Toy Association Combats Toy Hunting Season and Promotes Commitment to Safety
November 27, 2018 | As the holidays get underway, so does the busiest toy buying season of the year. Unfortunately, certain NGO groups leverage this time of year to advance their own agendas and garner headlines with their lists of allegedly “unsafe toys” that needlessly frighten parents and attempt to create a black mark on the toy industry with inaccurate and misleading information.
Armed with real facts about the safety of all toys sold in the U.S. and the hundreds of rigorous federal safety tests and standards in place to protect children at play, The Toy Association was on the ground this November to contest erroneous claims made by W.A.T.C.H (World Against Toys Causing Harm) and U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group). The Association also provides support and counsel to member companies targeted by these groups.
- On November 13, WA.T.C.H. released their list of “10 Most Dangerous Toys” that included products that are fully compliant with U.S. federal safety laws. Toy Association staff attended W.A.T.C.H.’s press conference in Boston, MA and provided interviews and statements to numerous media outlets. Of the total W.A.T.C.H. was coverage to date, The Toy Association was mentioned in 73 percent of published news articles and broadcast segments, providing audiences with accurate information on toy safety and a rebuttal to the group’s false and irresponsible claims. Outlets that mentioned The Toy Association included the Associated Press, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Fox News, CNBC, Fortune, Fox and Friends, WBZ CBS Boston, NBC Boston, ABC Boston, and others.
W.A.T.C.H. continues to not test the toys in its report to check their safety; instead, the organization cites toy recalls and product package safety and warning information as reasons to believe that toys are unsafe, when in fact the opposite is true. Year after year, their allegations do not stand up to scrutiny when reviewed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
- Just before the Thanksgiving holiday on November 20, U.S. PIRG released its annual “Trouble in Toyland” report, holding press conferences across the country. Toy Association staff was present at both the DC and New York City press conferences to provide reporters with statements and interviews. The Toy Association was appeared on outlets across the country including CBS, CNN, ABC News Go, Yahoo!, Connecticut Post, and more.
Many of the items named in PIRG’s report were previously recalled and are no longer offered for sale. Several items in the report were not toys (such as children’s furniture, balloons, and other accessories). In addition, PIRG’s report focused on boron levels found in slime. The Toy Association’s technical experts deemed that PIRG did not use widely accepted migration simulation tests and found the group’s boron measurements inconsistent, making their results irrelevant.
“We have reached a point where these supposed annual dangerous toys lists created in pursuit of headlines do nothing more than needlessly frighten families. By law, all toys sold in the United States must meet more than 100 rigorous safety tests and standards,” said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association. “These groups opine, employ questionable testing, and unfortunately end up simply grandstanding to promote themselves, yet each year seem unable to validate real safety issues with the billions of compliant toys sold in our country.”
Added Pasierb: “The Toy Association and our member companies work year-round to educate the public about how to keep children safe at play and how the rigorous safety requirements for toys sold in the U.S. are a safeguard and ensure products comply. In today’s world it’s important to remind parents about being wise toy consumers, especially by shopping at stores and online sellers they know and trust, while avoiding deals that seem too good to be true, or by purchasing used toys or those from questionable online sellers in other nations. These are actionable priorities that groups like PIRG and W.A.T.C.H. could also emphasize each holiday season. Instead we see them holding information for months until a press event that could otherwise have been acted upon or debunked immediately, embracing scare tactics, and seeking sensational headlines – all of which result in little, if any, value to the public.”
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to learn important safety advice at www.PlaySafe.org, The Toy Association’s free resource for families. Members are also advised to reach out to The Toy Association’s communications team should they receive media questions about toy safety.