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City Council squishes sale of fake popular toys to protect youngsters

The City of Wolverhampton Council's Trading Standards team has seized over 2,000 illegal 'Squishies' due to alarming health and safety risks to young children.

(L-R) Paul Dosanjh, Trading Standards Service Lead at City of Wolverhampton Council, Councillor Steve Evans, Cabinet Member for City Environment at City of Wolverhampton Council and Susan White Trading Standards Officer at City of Wolverhampton Council
Seized fake Squishies

Wolverhampton Trading Standards carried out a test purchase on the popular toys to ensure the products were legitimate and safe for children to play with.

The items were sent to Hampshire Scientific Services to initially test for phthalates, previously found in 'fruit head' dolls in 2016. 

However, following the test purchases, the Squishies failed several health and safety regulations and confirmed to be fake replicates of the popular toys.

Test results also found dangerous faults in the packaging, labelling and lack of warning labels required by law.

The Toy Safety regulations require all new toys to be marked with sufficient model numbers, include manufacturers details, CE markings, test certificates and appropriate warning messages for parents.

The forged toys, imported from China, arrived in loose packaging with manufacturing details, test certificates and CE markings all proved to be fake.

CE marking is a certification mark that indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the EU. 

A number of Squishes also breach the Trade Mark legislation for resembling registered Trade Marks such as Hello Kitty and Emojis that have not been produced with consent from legitimate Trade Mark holders.

Many Squishies are scented and young children could confuse them with food and risk trying to eat, suck or swallow the products which could cause serious injury and in extreme cases, death.

Councillor Steve Evans, Cabinet Member for City Environment at City of Wolverhampton Council said: "It's important we carry out these test purchases, especially on new products where often fake goods are replicated putting customers at risk.

"Our local traders have also been affected and left out of pocket due to trusting suppliers not complying with the law.

"We are working with other local authorities to act against the distributors of these products, to ensure children are protected from the risks posed by these dangerous toys."

The City of Wolverhampton Council's Trading Standards team has visited its markets and local traders to alert them of the dangers of the bogus toys and prevent them from continuing to sell the products.

Customers and Traders who believe they have purchased fake Squishies are encouraged to contact the City of Wolverhampton Council's Trading Standards team on intel@wolverhampton.gov.uk or their partners at the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.

  • released: Tuesday 28 August, 2018