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Archive for the ‘Toy’ Category

India bans toy imports from China, gives no reason

Posted by chinaview on January 24, 2009


Reuters, Jan 23, 2009 -

NEW DELHI, Jan 23 (Reuters) – India on Friday banned imports of several types of toys from China for six months without saying why, a move that pleased local manufacturers but shocked importers.

A government statement issued late on Friday did not give details but industry officials said the order would ban imports of almost all toys from China.

The government said in a statement it had banned imports for six months with immediate effect in the public interest.

The Toy Association of India’s president, Raj Kumar, said the ban would severely hit imports of Chinese toys, but Indian authorities had likely taken the step in the interest of the economy.

“You see Chinese toys everywhere. The good, upper-end toys are made in India, but the cheap toys in the street and small shops were being dominated by them. They are bringing in toys without safety norms,” he said……. (more details from Reuters)

Posted in Asia, China, Economy, India, Made in China, News, products, Toy, World | 2 Comments »

China’s toy juggernaut goes off the rails

Posted by chinaview on December 20, 2008


Peter Goodspeed, The National Post, Canada,  December 19, 2008 -

Workers smash an office during a protest at Kaida toy factory in Dongguan, Guangdong province in November in a protest over lay-offs and pay. There were protests in three  provinces amid increasing factory closures and government concern about unrest. (REUTERS/Stringer )

Photo: Workers smash an office during a protest at Kaida toy factory in Dongguan, Guangdong province in November in a protest over lay-offs and pay. There were protests in three provinces amid increasing factory closures and government concern about unrest. (REUTERS/Stringer )

There’s trouble in Toyland this Christmas. China’s workshops have been hit by the growing worldwide recession and more than half of all its toy exporters – 3,631 companies – have been forced out of business.

As China celebrates the 30th anniversary of Deng Xiaoping’s initial economic reforms and its “opening up to the outside world,” the country’s leaders find themselves struggling with the worst deceleration of economic growth in a generation.

On Thursday, the ruling Communist Party threw itself a big party. At a triumphant ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, President Hu Jintao invoked Mr. Deng and emphasized the party’s unwavering focus on economic development. “Only development makes sense,” said Mr. Hu, quoting Mr. Deng.

The boom, which over three decades transformed an isolated and impoverished communist backwater into one of the world’s greatest economic success stories, is suddenly threatening to go bust.

An adviser to China’s cabinet yesterday revealed that 670,000 small firms closed this year. And about 6.7 million jobs vanished, many in the export hub of Guangdong, pushing unemployment well above the official figure of 8.3 million.

Meanwhile, September’s international credit crisis and the most devastating global financial turmoil in a century have combined to slash growth by almost half.

Construction projects are being suspended; consumer confidence is declining; car sales have crashed; property prices have plummeted; China’s stock markets have lost nearly 67% of their value; and the country is bracing for a harsh winter of more factory closures and mass layoffs.

Yin Weimin, China’s Social Security Minister, has described the unemployment situation as “critical” and said the impact of the world economic crisis is still unfolding.

He warns the economic slump will be felt hardest in the first quarter of 2009.

“The global economic crisis is picking up speed and spreading from developed to developing countries and the effects are becoming more and more pronounced here,” Mr. Yin declared in a recent speech. “Our economy is facing a serious challenge.”

Already, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries has said up to a quarter of the nearly 70,000 Hong Kong-owned factories in southern China could close in a worst-case scenario.

Across the border in Guangdong province, a region that has been transformed in 30 years from marshland and low-lying rice paddies into the world’s largest light-industrial zone, officials are predicting 9,000 of the 45,000 factories in Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen will close in the next three months.

That could see 2.7 million workers lose their jobs as overseas demand for consumer goods and clothes fades.

The government of Chongqing in Sichuan says as many as 180,000 migrant workers employed in coastal special economic zones may soon return home to look for work.

The World Bank recently predicted China’s growth may slow to 7.5% next year, the lowest since 1990 and the aftermath of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre. Yesterday, the Royal Bank of Scotland and IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn were predicting China’s gross domestic product growth next year would be about five per cent.

Bank experts still predict China’s economy will grow by 9.4% this year, but that is down from nearly 12% in 2007.

Chinese economists insist their country’s economy needs to grow by at least 8% a year simply to provide jobs for the 24 million people who enter the workforce every year.

But while all the economic indicators predict gloom, China’s leaders fear chaos. Violent strikes and protests are soaring as the threat of rising joblessness raises the spectre of social instability.

Last month, hundreds of workers rioted at a toy factory in Dongguan, 80 kilometres north of Hong Kong, in a dispute over severance payments……. (more details from The National Post)

Posted in Business, China, Commentary, Company, Economy, employment, Guangdong, Life, News, Opinion, People, SE China, Social, Toy, Worker, World | 1 Comment »

30,000 China-made Remote-Controlled Helicopter Toys Recalled, Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

Posted by chinaview on February 13, 2008


Press release, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Feb. 12, 2008-

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Remote-Controlled Helicopter Toys

Units:
About 30,000

Importer: Soft Air USA Inc., of Grapevine, Texas

Hazard:
The rechargeable battery contained inside the helicopter can catch fire during charging, igniting the helicopter and nearby combustible materials. This poses a burn or fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Soft Air USA has received six reports of helicopters igniting, including one minor injury.

