October 15, 1998


Release # 99-009


WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Playwell Toy Inc. of Lake Forest, Calif., recalled the mallets in approximately 200,000 individually sold xylophones, 150,000 Little Ones® Infant three-piece musical gift sets, and 1,800 Little Ones® Infant five-piece musical gift sets. The rounded ends of the xylophone mallets are smaller in diameter than the 1.75-inch standard for small balls. The mallets can get stuck in the throats of young children, blocking their airways, and possibly causing death.

CPSC and Playwell Toy were aware of one serious injury to a 6-month-old baby girl who suffered severe brain damage when the mallet became lodged in her throat.

The xylophones are mostly white with a red button and yellow handle. The metal bars on the xylophones are red, yellow, green and blue, and the mallets are red.

The individually sold xylophones have stickers on them reading, "PLAYWELL. . . SOUND TOY SERIES." Their packaging reads, "Music World Xylophone . . . Playwell . . . Item No: 044073."

The three-piece Little OnesTM Infant musical gift sets consists of a toy xylophone and mallet, an accordion and a tambourine. The five-piece set consists of a xylophone, tambourine, harmonica and two maracas. All the instruments are multi-colored plastic. The sets are packaged in a box that reads, in part, "Little OnesTM Infant . . . Ages 6 Months and over . . . Hours of musical fun!" Each musical instrument has "MADE IN CHINA" printed on it.

Target and other retail stores sold the individual xylophones from February 1996 to April 1998 for about $7. Kmart stores nationwide sold the three-piece musical set exclusively from May 1996 to April 1998 for about $10. Right Start Stores nationwide sold the five-piece musical gift set from November 1997 to August 1998 for about $24.

Consumers should take these mallets away from children under 3 years old immediately, and dispose of the mallets. As the firm is out of business, a remedy is no longer available. Please discard or destroy the mallets.

Picture of Xylophone in Box