|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|October 31, 1980
|Release # 80-039
Millions Of "Pot Belly" Toy Animals Being Recalled To Eliminate Safety Hazards
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 31) -- The highly popular "Pot Belly" line of children's stuffed animals is being recalled by the importer in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission because the toys may present hazards which could injure young children.
More than five million of the five different types of "Pot Bellies" have been sold nationwide in a variety of sizes since late in 1978. Pot Bellies are distributed to more than 2,800 toy stores, department stores and other retailers by the Daekor division of Hudson Brands, Ltd., of New York City.
CPSC has received a number of consumer complaints of small wires protruding from the toy animals; however, there have been no reports of serious injuries to date. Testing by CPSC revealed that a substantial percentage of the toys tested contained sharp wires in the stuffing.
When tested under the terms of a CPSC regulation designed to prevent children under the age of three years from swallowing and choking on small parts of toys, some of the Pot Bellies failed the test. Accordingly, these stuffed toys -- until inspected by the importer to ensure their safety -- have been determined to be "banned hazardous substances" under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. Once inspected and found free of wires, the toys may be distributed.
CPSC also discovered through testing that the "bean bag" variety of smaller Pot Bellies presents another hazard in addition to the potential presence of small wires. The bottoms of bean bag Pot Bellies are stuffed with crushed walnut shells which could be swallowed by children if the toy animals come apart at the seams (as some did during the CPSC testing).
Consumers are being urged to return their Pot Belly stuffed animals to the retailer where the toy was purchased for a full refund or replacement. Pot Bellies have been sold at retail prices ranging from $8 to $30, depending on their size. Refunds only are being offered to consumers who return bean bag Pot Bellies to the retailer.
(The importer also has distributed about 5,000 large Pot Belly koala bears and brown bears which are not being subjected to the ban or the recall. These 40-inch-long bears were manufactured by a Brooklyn, N.Y., company which used a different stuffing material.) Hudson Brands will alert each retailer to the hazards and the procedures to be followed in carrying out the recall and inspection program, and also will inspect all further shipments of these toy animals to ensure that there are no wires in the stuffing.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about your experience with the product on SaferProducts.gov
CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.