Description: This recall involves the remote-controlled helicopter toy “Fun2Fly Microcopter” with item number 91001. The helicopter comes with a transmitter that controls and recharges the helicopter. The helicopter is made of foam and plastic and measures about 6 ½ inches by 2 ½ inches. The transmitter measures about 4 1/2 inches by 5 inches. “Fun2Fly” and “Microcopter” are printed on the packaging. The item number is printed above the UPC label.

Sold at: Sporting goods stores and other retailers nationwide from May 2007 through December 2007 for about $30.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled toy helicopter and return it to the retailer where it was purchased for a full refund.

Consumer Contact
: For additional information, call Soft Air USA collect at (817) 210-4181 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or e-mail the company at Bhook@softairusa.com

- Original press release from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Posted in Business, China, Counterfeit, Economy, Made in China, News, products, Toy, USA, World | 1 Comment »

China Threatens U.S. State Legislature on Lead Tainted Toys Bill

Posted by chinaview on February 12, 2008


By Annapolis Notebook, The Washington Post, U.S. Sunday, February 10, 2008-

When he introduced a bill in the Maryland General Assembly to prohibit the sale and manufacture of children’s toys containing lead, Del. James W. Hubbard (D-Prince George’s) said he could not have imagined it would set off a transcontinental diplomatic dispute.

But that’s what has unfolded.

Last week, the legislature received a letter from officials of the People’s Republic of China objecting to Hubbard’s bill. The comments, faxed from Beijing and written in English and Chinese, challenged the authority of the state legislature to enact such laws and said they would create “unnecessary barriers to international trade.”

It’s true that many of the lead-containing products recalled in recent months have been made in China. But how did the Chinese government catch wind of Hubbard’s bill, which hasn’t even advanced out of the House Health and Government Operations Committee?

It turns out that an official at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative tipped it off about the bill’s international trade ramifications. Hubbard wrote a sharply-worded letter last week to Ambassador Susan C. Schwab in the trade office:

“We cannot understand why any representative of the United States Government would suggest to a foreign government that it become involved in the legislative process of the State of Maryland,” Hubbard wrote.

Hubbard said the Chinese government’s position should not be a factor in Annapolis.

“I’ve got a billion and a half people opposed to a bill that’s going to pass,” Hubbard said, referring to China’s population. “We represent the citizens of the state of Maryland. I don’t worry about what the Chinese government thinks.

“They think this is a barrier to international trade. I view this as a public health issue.” …… (more details from the Washington Post)

Posted in Business, China, Economy, Family, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, News, People, Politics, products, Social, Tainted Products, Toy, USA, World | 1 Comment »

500,000 China-made Toys Recalled in UK and Ireland Over Date rape Drug

Posted by chinaview on November 10, 2007


David Pallister, The Guardian , Saturday November 10, 2007-

Half a million Chinese-made children’s toys were recalled across the UK and Ireland yesterday after concerns that they contain a chemical which converts to the so-called date rape drug GHB when eaten.

The UK distributor of Bindeez beads, Character Group, in Oldham, asked retailers and consumers to return the products after reports that at least six children in the US and Australia have been taken to hospital severely ill from swallowing the beads.

The firm, which has imported Bindeez for over a year, said there had been five known cases of children eating the beads in the UK with no ill effects, and the voluntary recall was precautionary.

Between 100,000 and 150,000 Bindeez kits, which consist of toy beads which can be arranged into patterns and join together when sprayed with water, have been distributed to major retailers.

Spain also recalled the toys yesterday, following the lead of the US and Australia. In the US, 4.2m of the kits, known there as Aqua Dots, were withdrawn after two children were taken to hospital. An 18-month-old baby was one of four children to fall ill after swallowing the beads in Australia. The symptoms of the drug are unconsciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and occasionally death……. (more details from The Guardian : 500,000 Chinese-made toys recalled over date-rape drug link)

Posted in Business, China, Economy, Europe, Health, Made in China, medical, News, products, Tainted Products, Toy, UK, World | Comments Off

Spain joins China toy recall with U.S. and Australia

Posted by chinaview on November 10, 2007


Reuters, Thu Nov 8, 2007-

MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish authorities have ordered two Chinese-made toy kits to be recalled, following the lead of the United States and Australia, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

The National Consumers Institute is recalling Aqua Dots, made by Spin Master, and a similar toy Bindeez, made by Mouse Enterprise because they could be dangerous, the ministry said. It did not say how many toys were affected by the recall.

In the United States, 4.2 million Aqua Dots craft kits were recalled because the beads could contain a chemical similar to a “date rape” drug and cause unconsciousness, respiratory depression or seizures if swallowed.

Australia has banned Bindeez after three children fell severely ill after swallowing beads from the toy.

In Spain, the two games are distributed by Toys’R’Us, Hasbro y Giochi Preziosi.

Earlier on Thursday, officials said consumer and enterprise chiefs from the European Union and United States would meet in Washington on Friday to agree on worldwide standards for global toy safety after a spate of recalls of Chinese-made toys.

- Original report from Reuters

Posted in Business, China, Economy, Europe, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, medical, News, products, Tainted Products, Toy, World | Comments Off

Australia bans China-made toy on date rape drug

Posted by chinaview on November 9, 2007


Reuters, Wed Nov 7, 2007-

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia announced a nationwide ban on Wednesday on around 1 million Chinese-made toys after investigations showed they contained a chemical which metabolizes when swallowed into a date-rape drug.

