January 21, 2021

ComCom urges safety caution over toy, bike purchases this Xmas

The Commerce Commission is urging consumers to take a second look at the toys and bikes they purchase this Christmas, as four companies are warned over product safety.

The four companies warned are HMH International Limited (trading as Gift House), Jay International Limited (trading as 123 Dollar Store, Huntly), Mighty Ape Limited and Southern Gold Limited (trading as Just Incredible, and in Liquidation).

ComCom’s poster asking ‘what’s wrong with this picture’

“We want consumers to think hard about the toys and bikes they buy this Christmas. Toys for children 36 months and under must be able to take the knocks they get without pieces coming off which could be a choking hazard, and bikes must have the correct type of front and rear brakes fitted. So, when you’re shopping this Christmas, think twice: is that baby or toddler toy the right size? Does it have very small parts? Does it feel like it can it take the knocks without small parts breaking off? Does that bike have front and rear brakes?” said Stuart Wallace, the Commerce Commission’s Head of Consumer.

Mighty Ape supplied 65 ‘Royal Baby’ branded children’s bikes and 33 ‘Royal Baby’ branded adult bikes that, in the Commission’s view, did not comply with the mandatory product safety standard for pedal bicycles. The children’s bikes were not equipped with a back pedal brake (although they had a hand-operated back brake), and the adult bikes’ brake levers were incorrectly configured.

One of the Mighty Ape’s bike considered unsafe (Courtesy: ComCom)

Jay International Limited (trading as 123 Dollar Store, Huntly) supplied a hammer toy, baby hand rattle and a dolphin bath toy which, in the Commission’s view, did not comply with the mandatory product safety standard for children’s toys. Small parts came free from the hammer and bath toy during testing and the parts were a choking hazard.

Similarly, in the Commission’s view, the children’s toys and nightwear supplied by HMH International Limited trading as Gift House, did not comply with the applicable mandatory product safety standards.

Four rubber squeeze toys supplied by Southern Gold Limited trading as Just Incredible (in liquidation), in the Commission’s view, also did not comply with the mandatory product safety standard for children’s toys.

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“Even though the obligation is on retailers to make sure that the toys and bikes they sell are compliant… we also urge consumers to do their homework about the kinds of toys suitable for children aged under 3 and if in doubt, ask the retailer what checks and inspections have been done before they buy. We have produced a video called ‘The story of a toy’ to help businesses and consumers understand the importance of the standards for children’s toys. We’ve got a poster asking ‘what’s wrong with this picture?’ available in multiple languages, and we have other product safety guidance,” said Wallace.