Danger warning as thousands of fake Squishies seized in Wolverhampton
Thousands of potentially-fatal fake Squishies toys have been seized in the Black Country.
Dangerous copies of the popular toys – which are the latest craze among children – that breach several health and safety regulations were found on sale in Wolverhampton.
Test results found dangerous faults in the packaging, labelling and lack of warning labels, required by law.
The toys were also tested for the toxic cancer-causing phthalates, previously found in ‘fruit head’ dolls in 2016, but this was not found to be present.
Wolverhampton Council’s Trading Standards team is carrying out the operation and has put out a warning to shops and market stallholders to beware after seizing more than 2,000 fakes.
It is also working with neighbouring authorities to crackdown on the distribution of the copies.
The seized toys have been sent to Hampshire Scientific Services to test for phthalates.
Many Squishies are scented and there are fears young children could confuse them with food and risk trying to eat, suck or swallow the products – which could cause serious injury and in death extreme cases, it is claimed.
The real Squishies can cost anything from £9 to £55 for eight. The fakes were on sale for prices between £3.99 and £5.99.
The official Squishies toys are not said to be a danger.
Councillor Steve Evans, cabinet member for city environment at 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 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.
Anyone with concerns can contact the Trading Standards team on firstname.lastname@example.org.