The ban across Australia’s six states and two territories came after three children became severely ill after they swallowed the toy beads called “Bindeez”.

Toy importer Moose Enterprise issued a voluntary recall of “Bindeez”, named Australia’s 2007 Toy of the Year, saying some batches of the beads failed to match the approved formula.

Authorities in Hong Kong also took steps to test the product on toy safety and dangerous drug concerns.

The “Bindeez” toy involves arranging tiny, multi-colored beads coated with a non-toxic glue into shapes, which are then sprayed with water to fix them together.

But instead of the safe chemical 1,5-pentanediol being used, the potentially dangerous chemical 1,4-butanediol was introduced in the manufacturing process. When ingested, 1,4-butanediol can metabolize into the date rape drug known as fantasy or GBH (“grievous bodily harm”).

Three Australian children suffered seizures and needed intensive hospital care in the past two weeks after eating the plastic beads.

The fair trading minister in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, said an investigation was under way to determine how batches of the China-made beads did not match the approved formula…… (more details from Reuters : Australia bans China-made toy on toxic drug risk)

Posted in Australia, Business, China, Economy, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, medical, News, products, Tainted Products, Toy, World | Comments Off

Recalled: 405,000 Children’s Products Made in China

Posted by chinaview on November 8, 2007


More than 405,000 children’s products made in China were recalled by U.S. on Wednesday for containing dangerous levels of lead. The recalled products including:

- About 380,000 Pull-Back Action Toy Cars
– About 7,500 Dragster and Funny Car toys
– About 1,300 Dizzy Ducks Music Box products
– About 3,600 Winnie-the-Pooh Spinning Top products
– About 3,500 Duck Family Collectable Wind-Up Toy products
– About 2,600 “Robot 2000″ collectable tin robot products
– About 7,200 “Big Red” Wagons

More details please check the Fox News’ report: List of Lead-Contaminated Toys Recalled

Posted in Business, China, Economy, Law, Made in China, News, products, Tainted Products, Toy, Trade, USA, World | 2 Comments »

Bad news for Halloween: 440,000 lead-tainted China-made toys recalled in U.S

Posted by chinaview on November 1, 2007


AFP, Oct. 31, 2007-

WASHINGTON (AFP) — US authorities recalled some 440,000 Chinese-made toys Wednesday because of high levels of lead, just hours before US children were set to use some of them while celebrating Halloween.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled 380,000 Galaxy Warriors figures, 43,000 sets of plastic disguise teeth, 16,000 sets of military-style Elite Operations action figures distributed by the global Toys R Us chain, and 1,500 Ribbit board games.

The toys were the latest in a raft of Chinese-made products aimed at children which have been removed from shelves in the United States because of high lead levels.

Surface paint on the poseable Galaxy Warrior spacemen figures, the “Ugly Teeth,” the frog-shaped wooden pieces in the Ribbit game sets, and the Elite Operations toys contained excessive levels of lead, prompting those recalls, the CPSC said in separate statements.

The consumer protection agency did not give details of the quantity of lead found in the toys.

Lead can cause damage to the brain and nervous system of children, behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems and headaches, and is particularly dangerous if ingested.

The recall of the “ugly teeth,” which were found by an independent test team to contain 100 times the permissible level of lead, was the latest in the run-up to Halloween, which has already seen a record number of products recalled by the CPSC for lead violations.

But two Halloween items which were found by an independent test team to be tainted with the heavy metal were still on the market, hours before children in the United States went trick or treating.

“These are two small baskets decorated with painted ornaments — one a witch, the other a pumpkin. Paint on both ornaments was highly leaded,” Dr Jeffrey Weidenhamer of Ashland University in Ohio, who tested 54 children’s items for lead in the weeks leading up to Halloween, told AFP.

“Both were part of my the formal complaint I sent to the CPSC,” he said.

The latest round of recalls came amid calls for the resignation of CPSC chief, Nancy Nord, who has been accused by Democratic lawmakers of doing too little to stem the flow of dangerous toys from China into the United States.

Nord, an appointee of President George W. Bush, has followed the Republican executive’s deregulatory line and stood firm against proposed legislation seeking to increase the CPSC’s authority and staff.

The safety watchdog has one full-time toy tester, an expert report has said.

The CPSC was not immediately available for comment after Wednesday’s recalls.

- Original report from AFP : US recalls 440,000 lead-tainted Chinese-made toys

Posted in celebration, Children, China, Economy, Event, Made in China, News, People, products, Social, Tainted Products, Toy, World | Comments Off

75.8% of Almost 1,000 People Would Not Buy China-made Toys, survey shows

Posted by chinaview on October 23, 2007


By Diane Bartz, Reuters, Mon 22 Oct 2007-

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Instead of presents, Mary Naden gives her teenaged children skateboard lessons or takes them on outings — an effort, she says, to avoid buying goods made in China.

“I like my cheap goods, too, but there’s something that just sticks in my craw,” said Naden, 49, who lives in suburban Washington and works as a vocal coach.

In the wake of recalls of millions of toys with lead paint and other dangers, seafood tainted with chemical residues and toothpaste containing an antifreeze chemical, some U.S. consumers have become wary of Chinese goods.

A total of 75.8 percent of almost 1,000 people surveyed said they would not buy Chinese-made toys, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Oct. 17.

On Sept. 19, a similar poll found that 16 percent were buying no Chinese-made goods at all and 23 percent would not buy food or toothpaste from China.

