Dozens of items have just been recalled due to lead paint that was applied while these toys and items were in China.

Let’s see …Baby Einstein blue baby block

Reason why we’re starting to see more and more recalls? The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a Federal agency responsible for the safety of various toys, products, and other items sold in the USA, seems to finally be getting its act together and has begun testing various toys and products for lead paint.

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Last June, RC2 recalled a good number of Thomas the Tank Engine toys because of lead paint. And now RC2 is recalling even more Thomas the Tank Engine toys due to lead paint.

The recalled toys are:

  • All Black Cargo Car
  • “Toad” vehicle with brake lever
  • Olive Green Sodor Cargo Box
  • All Green Maple Tree Top
  • Green Signal Base

If you suspect that you have any of these toys, please visit the RC2’s recall page for these toys and carefully follow the instructions there to find out if your toy is indeed recalled or not. If it turns out you do have one of the recalled toys, then follow the recall instructions to get a replacement or credit.

Some pictures from the RC2 website showing the recalled toys:

Recall All Black Cargo Car

Recall

Olive Green Sodor Cargo Box

Recall All Green Maple Tree Top

Recall Green Signal Base

Pixar Sarge jeepA few days ago, the Pixar Sarge jeep by Mattel was recalled due to lead paint applied in China. I had bought one for my daughter from Target. I went shopping there tonight, and the rack where I usually found Pixar Cars for sale was empty. All the hooks, neatly labeled with Cars this and Cars this, totally empty.

I seriously doubt they were all sold out. I think Target pulled them all, due to fears that even more of these Cars toys had lead paint on them.

Target logoI’m really, really bummed. I bought quite a few of these Cars toys from Target for my daughter, who absolutely LOVES them. I think I’d better take them and hide them for a while, in an abundance of caution …

Political cartoon - Santa fainting

See related blog posts here, here, and here.

Sarge JeepMattel just issued its second (actually, second, third, and fourth) recall in two weeks: Pixar’s Sarge jeep (lead paint), the Barbie with Tanner set (magnetic hazard), and numerous magnetic playsets (magnetic hazard). My daughter has the Sarge jeep, and my younger daughter loves to nibble on it. Sigh. This new recall(s) covers hundreds of thousands nine MILLION cars, dolls, and magnetic toys, including those with the following themes: Doggie Daycare, Polly Pocket, and Batman / Magna. Only last week, Mattel recalled over a million Dora, Spongebob, and Elmo toys.Barbie with Tanner

All these toys were assembled and/or painted in China. And remember other recent recalls having to do with food and toys also from China? Pet food infused with toxin, Thomas the Tank Engine’s wooden railway toys, and now these two sets of massive Mattel toy recalls. What’s next? (The recent recall of Easy-Bake ovens, although made in China, is probably more because of a design flaw.)

According to the Wall Street Journal, executives of the Chinese manufacturer that had caused the first Mattel recall “were required to sign a new safety contract” after the first recall even though they had apparently earlier agreed to these (or similar) safety standards. Magnetic playsetsThese executives knew of our safety standards, and yet apparently disregarded them. This shows a lack of accountability — and yes, perhaps even a lack of regard for our laws and customs. And this lack of regard is causing our children and pets to sicken and die.

It’s high time we start buying things made only in the United States. At least until we know that executives in China are paying more than just lip service to the safety of our children, our pets, and us.

(Edit: this just became the lead article of CNN.com and is prominently displayed on WashingtonPost.com.)

Recalled toy 1(Edit as of August 14, 2007: There has been a new toy recall by Mattel, this time of the Pixar Sarge jeep, the Barbie and Tanner set, and several magnetic playsets including Polly Pocket, Doggie Daycare, and Batman / Magna)

On top of the recent Thomas the Tank Engine recall that included several of my daughters’ toys, Fisher Price just announced a huge recall of 83 types of toys. Over a million figurines and toys are affected — mostly with Elmo, Dora, and SpongeBob themes. These toys are being recalled because of paint with excessive amounts of lead (applied by a company in China), and only cover those toys sold in retail stores on and after May 1, 2007.

Recalled toy 2I checked the list of toys affected by the recall, and it turns out I have two of those toys. One (the Silly Parts Talking Elmo toy pictured on the right) was purchased well before May 1, 2007 — so no problem there. But another toy that’s popular with both of my daughters (and nibbled upon by the younger daughter, sigh), the Dora Talking Vanamos Van (pictured left) is definitely covered by the recall. It’s gonna break my girls’ hearts when I remove the van — but it’s for their health. Hmm, maybe I’ll hide it before they wake up.

The recall comes with an useful step-by-step guide on determining whether you have any toys covered by the recall and how to send them back.

(UPDATE 9/28/07: five more Thomas the Tank Engine train sets were recalled. See related blog post about these recalls of the All Black Cargo Car, “Toad” vehicle with brake lever, Olive Green Sodor Cargo Box, All Green Maple Tree Top, and Green Signal Base.)

James the trainMy 3-year-old daughter is absolutely crazy over her Thomas the Tank Engine wooden railway train set — all the wooden trains that magnetically link together (and which, if you have too many coupled together, becomes prone to derailing!), the wooden tracks that can easily be joined together or torn asunder into many configurations, the different accessories that come with these train sets, the zillions of books and videos out there, etc etc …

James' tenderSo it was quite a shock to find out that some of the wooden trains and accessories were recalled last month due to lead in the paint. Apparently, on some of these units, the paint has lead in it and can be toxic for young children. The paint (mostly bright red) were applied while still at the manufacturer in China, and then the units were shipped into the USA and Canada as well as elsewhere.

I checked the trains my daughter had, and it turns out two or three of these trains (including the two pictured above) were on the recall list. Not good news, particularly since my younger 1-year-old daughter had been gnawing on these trains for the past several months. And especially since most of the recall has to do with the train character named James, which is actually my favorite because of its bright red color and plucky personality.

The recall comes with instructions on how to get replacements, as well as a return form. Here’s a picture of all of the recalled trains and accessories. Click on it to see a larger version.

Thomas recalled units

If your kid (or you!) have one of these Thomas the Tank Engine trains or accessories, be sure to return it for a replacement. Sigh.

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