Voluntary recall of Mary Lou wooden toy
19 June 2009
A distributor of the Mary Lou doll, an iconic New Zealand wooden toy, is undertaking a voluntary recall of all Mary Lou dolls sold in New Zealand since 1 June 2008.
The recall relates only to Mary Lou dolls sold since 1 June 2008, with either red or blue bodies and which were in blue Mary Lou branded packaging, as illustrated. Any consumers in possession of one of these dolls should make sure that children do not play with the doll and return it to the distributor, Brightway Products, for a full refund. Full contact details, including postal address, should be included when applying for a refund. While not necessary, proof of purchase would be helpful. Brightway Products will also be placing product recall notices in major newspapers early next week.
The Commission began an investigation after receiving a complaint that in one incident the small beads of the arm of a Mary Lou doll had become detached from the doll's body. The beads are small enough to be a potential choking hazard for children under three years old. As part of its investigation, the Commission purchased samples of Mary Lou dolls. These dolls were tested by an independent laboratory to see whether they met the required standard. All of the samples tested failed to meet the Product Safety Standard (Children's Toys). When informed of the results, the distributor immediately agreed to undertake a voluntary recall, and has co-operated with the Commission investigation.
"It is important that the Product Safety Standard relating to children's toys is taken seriously," said Adrian Sparrow, Commerce Commission Director of Fair Trading. "The Commission is pleased that the distributor has been cooperating with the Commission and has organised a voluntary recall. The Commission's investigation into this issue will continue. Once the investigation is completed, the Commission will decide what further action is appropriate," said Mr Sparrow.
Voluntary recall details: Consumers should seek a refund from Brightway Products,
9 Crosbie Road
The last date to apply for a refund is 31 August 2009.
Any questions about the voluntary recall should be made directly to the distributor at email@example.com
A jpg of the toy and the packaging is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Safety standards for toys - small parts. The standard requires that toys intended for use by children under three should not be small enough to be inhaled or swallowed, or have small parts that can be removed or broken off, and then inhaled or swallowed. A measuring device similar to a 35 millimetre film canister is used to measure objects: as a rule of thumb, any item small enough to fit in a 35mm film canister is a choking hazard for children under three. The Commission's fact sheet, Children's Toys - A guide to complying with the product safety standard can be downloaded from the Commission's website www.comcom.govt.nz under Children's Toys.
The Mary Lou doll. H. (Hec) E. Ramsey Limited has been credited with creating the Mary Lou doll, along with other wooden toys in the 1940s. Originally made in New Zealand, in more recent times Mary Lou dolls, made under licence, have been manufactured overseas and imported into New Zealand.
Lion Rock Ventures Ltd hold the intellectual property for Mary Lou dolls and sub-license out the rights to distribute the product.
From 1 April 2004 to 30 September 2008 Brightway Products Ltd held a sub-license to manufacture/distribute the product. They were granted a 'sell down' period where Brightways could sell any product manufactured or ordered for manufacture prior to the 30 September date. The sell down period ended on 31 March 2009.
From 1 April 2009 Urban Trends Ltd acquired the sub-license to manufacture/distribute the product. Urban Trends recently started distributing Mary Lou dolls with a pink body. They have stopped distribution of this toy pending testing to ensure that they meet the product safety standard.