“I say good luck to those people,” said Mary Teagarden, a long-time China watcher who teaches at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. “It’s the finest American tradition.”

In addition to safety hazards, people who said they were avoiding Chinese-made products cited a number of reasons, including human rights and the environment.

“It’s a repressive and yet huge regime that just doesn’t care about its own people, doesn’t care about its own rivers, doesn’t care what it’s dumping in the ocean,” said Naden……. ( more details from Reuters: War on toys?)

Posted in Business, China, Economy, Life, Made in China, News, products, Social, Toy, World | Comments Off

US Recalls 635,000 China-made Toys, Key Chains

Posted by chinaview on October 5, 2007


AFP, Oct 4, 2007-

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US consumer safety agency announced Thursday the recall of more than 635,000 Chinese-made toys, key chains and other products that contain unsafe levels of lead or pose a choking hazard.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission said no injuries or incidents were reported but urged consumers to stop using the products or take them away from children immediately.

More than 555,000 of the products in the voluntary recalls contain excessive levels of lead, while 82,000 baby rattles sold by Target are recalled because they can break open and release beads that pose a choking hazard, the commission said.

The products with excessive levels of lead include 192,000 keychains and and 63,000 Halloween tumblers sold by Dollar General Merchandising Inc., 150,000 bookmarks from Antioch Publishing, 79,000 “Pirates of the Caribbean” squeeze lights from Eveready Battery Co., and 35,000 toy blocks from Kids II Inc.

Too much lead was also found in 15,000 toy decorating sets from Toys “R” Us, 11,200 water bottles from Sports Authority, and 10,000 wooden toys sold by KB Toys.

The United States banned the use of lead paint for toys on health grounds in 1978.

China has been hit by a spate of product recalls, including toys and baby cribs, that have sullied the “Made-in-China” brand in the United States and elsewhere around the world.

China is the world’s top toy exporter, selling 22 billion toys overseas last year, or 60 percent of the globe’s total.

– Original report from AFP: US recalls 635,000 Chinese-made products

Posted in Business, China, Economy, Health, Law, Made in China, News, products, Tainted Products, Toy, Trade, USA, World | Comments Off

82,000 China-made Plush Rattles Recalled for Choking Hazard

Posted by chinaview on October 3, 2007


CNNMoney.com, October 2 2007-

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – Target Corp. has recalled about 82,000 sports-themed rattles made in China because of a choking hazard, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said Tuesday.

The CPSC said the toys – in the shapes of a baseball, a football and a basketball – can break open, which releases the beads inside.

The rattles were sold nationwide in Target stores from March to May of this year for about a dollar each.

The toys have a tag reading “Reg. No. PA5706(CN), Distributed by Double Nice Co Ltd. 3f-2 No. 325, Wu Chuan Road, Taichung, Taiwan, Made in China.”

The CPSC said no injuries from the recalled rattles have been reported, but consumers who have them are urged to take them away from young children immediately and return them to the nearest Target (Charts, Fortune 500) store for a refund.

More information about the recall is available on the Target Web site (www.target.com) or by calling (800) 440-0680.

Just last week, Target recalled 350,000 Happy Giddy Gardening Tools and Children’s Sunny Patch Chairs, also made in China, due to excessive levels of lead paint.

China’s State Council has said it is in the midst of a four-month campaign to improve the quality of goods produced in the country.

- Original report from CNNMoney.com: Target recalls 82,000 plush rattles

Posted in Business, Children, China, Economy, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, News, products, Tainted Products, Toy, Trade, USA, World | 1 Comment »

Mattel Recalls 848,000 China-made Toys Including Barbie Brand

Posted by chinaview on September 5, 2007


Press Release, Mattel, Inc. September 4, 2007-

click to see video message from Mattel‘s Chairman & CEO

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., September 4, 2007 – Mattel, Inc. announced today that, as a result of the company’s ongoing investigation of its toys manufactured by vendors in China, the company has voluntarily recalled 11 toys globally, including eight pet and furniture playsets sold under the Barbie® brand and three Fisher-Price® toys, due to impermissible levels of lead. No Barbie® dolls are included within the recall. In total, there are 530,000 affected toys in the U.S., and 318,000 affected toys outside of the U.S. Mattel has completed the testing program for the majority of its toys, including all of its toys currently sourced from vendors.

The voluntary recall results from Mattel’s thorough investigation of vendor-sourced toys. Mattel has also globally implemented a strengthened, three-point check system to test toys throughout the manufacturing process.

“In August we promised that we’d continue to focus on ensuring the safety and quality of our toys through extensive testing of finished products, thorough investigation of our vendors and the implementation of a strengthened three-point check system. As a result of our ongoing investigation we discovered additional affected products. Consequently, several subcontractors are no longer manufacturing Mattel toys. We apologize again to everyone affected and promise that we will continue to focus on ensuring the safety and quality of our toys,” said Robert A. Eckert, chairman and chief executive officer, Mattel.

