. Culled from a survey of Toys R Us, Wal-Mart and Kmart as well as toy groups Time to Play and Toy Insider, the hot toy list includes dolls such as Lalaloopsy by MGA, high tech gadgets such as Furby by Hasbro, and Y Fliker F1 Scooter by Yvolution, a three-wheeled scooter that is self-propelled by the rider's movement." (Source: Bloomberg Business Week).

With the purchase of a toy, a great deal of confidence -- and trust --  is placed in the retailer and ultimately, the brand marketer and its global supply chain.

Is that vote of confidence [in the purchase] always justified?  The answer is "not always" according to some recent articles published in AC's Special Hot Topic Section on Toy Safety.

Since the scary headlines of 2007 and 2008, there have been some regulatory and legislative steps taken to try to assure the safety of toys sold at retail. 

Propelled forward by public concern and often public anger expressed through the media, passage by Congress of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 helped to bring about change. Sometimes it seems to be glacially-slow change, but progress has been made nevertheless, in the United States and in other lands. 

The US legislation, while burdensome to some businesses, helped to set the tone for public policy on child toy safety in this country.   Also, actions by the government of China, and actions of authorities in other Asian nations helped in stopping or at least slowing many of the manufacturing abuses that led to dangerous and toxic toys being shipped to the USA and other western countries. (The region being the source of the majority of toys sold in America in other nations.)

The "toy safety" situation has continued to improve since passage of the 2008 legislation, but is not fully corrected, as these recent excerpts from our Hot Topic content silo on Toy Safety seem to indicate.


Captain Cutlass Pirate Toy Guns Recalled by Dillon Importing Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
(Source: Herald Online) About 7000 Captain Cutlass Toy Pirate Pistols made by Ko Lik Manufacturing of Hong Kong have been recalled. The surface paints on the pirate toy pistols contain excessive levels of lead, a violation of the federal lead paint standard.

Trampolines are no place for kids, docs warn
(Source: NBC News) Trampolines are too dangerous for children to use, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Citing nearly 100,000 injuries in 2009, the academy issued the warning in a statement published in Pediatrics and noted that the safety nets added in recent years didn't make much of a difference.

Children’s water bottles recalled for choking hazard
(Source: Examiner)  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with H&M Stores, has announced a voluntary recall concerning certain children’s water bottles. According to the CPSC, the water bottle's spout can break off, posing a choking hazard to children.

Fire, burn risks lead to toy car recall
(Source: Market Watch) The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled almost 5,000 "Range Rider Ride-On Toy Cars" due to the risk of fire and burns. The Chinese-made products were imported by Bluestem Brands, parent of Fingerhut and Gettington, and contain batteries that can overheat, smoke, melt and catch on fire.

Top Toys 2012: Dr. Toy Announces 100 Best Children’s Products of the Year
(Source: Muncie Free Press) Dr. Toy has announced her yearly report that features information about l00 new toys and products from large and small companies. The toys and products selected meet high standards for design, durability, price, quality, safety, and value.

This is just a sampling of the information in our Alert. Go here for the full text of this alert, and more information on Sustainability, and other Accountability related topics.