KEY POINTS

  • The confiscated toys do not meet the safety standards of Fair Trading NSW
  • Most of the concerning items were toys imported from overseas
  • Parents are advised to check the Product Safety Australia website to ensure that the toys have not been recalled

Hundreds of potentially dangerous toys were removed from shelves in Australia’s malls as part of an effort to keep Christmas safe for children. 

Officers for Fair Trading NSW, an agency tasked with promoting a safe and fair marketplace in Australia, seized the toys as part of its “Operation Safe Toy” program.

Under the program, officers may seize any children’s toys being sold on the market ahead of the Christmas holidays that do not meet safety standards of the Fair Trading NSW. They also warned that they have found many toys that can be extremely dangerous and potentially deadly for small children. 

“These toys have little parts that can cause obstructions,” Karin Ellis, a Fair Trading NSW official, told 7 News Australia. “A child can just flip open the battery compartment of a toy and swallow the little battery.”

One of the toys the NSW Fair Trading officials confiscated was a small penguin figurine that, when opened up, was also a lighter. 

Kevin Anderson, an NSW Better Regulation Minister, also added that while they were looking closely at the toys displayed on the shelves in Australia, most of the concerning items were imported from other countries.

“These toys come in huge container loads from overseas and they’re mass-produced and not made properly,” Anderson told the publication, adding that 70% of reports they received were about toys purchased from online stores. 

Fair Trading Australia has advised parents to get their money back should the toys not meet safety standards. Officers also urge parents to:

  • Read the labeling of the toy
  • Check toys for loose parts, which could become choking hazards
  • Check whether there are gaps or holes that children could trap their fingers in
  • Check whether magnetic toys have any loose magnets
  • Check whether there are sharp edges or rough surfaces that could injure children

The NSW Fair Trading also urged parents to check whether the toy gifts they were planning to purchase haven’t been recalled or banned in Australia. Consumers can do this by going to the Product Safety Australia website.

Retailers who are caught selling unsafe toys may be fined up to AU$500,000. For corporations, the fine may increase to AU$10 million. 

A shopper enters Mary Arnold Toys in New York on August 2, 2021 A shopper enters Mary Arnold Toys in New York on August 2, 2021 Photo: AFP / Kena Betancur