In the U.S., there are seven recalled Barbie®-branded toys. The specific affected parts include:

* Dream Puppy House™– orange on miniature dog
* Dream Kitty Condo™– brown on miniature cat
* Table & Chairs Kitchen Playset – yellow food on two dinner plates, brown on miniature dog, yellow and orange on potato chip bowl, orange on salad bowl
* Bathtub & Toilet Playset – brown on miniature cat
* Desk & Chair Bedroom Playset – brown on miniature dog
* Living Room Playset (deluxe) – brown on miniature cat
* Living Room Playset (premium) – yellow flower on purse

The playsets affected by the recall were produced by Holder Plastic Company (Holder), a Mattel contract vendor, which subcontracted the painting of miniature toy pets and small furniture pieces to Dong Lian Fa (DLF) and Yip Sing (YS). DLF and YS used uncertified paint and are no longer producing toys for Mattel.

Mattel’s investigation revealed that the subcontractors painted the affected toys between March 2007 and August 2007. However Mattel is being cautious and recalling the entire production of the seven toys painted by the subcontractors. Therefore, toys manufactured beginning in October 2006 are included within the recall. The toys being recalled were sold at retail between November 2006 and August 2007.

Among the three Fisher-Price® toys recalled are two Fisher-Price® GEOTRAX™ toys and one “It’s a Big Big World” toy. Fisher-Price® toys with specific parts affected include:

* GEOTRAX™ Rail & Road System Freightway Transport™– yellow headlights on train car and miniature ladder
* GEOTRAX™ Special Track Pack™ – yellow headlights on train car and miniature ladder
* “It’s a Big Big World” 6-in-1 Bongo Band – painted decal on top of clear plastic on drum

The two GEOTRAX™ toys were manufactured by Apex Manufacturing Company Ltd. (Apex), one of Mattel’s contract vendors, which outsourced paint work to a subcontractor, Boyi Plastic Products Factory (Boyi). Apex supplied Boyi with certified paint; however, the toys were manufactured with uncertified paint. Boyi is no longer in business. The two GEOTRAX™ toys that tested for impermissible levels of lead were manufactured between July 31, 2006, and September 4, 2006; however, the painted parts were stored and incorporated into toy production throughout the year. Mattel is being cautious and recalling toys shipped between August 3, 2006, and July 31, 2007.

The Fisher-Price® “It’s a Big Big World” 6-in-1 Bongo Band toy was manufactured by Shun On Factory, one of Mattel’s contract vendors, which outsourced the molding and painting of one plastic piece. A subcontractor, Jingying Tampo Printing Processing Factory, used uncertified paint on the affected piece. The “It’s a Big Big World” 6-in-1 Bongo Band was manufactured between May 19, 2007, and August 1, 2007.

Mattel is working in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and other regulatory agencies worldwide. Mattel is also working with retailers worldwide to identify and remove affected products from retail shelves.

For additional information regarding this recall, including a full list of affected products, please contact Mattel at (888) 496-8330, or visit the company’s Web site at http://www.service.mattel.com. A full list of products is also published by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

How to Return Affected Toys/Parts:

1) The first step is for consumers to determine if they have a toy that has been affected by the recall. To do so, they can visit http://www.service.mattel.com where they will find a complete list of each toy recalled, including color photos, toy model numbers and affected date codes. Consumers can locate toy model numbers on the bottom of most recalled toys.

For consumers without a computer, or for those preferring phone support, they may call (888) 496-8330

2) Once consumers determine that they think they own a Mattel toy affected by the recall, they are prompted to fill out a form (online) or provide their postal address (via phone), and Mattel will send to consumers (via email or to a postal address) a color brochure with photos, toy numbers and date code ranges of every affected toy, as well as a pre-paid mailing label for return of the affected part(s).

3) After receiving consumers’ returned, affected part(s), Mattel will send consumers replacement parts for each affected product, as well as bonus pieces/parts.

Mattel recommends that consumers do not return toys to retailers for three reasons:

1) Mattel can help consumers determine if a toy has been affected by the recall (vs. returning an unaffected toy)

2) Mattel will provide consumers with a replacement part for each toy part affected by the recall

3) Mattel will handle affected products in an environmentally friendly way

Consumers do not need to have the toy’s original packaging or a receipt to return affected products to Mattel.

- Press release from Mattel

Posted in Business, Children, China, Economy, Entertainment, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, News, products, Tainted Products, Toy, Trade, USA, World | 2 Comments »

China Toys Toxic, Says India Health Ministry

Posted by chinaview on September 1, 2007


Times of India, 1 Sep 2007-

NEW DELHI: The health ministry has confirmed that several Chinese toys being sold in the market are highly toxic as they contain high levels of heavy metals such as cadmium and lead, and were, therefore, harmful to children.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha to a question by film star and former Union health minister Shatrughan Sinha, minister of state for health Panabaka Lakshmi confirmed reports appearing in newspapers about toxic toys from China.

She said, “according to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), NGO Toxics Link had conducted a study in 2006 which examined toys from Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, and reported high levels of cadmium and lead in PVC used in soft toys.”

She said that most of the toys in Chennai and Mumbai were being imported from China. Lead is a known neuro and hamatological toxin which can lead to delayed development and lower IQ in children. Cadmium is one of the heavy metals which has its primary effect on kidneys.

The minister said that as regards safety requirement for toys, the Bureau of Indian Standards has published three standards.

- Original report from Times of India : Chinese toys toxic, says health ministry

Posted in Asia, Business, China, Economy, Health, India, Law, Life, Made in China, News, products, Tainted Products, Toy, Trade, World | Comments Off

27,000 China-made Wooden Coloring Cases Recalled: Crayons, Pastels

Posted by chinaview on August 30, 2007


By Nicole Maestri, Reuters, Aug 30, 2007-

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Toys “R” Us Inc is recalling 27,000 wooden coloring cases that were made in China and sold under its Imaginarium brand because lead was found in the printed ink on the art set’s outer packaging and in some watercolor paints.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which announced the recall on Thursday, said the 213-piece coloring set includes crayons, pastels, colored pencils and water colors that were packaged in a light tan wooden carrying case.

