Lead Content Prompts More Toy Recalls

September 28, 2007

Toys and children’s necklaces made in China were recalled Wednesday, including five more items from the popular Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway product line, because they contain dangerous levels of lead.

RC2 Corp.’s “Knights of the Sword” series toys and some of its Thomas and Friends items, along with floor puppet theaters and gardening tools and chairs for children, were among the more than 601,000 toys and children’s jewelry announced in the recall by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The recalled toys contain high levels of lead in their surface paint, and the necklaces and jewelry sets contain excessive lead in some of their metal parts.

Under current regulations, children’s products found to have more than 0.06 percent lead accessible to users are subject to a recall. The government warned parents to make sure children are not playing or using any of the recalled products.

This is the second recall from the Thomas & Friends product line after RC2 Corp. announced June 13 a recall of 1.5 million wooden railway toys. The company is recalling five items, totaling about 200,000 toys in all, of Thomas & Friends toys not included in the first recall.

“I don’t think consumers have seen the end to lead paint recalls,” said Julie Vallese, a spokeswoman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“There’s been a very concentrated, concerted effort by both the CPSC and the industry to do a top-to-bottom investigation of the products to make sure they are not in violation with any toy safety standards,” said Vallese. “Today’s recall is a result of that work.”

In Bejing, Commerce Ministry spokesman Wang Xinpei said: “Our attitude toward the toy problem has always been the same, that the problem is one in a thousand. We’ll still be highly responsible and seriously solve the problem.”

The recalls include:

*About 23,500 more necklaces, bracelets and pendants imported by TOBY N.Y.C. of New York. This expands the company’s recall of jewelry sets announced on Aug. 22. The recalled products were sold at T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, A.J. Wright, Cracker Barrel and Shopko stores nationwide from August 2006 through August 2007. For more information, call the company at 866-235-0588.

*About 850 children’s Spinning Wheel Necklace necklaces, produced by Rhode Island Novelty of Cumberland, R.I. The necklaces were sold nationwide from November 2006 through May 2007. For more information, call the company 800-528-5599 or visit its Web site at www.rinovelty.com.

*Happy Giddy Gardening Tools and Children’s Sunny Patch Chairs, imported by Target Corp. of Minneapolis, Minn. The recall involves 350,000 of the toys. The gardening tools and chairs were manufactured by Starite International Ltd. of Taiwan. The toys were sold nationwide from August 2006 through August 2007. For more information, contact Target at 800-440-0680 or visit its Web site at www.target.com.

*About 200,000 Thomas and Friends Wood Railway Toys and 800
Britain’s “Knights of the Sword” series toys, distributed by RC2
Corp., of Oak Brook, Ill. The five recalled Thomas and Friends
items, sold nationwide from March 2003 through September 2007,
include the all-black cargo car, toad vehicle, olive green sodor
cargo box and all-green maple tree top and signal base accessories.
The “Knights of the Sword” recalled toys products include three
items: a mounted silver knight on a red horse with an ax; a mounted
silver knight on a red horse with two hands on a raised weapon; and
a mounted silver knight on a red horse with a lance. The products
were sold at specialty toy stores nationwide from April 2004
through March 2006. For more information, contact RC2 at
866-725-4407 or visit the firm’s Web site at

*About 16,000 children’s toy rakes imported by Jo-Ann Stores Inc., of Hudson, Ohio. The rakes, each about 24 inches long with a yellow duck head attached to the green handle, were sold only at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores from January 2007 from September 2007. For more information, contact the company at 888-739-4120, option 7, or visit the firm’s Web site at http://www.joann.com/.

*An estimated 10,000 Floor Puppet Theaters produced by
Guidecraft Inc., of Englewood, N.J. The recalled puppet theaters,
each with a chalkboard surface on the front and colored side
panels, were sold nationwide in specialty toy stores, gift shops,
catalogs and Web sites from June 2006 through August 2007. For more information, contact the company at 888-824-1308 or visit its Web site at www.guidecraft.com.

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