TODAY reached out to manufacturers and distributors of toys singled out as unsafe in this year's U.S. PIRG Education Fund "Trouble in Toyland" report. Here are responses from those who commented on the findings in the toy safety survey:
"At Mattel, the safety of our toys is our number one priority. We employ strict standards and procedures designed to ensure every product we make meets or exceeds regulations and laws enforced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and their regulatory counterparts around the world. When used properly, all Mattel toys are safe to play with, and meet or exceed all applicable regulations and standards."
"We take pride in the fact that we manufacture safe products and therefore take issue with the U.S. PIRG Education Fund survey. The claim that our G2Air Mini-Tailball (football) is unsafe and violates the Small Parts Warning Label regulation (ASTM F963-11 Section 5) is just plain wrong. We’ve tested a total of five times at three different independent labs during the past 12 months, and all reports verify this product complies with U.S. and Canadian small parts regulations. This means there is no warning label needed. In fact, we have a 10 year record of testing that verifies this item is completely safe and fully compliant with CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) regulations for toys that are intended for children 3 years of age and older."
TOY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION (Responding to the overall report’s findings)
“The holiday season is always a magical time for families as they delight in new gifts and strengthen bonds through play. Unfortunately, certain groups, like U.S. PIRG, leverage this time of year to advance their own agendas and garner headlines with their lists of alleged 'unsafe toys.' When examined and reviewed, year after year these lists have repeatedly shown to be full of false claims and needlessly frighten parents and caregivers. What families can count on is that toys sold on U.S. toy shelves are safe. Safety is the toy industry’s top priority every day of the year. By law, all toys sold in the United States, no matter where in the world they are made, must first meet 100+ rigorous safety tests and standards and be certified as compliant by an independent, federally approved testing lab. These U.S. safety requirements are among the strictest in the world and are in place to ensure the safety of children as they revel in the joy and benefits of play. For more information on toy safety and ways to ensure safe play, families can visit www.playsafe.org.”
Some retailers that sell the toys identified as unsafe in the U.S. PIRG Education Fund's annual toy survey also weighed in with comments:
"Party City is dedicated to ensuring that all of its products meet or exceed federal, state and municipal requirements. To this end, Party City requires testing and compliance of its products by using nationally recognized product testing organizations. Any product that fails to meet governmental or Party City's standards will not be distributed."
"Target strives to offer guests an assortment of safe and high-quality products that meet applicable standards as well as our guests’ needs. We constantly reevaluate the safety of products on our shelves and provide our guests with information about recalled products sold at Target via our in-store kiosks and on our Target.com Product Recalls page. If guests have questions or concerns regarding a product not found on the list, we encourage them to contact the vendor for more information."
"The safety of our customers is a top priority for Marshalls. We appreciate that these items have been brought to our attention and are looking into the matter. Customers who wish to return an item may go to their local store or contact our customer service line at 1-888-627-7425."
"We would like you and all of our customers to know that customer safety is of the utmost importance to Five Below. We take all safety concerns seriously and strive to provide our customers with the highest quality products. As soon as we were made aware of the issue, we immediately pulled the products from our shelves. We have also alerted our vendors to the issue and expect them to take immediate action to ensure that all products are adequately and correctly labeled."
"We work hard to ensure that the products we purchase from our suppliers are safe. This is critical because there is nothing more important than having our customers feel confident that they can come into our stores and buy safe, quality products at a great value. Before any product is placed on our store shelves, it must meet or exceed state and federal guidelines, as well as our own standards. We have a rigorous quality and compliance program which includes stringent independent tests to ensure supplier products meet all applicable safety and legal standards. Furthermore, whenever questions about a product's safety are raised, we immediately begin working with that product's supplier to investigate the situation."