…… more details from  Reuters : Toys “R” Us recalls China-made wooden art sets

Posted in Business, Children, China, Economy, Health, Law, Made in China, medical, News, products, Tainted Products, Toy, Trade, USA, World | Comments Off

UK: Dangerous levels of lead found in China-made toy jewellery

Posted by chinaview on August 19, 2007


BBC News, 18 August 2007-

Hamleys has removed from its shelves two child jewellery products found to contain dangerous levels of lead.

It said it had launched an inquiry into why the pendant and bracelet, imported from China, had not been detected in its quality assurance process.

The London toy store said it took safety “extremely seriously”, after the Sunday Times exposed the fault.

It comes days after US toy giant Mattel recalled 18m China-made products, some of them amid fears over lead levels.

‘Reviewing processes’

A Hamleys spokeswoman said: “Immediate action was obviously taken to remove these dangerous products from our shops as soon as we became aware of the problem.

“We would never ever knowingly sell toxic jewellery to customers and take the health and safety of our customers extremely seriously.

“We are urgently reviewing our quality assurance process.”

The Sunday Times found a £4.99 bracelet with heart shapes sold in Hamleys’ Regent Street shop contained more than 93% lead.

A P-shaped pendant, priced £7.99, was found to have 27% lead.

The recommended international safety limit is 0.06%, while the UK limit is 0.1%.

High levels of lead can cause brain damage and even kill.

International recall

Concerns over the safety of Chinese-made children’s toys were raised last week after Mattel recalled more than 18 million products worldwide.

Among them were Sarge die-cast toys, from the Pixar film Cars, which were recalled because their paint contains lead.

Mattel also recalled toys containing small magnets that can come loose, including Polly Pocket, Batman Magna, Doggie Daycare and One Piece playsets.

It was the second such recall in two weeks.

Although lead content of toys is strictly controlled in the UK, there are no regulations stipulating levels in children’s jewellery.

Tests by the newspaper also found high levels of lead in other children’s products sold at a number of other outlets.

- Original report from BBC News: Hamleys pulls toys over lead fear

Posted in Business, Children, China, Economy, Europe, Health, Law, Life, News, People, products, Social, Tainted Products, Toy, Trade, UK, World | 1 Comment »

Senator Urges Bush to Halt Some China Imports

Posted by chinaview on August 18, 2007


Reuters, Aug 17, 2007-

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Democratic presidential candidate, urged President George W. Bush on Friday to suspend imports of food, toys and pet food from China after a spate of safety scares.

In a Democratic primary race that has featured calls to get tough on China over trade and food safety, Dodd is the first to call for imports to be halted.

“I strongly urge you to take immediate steps to temporarily halt these imports from China, in a manner that is consistent with our legal obligations under the World Trade Organization,” the veteran Connecticut lawmaker said in a letter to Bush.

Recalls of Chinese goods ranging from toys decorated with lead paint to toothpaste and pet food have sparked “deep concern about the safety of food, toy and pet food products imported into the United States from China,” said the letter, made available by Dodd’s spokesman.

“Americans should not have to fear for their families’ safety when using these products,” wrote Dodd.

Dodd, one of eight candidates for the Democratic nomination for the 2008 presidential election, also faulted U.S. business’s role in the China product scare, which he said made it “clear that the U.S. Government’s current inspection system is simply inadequate.”

He urged Bush to work with Congress to create a more effective system for inspecting imports.

In a debate before an organized labor audience on August 7 in Chicago, Dodd joined six other Democratic hopefuls in describing China variously as a leading competitor, an exporter of dangerous products and a potential future military adversary.

- Original report from Reuters

Posted in Business, China, Food, Health, Life, Made in China, News, Pet food, products, Tainted Products, Toy, Trade, USA, World | Comments Off

Russia: Half of China-made Toys Unsafe

Posted by chinaview on August 18, 2007


ITAR-TASS, Russia, 16.08.2007-

MOSCOW, August 16 (Itar-Tass) — More than half of the toys of Chinese manufacture available on the Russian market fail to meet the applicable sanitary and epidemiological requirements. They contain lead, resins, formaldehydes, substandard dyes and unsafe tiny parts, the chief of the Russian consumer rights watchdog Gennady Onishchenko told the media on Thursday.

According to the official, of the 185,000 samples examined last year 93,000 proved unusable for children. Giving such items to newly-born babies is particularly unsafe. Young kids tend to put in mouth every single item they come by. As a result they may poison themselves with heavy metals or swallow small parts of toys.

Onishchenko has little hope the quality of imported toys may ever improve. He is for restoring Russia’s own industry of toy manufacturing.

“The 130 toy-making factories Russia are too few,” he said.

- Original report from Itar-Tass : Half of China-made toys abuse sanitary norms – watchdog

Posted in Asia, Business, China, Economy, Health, Made in China, medical, News, products, Tainted Products, Toy, Trade, World | Comments Off

9 Million More China-made Toys Recalled, for Magnets and Lead

Posted by chinaview on August 14, 2007


By Michael Bowman, VOA News, USA, 14 August 2007-

In yet another blow to the multi-billion dollar toy industry, Mattel Incorporated is recalling 9 million dolls, action figures, toy cars and play sets where small, high-powered magnets have been found to come loose or where lead paint has been discovered. The recall was announced on the company’s Web site, and at a Washington news conference by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. From Washington, VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.

