Fisher-Price Fined $975,000 for Failing to Report a Serious Choking Hazard
March 24, 2007

Fisher-Price Fined $975,000 for Failing to Report a Serious Choking,
Aspiration Hazard with a Popular Children’s Toy

WASHINGTON , D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
announced today that Fisher-Price Inc., of East Aurora, N.Y., has agreed
to pay a $975,000 civil penalty. The penalty, which the Commission has
provisionally accepted, settles allegations that the company failed to
report to the government that a nail fastener in the Little People(r)
Animal Sounds Farm could separate from the toy and pose a serious
choking or aspiration hazard to young children.

About 67,000 Little People(r) Animal Sounds Farms were sold nationwide
by Fisher-Price from June 2002 through July 2002. In September 2002, the
company received its first report of a nail fastener coming loose from
one of the toy barn’s stall doors. Over the next two months,
Fisher-Price received nine additional reports, including one case of a
child placing the nail fastener in her mouth.

By February 2003, Fisher-Price had received two reports of parents
concerned that this problem posed a choking hazard to children and a
report of a December 30, 2002 incident in which a 14-month old child
aspirated a nail fastener into his lung. The child was taken to the
hospital and underwent an emergency surgical procedure to have the metal
nail fastener removed.

It was not until March 2003 that the company reported the safety hazard
with the Little People(r) Animal Farm to the Commission. By that time,
Fisher-Price was aware of at least 33 reports in which the nail fastener
came loose from the stall doors. These included four reports of children
who put the metal nail fastener in their mouths and the one case of the
child who aspirated the nail fastener.

Federal law requires firms to report to CPSC immediately (within 24
hours) after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion
that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial risk
of injury to the public, presents an unreasonable risk of serious injury
or death, or violates a federal safety standard.

In April 2003, CPSC and Fisher-Price announced the recall of the Little
People(r) Animal Sounds Farms and recommended that consumers take the
toy away from young children immediately and contact the company to
receive a free repair kit. Consumers can still call Fisher-Price anytime
at (866) 259-7873 or order the repair kit online at
www.service.mattel.com

In agreeing to settle the matter, Fisher-Price Inc. denies CPSC’s
allegations that the company knowingly violated the law.

Prior to the loss of quorum, the Commission delegated authority to the
Office of Compliance and Field Operations to settle this matter with
Fisher-Price before March 1, 2007.

To see this release on CPSC’s web site, including pictures of the
recalled product, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07119.html 

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.

 

 

 

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