Toy Association Sets Record Straight on Toy Safety; Offers Resources to Members
October 27, 2020 | Each year leading up to the holiday season, certain NGOs take advantage of the attention surrounding toys to publish inaccurate “toy safety” reports that unnecessarily frighten families.
And each year, The Toy Association positions itself on the frontlines of these conversations, undertaking strategic PR and social media efforts to counter false NGO claims; assuring consumers that all toys sold in the United States, no matter where they are made, must adhere to more than 100 strict federal safety standards and tests; and spreading awareness about PlaySafe.org, which offers parents and caregivers trustworthy information on toy and play safety.
“The Toy Association works year-round to educate families on toy safety and our members’ commitment to producing safe, fun, and skill-building toys and games that adhere to our nation’s rigorous safety requirements,” said Ken Seiter, executive vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association. “Unfortunately, NGOs take advantage of the holiday season to promote false information that does nothing more than needlessly frighten consumers at an otherwise joyful time of year. The Toy Association is committed to countering these claims and shining a spotlight on the safety and developmental value of all toys sold by our members.”
As parents and other gift-givers get ready to start their holiday shopping, The Toy Association last week published a press release to help consumers understand the dangers of counterfeits lurking online and how to identify real, legitimate toys sold by verified online sellers. It included results from a survey of 1,000 U.S. parents, which found that 83 percent of parents have had someone purchase a counterfeit or knock-off toy for their child. Half of parents also reported they would keep a toy in the home, even if they suspected it might be a counterfeit. This is a troubling statistic because counterfeit toy sellers do not test their products for safety in the same rigorous manner that verified, legitimate toy companies do.
“Counterfeit toys can slip into homes and pose a danger, which is why we continue to educate parents and other shoppers, including grandparents, about digging deeper into an online seller’s history and reviews to ensure their legitimacy,” said Seiter. “We are seeing more and more shoppers becoming aware of the dangers posed by counterfeits, which is great – but one counterfeit toy purchased and brought into the home is one too many. As The Toy Association continues to work with regulators and e-commerce platforms to combat this pervasive issue, we will also continue to educate consumers on how to shop safely for toys, whether in stores or online.”
Toy Association members are encouraged to share reliable safety tips for families available at PlaySafe.org, including advice on how to avoid inadvertently purchasing counterfeit products.
If a member company’s product is included in one of the NGO lists this holiday season, The Toy Association’s public relations team is available to provide counsel on appropriate actions to take. Companies that are contacted by reporters in search for comment are encouraged to pass the inquiry to The Toy Association, which can supply the media with a statement on the safety-related issue at hand and offer interviews with the Association’s toy safety experts.
Members with questions on this topic are encouraged to contact Kristin Morency Goldman, senior communications specialist at The Toy Association.