The acting head of the commission, Nancy Nord, says the danger of lead exposure to children is well documented, and the dislodged magnets pose another hazard.

“If more than one magnet is swallowed, they can attract [each other] inside the body, causing intestinal perforations, infections and blockages,” she explained, “The company is aware of many incidents where the magnets have fallen out of the toy.”

Nord said the CPSC exists to protect all consumers, but acts with added urgency when children’s safety is threatened. She was quick to add that no injuries stemming from the recalled products have been reported, and she said there is no reason for consumers to distrust the toy industry as a whole.

“Nine million products is certainly a lot of products,” she added. “But it represents only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of million of toys that are sold in the United States every year.”

Tuesday’s announcement was the second recall of Chinese-manufactured toys in recent weeks. The first, involving Mattel’s Fisher-Price division, also had to do with lead paint. Lead paint has been linked to brain damage in small children.

The co-owner of the Chinese firm that manufactured the toys from the first recall recently committed suicide.

Appearing on U.S. television (CNBC), Mattel Chairman Bob Eckert said production problems in China have been corrected and new safety standards have been implemented. He expressed hope there would be no lasting distrust of the Mattel brand.

The recall further highlights recent safety concerns involving Chinese-made goods, from toothpaste found to contain a compound found in automobile anti-freeze to tainted pet food. About 80 percent of toys sold in the U.S. are manufactured in China.

- Original report from VOA News : More Chinese-Manufactured Toys Recalled

Posted in Business, Children, China, Economy, Family, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, News, People, products, Tainted Products, Toy, Trade, USA, World | Comments Off

For Chinese Children, Lead Can Be Inescapable

Posted by chinaview on August 14, 2007


Reuters, Via Daily Times, Pakistan, August 13, 2007-

Parents around the world may have been shocked this week when 1.5 million Chinese-made Fisher-Price toys were recalled because of excessive lead content, but for mums and dads in China lead poisoning is just a fact of life.

Mattel Inc’s worldwide recall of dozens of products is the latest in a deluge of safety scares that have rattled international consumer confidence in Chinese-made goods.

High levels of lead from toys, water pipes and industry can cause behavioural problems and slow learning among children.

China makes 75 percent of the world’s toys, according to the national chamber of light industry, and many of the thousands of producers are small and resistant to regulation.

A 2005 report in a Beijing newspaper cited estimates that 60 percent of Chinese-made toys used paint with lead above internationally accepted limits.

A study of Chinese cities in 2004 found that 10.5 percent of children had lead levels in their blood of at least 100 microgram’s per litre — a level coonsidered unhealthy by the WHO. “For us, the problem is the factories. What they make is less important,” said Feng. – Reuters

Report from Daily Times

Posted in Asia, Children, China, Economy, Family, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, News, People, products, Toy, Trade, USA, World | Comments Off

China Toy Boss Kills Self After U.S Recall

Posted by chinaview on August 13, 2007


By Edward Cody, Washington Post Staff Writer, August 13, 2007-

BEIJING, Aug. 13 — When Mattel Inc. recalled nearly a million toys manufactured by Zhang Shuhong’s company, he fought hard to find a way to resume sales to America. They were the lifeblood of his firm, Lee Der Industrial Co., Ltd., and its lucrative share of the export boom driving China’s economic growth.

But as Zhang’s factories in the southern city of Foshan lay idle, workers started drifting off, fearing they would never start up again. Then Chinese authorities sealed Zhang’s ruin by announcing Thursday that he was prohibited from exporting toys until further notice because of the defects denounced by Mattel.

Zhang was found dead in a company warehouse two days later, colleagues said Monday, apparently having hanged himself in despair. His death dramatized the high stakes in an international scare over unsafe Chinese products and an increasingly vigorous government crackdown designed to restore confidence in the vital export industry. ( …… more details report from Washington Post)

Posted in Business, Businessman, China, Company, Economy, Guangdong, Life, Made in China, News, People, products, SE China, Social, Toy, Trade, USA, World | 1 Comment »

U.S. Liability Lawyers Struggle to Pierce the China Curtain

Posted by chinaview on July 31, 2007


By Xiyun Yang, Washington Post Staff Writer, Washington Post, Saturday, July 28, 2007-

When Mark Lanier, a liability lawyer in Houston, took the case of a 6-year-old girl who choked to death on a toy, he tried suing everybody in the supply chain: the fast-food restaurant that sold the toy in a children’s meal, the American importer and the toy’s Chinese manufacturer.

The restaurant chain, Whataburger, and the importer settled for an undisclosed amount, but Lanier said he could not even find the proper entity in China to serve with a lawsuit.

With Chinese imports triggering a flurry of product-safety violations in recent months, American consumers have grown increasingly anxious about how and whom to sue, according to lawyers that handle such cases. As Lanier and other have found, the difficulties can be enormous.

While suing companies in foreign countries is always more difficult than pursing a domestic lawsuit, the complexities of filing a case against a Chinese firm are compounded by the country’s regulatory and legal systems and by political relations between Washington and Beijing.

