March 4, 1986  
Release # 86-011


Honolulu, Hawaii -- In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Whimports of Honolulu, Hawaii today warns consumers of a possible hazard associated with the flying of a toy helicopter called "Official Chopper 9". Approximately 30,000 "Official Chopper 9's" were sold between July of 1984 and January 1985 in Hawaii only. The firm and the Commission are aware of four eye and face laceration incidents in which the rotor blades either flew off the toy, striking the user or bystander, or the entire helicopter descended rapidly, striking the person in the face. The incidents happened in October 1984, and Whimports voluntarily stopped sales of the toy in January 1985.

The "Official Chopper 9," which retailed for approximately $5.00, is a six-inch plastic flying toy helicopter with a hand launching device. The number 9 is prominently displayed on the cabin of the toy. Assembly is required before the toy can be flown. It is this assembly which is difficult and if done improperly could allow the rotor blades to come off and cause possible facial lacerations or serious eye injury.

Consumers are urged to discontinue use and to return either the three rotor blades or the entire toy helicopter to Whimports. Whimports will replace the returned blades with a redesigned rotor assembly and if the entire toy helicopter is returned, it will be replaced with a new toy helicopter with a redesigned rotor assembly. Returns should be mailed to: Whimports, 449 Koula Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813. Consumers may reach Whimports by calling 537-6079. For further information, they can reach the Consumer Product Safety Commission office in Honolulu, Mr. Donald Ching, 546-7523.