The Toy Association’s Crusade to Fight Fake, Unsafe Toys

fight-against-fake-toysJanuary 7, 2020 | As online shopping increases, so have the unsafe, fraudulent toys slipping past the 100-plus U.S. toy safety standards into marketplaces. Last year, The Toy Association worked on behalf of its members to make huge strides in the fight against fake and illicit toys that have resulted in action from lawmakers and the removal of multiple unsafe toys from online marketplaces.

Raising Public Awareness.

  • The Association and member companies have been hard at work spotlighting the issue in the media. CBS This Morning and CNN reports emphasized how some toys sold online don't meet U.S. safety standards and featured commentary from The Toy Association and Aaron Muderick, founder of Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty. The Wall Street Journal also interviewed Magformers’ CEO Chris Tidwell as part of an in-depth investigation that exposed thousands of unsafe and hazardous knockoff products, including toys, found online.

  • The Toy Association released new research showing nearly 1 in 3 toy-purchasing parents falsely believe counterfeit toys are not sold on major online marketplaces. Based on these results, The Toy Association created a guide for parents and caregivers to help avoid counterfeits when shopping online.

Advocacy on Capitol Hill.

  • The Toy Association worked with Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) to introduce the bipartisan Stop All Nefarious Toys in America Act (SANTA Act) in December, which will require online marketplaces to verify third-party seller information and disclose key seller details to consumers.

  • On July 18, Rebecca Mond, vice president of federal government affairs at The Toy Association, testified before Congress and offered feedback on legislative and marketplace changes that could be made to reduce the prevalence of counterfeits.

  • The Toy Association participated in a White House Roundtable on IP protection and followed up with comments to the Department of Commerce with recommendations to inform an interagency report.

  • The Senate Finance Committee released a bipartisan report, "The Fight Against Fakes: How Statutory and Regulatory Barriers Prevent The Sharing of Information on Counterfeits," that incorporated input from The Toy Association.

Member Resources.

  • A “Best Practices to Protect Your Brand Online” webinar provided manufacturers and distributors with best practices to protect brands from revenue erosion linked with the mishandling by third-party sellers, grey market dealers, and counterfeit products.

  • The Toy Association released the white paper, “The Real Threat of Fake Toys," offering potential solutions through collaborative work among stakeholders. Updates to 2020 to this living document are already underway with the input and direction of The Toy Association’s Intellectual Property Committee.

  • The Toy Association’s Intellectual Property Committee held a two-day meeting in Los Angeles, CA, where 50 committee members had the opportunity to engage directly with marketplaces (Amazon, eBay, and Walmart) about their respective approaches to removing unsafe, knockoff, and counterfeit toys from e-commerce platforms.

As we move into 2020, The Toy Association will continue to collaborate with government officials on the topic, raise public awareness, and engage marketplaces year-round to improve brand protection and the safety of toys sold through marketplaces.

For more information on counterfeits and IP protection, please contact Rebecca Mond.