“You’re spitting in the wind,” Lanier said of attempting to sue Chinese companies in U.S. courts. Lanier said his firm has seen a 500 percent increase in the number of inquiries over Chinese goods, but he will rarely take a case unless there is an American defendant as well.

The problems begin before a lawsuit is filed. A Chinese company can only be sued in an American court if it does business on American soil, and not merely over the Internet.

Stephen A. Litchfield, a lawyer for Schneider Electric, is trying to sue two Chinese companies and accuse them of counterfeiting its Square D circuit breakers. “These companies only have Web addresses, no registered Chinese names. They don’t appear to be real companies,” Litchfield said.

Sometimes, as in Lanier’s case, simply finding the right entity to serve with the lawsuit is a stumbling block.

The opacity and scarcity of regulation of Chinese business practices make investigations and evidence-gathering cumbersome and frustrating. Headquarters offices, once found, are often bare-bones operations. Records may be spotty or nonexistent. Unaffected by court orders, the level of cooperation is low. Sometimes the Chinese company will not show up to a U.S. court.

“Getting records is virtually impossible. You can make requests until you’re blue in the face. You’ll just get some token response,” said Stephen Ching, a Philadelphia lawyer with 20 years of experience in China. Ching has been involved in 25 lawsuits against Chinese companies in the last two years.

While Schneider Electric is attempting to obtain a default judgment against the Chinese, which is a judgment made in a company’s absence, enforcement will be difficult. The United States and China have not signed an agreement to enforce one another’s court judgments.

“We badly need it . . . but we can’t expect them to enforce ours if we don’t enforce theirs,” said Jerome Cohen, a New York University professor of Chinese law and member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Cohen said he had never heard of a case in which an American judgment was enforced in China.

Ching estimates that a lawsuit against a Chinese company typically lasts 10 years and costs five times as much as a normal case.

“If it’s a small or medium manufacturer, it’s not even worth considering suing them. It’s not about the merits of the case, they could be dead liable, but it would be too difficult, too lengthy, too expensive,” he said.

The roadblocks to suing a Chinese company have diverted most liability lawsuits to U.S. importers and wholesalers. Litigation lawyers say that while they have seen a spike in the number of inquiries about liability suits, most of the more than 100 pending suits filed over Chinese products target only the American or Canadian importer, the wholesaler or the retailer of the product.

Still, some American lawyers are pursuing litigation against Chinese manufacturers.

“We’re prepared to do what it takes. We have to punish these Chinese companies,” said Jeffrey B. Killino, a Philadelphia lawyer who’s suing the Chinese manufacturer of hundreds of thousands of tires recently recalled over defects that allegedly resulted in two deaths and a brain injury. “We will push and push until we can’t push anymore.”

Killino says it has not been easy. “They’re making us literally take the slow boat to China,” he said.

William Audet, a San Francisco lawyer who is suing Canadian company Menu Foods on behalf of pet owners whose animals died from contaminated pet food, also is getting ready to sue the Chinese companies whose wheat flour made the pet food toxic.

Audet, who says he has gotten thousands of inquiries, is hoping political pressure will be enough to squeeze compensation from the companies.

While large retailers or wholesalers may have the commercial leverage to force Chinese manufacturers to negotiate, some smaller importers have begun factoring liability costs into the price of doing business in China.

Smaller importers are increasingly writing liability insurance into their contracts with Chinese manufacturers and paying third parties to test product quality, said Daniel P. Harris, a Seattle lawyer who writes contracts for American companies outsourcing to China.

Many Chinese companies will accept part of the monetary burden to keep their client, said Sebastien Breteau, who runs a company that inspects Chinese goods on behalf of international clients.

The most cost-effective way to hold a Chinese manufacturer responsible, said Cohen, may not be through the courts. “Publicity may be the best weapon for anyone who can’t afford litigation,” he said.

- Original report from the Washington Post

Posted in China, Company, Counterfeit, Economy, Food, Health, Law, Lawyer, Life, Made in China, News, People, Pet food, products, Report, Social, Toy, Trade, USA, World | Comments Off

China the leading source of recalled products in Canada

Posted by chinaview on July 9, 2007


Chad Skelton, CanWest News Service, Published on NationalPost, Canada, Monday, July 09, 2007-

Chinese-made consumer goods have been subject to more safety recalls in Canada than products from any other country, according to Health Canada data.

In all, 431 Chinese-made products — including 150 toys, 73 household goods and 53 baby products — have been recalled since 2005.

That’s four times more than the second-place United States, which had just 97 products recalled in Canada during that same period.

The recalled Chinese products included barbecue lighters that leaked fuel, toys coated with lead paint and pacifiers that could cause a baby to choke.

In response to a request from The Vancouver Sun, Health Canada provided a list identifying the country of origin of all 1,281 consumer products recalled in Canada since 2005.

In almost half of those recalls — 45% — the agency was unable to determine which country manufactured the product. But of those cases where Health Canada knew where the product came from, a majority — 61.2% — were from China.

Mark Veitch, who coordinates product recalls for Health Canada, wouldn’t say whether he thinks products from China are more dangerous.

“We haven’t compared countries to see which is worse or better than the others,” he said. “I wouldn’t know offhand if Chinese products are specifically inferior in quality.” (…… more details from NationalPost)

Posted in Canada, China, Economy, Food, Health, Life, Made in China, News, Pet food, products, Toothpaste, Toy, World | 1 Comment »

 
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