Build-a-Bear’s Toy Recall Was the Company’s 3rd of 2011

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Defective Products on Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Build-A-Bear Workshop, the suburban St. Louis-based toy company with stores across the U.S., issued a recall of one of its lines of teddy bears late in December after it was discovered the bears’ eyes have a tendency to come loose and put children at risk of choking. Though no injuries were reported, the recall was Build-A-Bear’s third this year, putting the company’s commitment to product safety in question, according to critics.

The toys currently being recalled are called “Colorful Hearts Teddy Bears.” Testing by the company found that the fabric around the bears’ plastic eyes was “substandard” and could tear, causing the eyes to detach, a spokeswoman said. As with most teddy bears, the were marketed toward young children, who could potentially swallow the eyes and choke on them.

This marked the third time Build-A-Bear recalled one of its products in 2011. In August, the company recalled a lapel pin that read “Love.Hugs.Peace” after months of denying a report by a consumer advocacy group that the pins contained excessive lead in their paint. And in November, Build-A-Bear recalled 20,830 toy swimwear sets after a 3-year-old girl got stuck in the inflatable nine-inch inner tube.

Even more troubling, the toy manufacturer recently settled charges by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that it tried to cover up defects with a wood beach chair for the bears. Ten children were injured due to overly sharp edges, leading to a 2009 recall. Build-A-Bear settled the investigation for $600,000.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Build-A-Bear issues third toy recall this year,” Kavita Kumar, Dec. 24, 2011

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