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More than 600,000 toys recalled

Toy maker RC2 Corp. on Wednesday recalled more than 200,000 railway toys and accessories that it said could contain dangerous levels of lead paint.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Toys and children’s necklaces made in China were recalled Wednesday, including five more items from the popular Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway product line, because they contain dangerous levels of lead.

RC2 Corp.’s “Knights of the Sword” series toys and some of its Thomas and Friends items, along with floor puppet theaters and gardening tools and chairs for children, were among the more than 601,000 toys and children’s jewelry announced in the recall by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The recalled toys contain high levels of lead in their surface paint, and the necklaces and jewelry sets contain excessive lead in some of their metal parts, the agency said.

Under current regulations, children’s products found to have more than .06 percent lead accessible to users are subject to a recall. The government warned parents to make sure children are not playing with or using any of the recalled products.

This is the second recall from the Thomas & Friends product line after RC2 Corp. on June 13 announced a recall of 1.5 million wooden railway toys. The company is recalling five product items, totaling about 200,000 toys in all, of Thomas & Friends toys not included in the first recall.

Julie Vallese, a spokeswoman for the CPSC, said the latest recalls were a result of both pressure from her agency and the toy industry’s own initiative.

“There’s been a very concentrated, concerted effort by both the CPSC and the industry to do a top-to-bottom investigation of the products to make sure they are not in violation with any toy safety standards,” said Vallese. “The agency overall has been pushing and strongly suggesting to industry, whether it’s RC2 or anybody else, to do a systematic inventory. Today’s recall is a result of that work.”

“I don’t think consumers have seen the end to lead paint recalls,” she said.

The CPSC announced seven product recalls in all:

  • Target, the importer of Happy Giddy gardening tools and children’s Sunny Patch chairs, recalled about 350,000 items of the product. The children’s gardening tools and chairs, manufactured by Starite International Ltd., were sold nationwide from August 2006 through August 2007.
  • RC2 recalled about 200,000 Thomas and Friends Wood Railway Toys and 800 Britain’s “Knights of the Sword” series toys. The five recalled Thomas and Friends items, sold nationwide from March 2003 through September 2007, include the all-black cargo car, toad vehicle, olive green cargo box and all-green maple tree top and signal base accessories.
  • The “Knights of the Sword” recalled toys products include three items: a mounted silver knight on a red horse with an ax; a mounted silver knight on a red horse with two hands on a raised weapon; and a mounted silver knight on a red horse with a lance. The products were sold at specialty toy stores nationwide from April 2004 through March 2006.
  • Jo-Ann Stores Inc. recalled about 16,000 children’s toy rakes. The rakes, each about 24 inches long with a yellow duck head attached to the green handle, were sold only at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores from January 2007 to September 2007.
  • Guidecraft Inc. recalled about 10,000 floor puppet theaters. The recalled puppet theaters, each with a chalkboard surface on the front and colored side panels, were sold nationwide in specialty toy stores, gift shops, catalogs and Web sites from June 2006 through August 2007.
  • TOBY N.Y.C. expanded its recall of TOBY & ME jewelry sets to include 23,500 more. The company recalled about 14,000 jewelry sets Aug. 22, also due to high levels of lead in the metal jewelry. This recall was expanded to include two additional styles: a pink crystal and wood bead necklace and bracelet set with a monkey pendant as well as a pink and clear crystal bead necklace and bracelet set with a heart pendant. The recalled products were sold at T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, A.J. Wright, Cracker Barrel and Shopko stores nationwide from August 2006 through August 2007.
  • Rhode Island Novelty recalled about 850 children’s spinning wheel metal necklaces because the clasp on the necklaces contain high levels of lead. This recall includes necklaces with a spinning wheel pendant, which has rhinestones attached to the front and a silver base. They were sold nationwide from November 2006 through May 2007.