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Toy Industry

December 5, 2007 | DAVID LAZARUS
This should be the time of year when Santa's wholesale elves in the downtown L.A. Toy District are busy moving cheap, Chinese-made playthings to consumers and retailers throughout Southern California and beyond. But area merchants say sales this year are terrible -- down about 40% in many cases from a year earlier -- and they know all too well why that is.
November 26, 2007 | From the Associated Press
The popular but dangerous toy Aqua Dots was recalled but the fliers advertising it apparently were not. A Toys R Us flier distributed in some Sunday newspapers contains an ad for Aqua Dots, the popular toy beads yanked from U.S. store shelves nearly three weeks ago because they are coated in a chemical that can turn into the "date-rape" drug when swallowed. The circular advertises the Aqua Dots Super Studio for $19.99 -- a $5 savings.
November 22, 2007 | From the Associated Press
In a risque video on YouTube, Ken and Barbie dolls are joining calls by high-profile Democrats for the resignation of Nancy Nord, acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In the video, shot and posted by the Campaign for America's Future, a liberal advocacy group, Ken and Barbie meet at a bar after breaking up and go to Barbie's house. A week later Barbie complains to Ken that she is "having some symptoms." When Ken asks what's wrong, she answers, "It's lead poisoning."
November 20, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown sued 20 companies, as expected, claiming they sold toys containing "unlawful quantities of lead."
November 11, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
Parents should have no qualms about buying Chinese-made toys for children in the run-up to Christmas despite a surge in recalls of unsafe toys, the head of Europe's toy industry said. More than 20 million Chinese-made toys were recalled worldwide in the last four months because of excessive levels of lead paint and other unsafe components, stoking fears of reduced consumer confidence ahead of the Christmas retail period.
November 8, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Millions of Chinese-made toys have been pulled from shelves in North America and Australia after scientists found they contain a chemical that converts into a powerful "date rape" drug when ingested. Two children in the U.S. and three in Australia were hospitalized after swallowing the beads. The recall is yet another blow to the toy industry -- already bruised by a slew of recalls during the summer.
October 2, 2007 | From the Associated Press
new york -- Toy sellers' fears of a widespread boycott of Chinese-made toys have not taken hold so far, despite the recall of more than 20 million playthings made there. Merchants are reporting an improvement in business, including strong early sales of certain key holiday items. Still, shoppers' concerns over safety remain high. And mounting financial concerns could force shoppers to pull back. "Consumers are still confused," said Ron Boire, president of Toys "R" Us Inc.'
September 16, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
The majority of U.S. toy recalls since 1988 were caused by design flaws, not manufacturing problems, a study by two Canada-based researchers has concluded. The study of 550 recalls found that 76% stemmed from design problems such as using small parts. About 10% were caused by manufacturing defects such as lead paint or poor craftsmanship, the researchers reported.
September 5, 2007 | Patrick McGreevy and Nancy Vogel, Times Staff Writers
Worried that toddlers and infants might be unnecessarily exposed to toxics in plastic toys, state lawmakers Tuesday sent to the governor's desk a partial ban on the use of one potentially harmful chemical. The state Senate also approved a bill that would outlaw the use of lead ammunition in hunting big game and coyotes in the habitat of endangered condors, amid concern that 11 of the birds have been removed to the Los Angeles Zoo with lead poisoning since February.
August 24, 2007 | Abigail Goldman, Times Staff Writer
Amid a fresh spate of toy recalls, members of Congress said Thursday that they would hold hearings about product safety and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. vowed to increase testing and oversight of the playthings it sold. But neither of those actions will guarantee a trouble-free toy aisle any time soon, according to activists who contend that legislation is needed to mandate stricter standards.
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