Magformers is urging retailers to make a stand against copycat products in a call to boycott knock off brands that don’t uphold the quality regulations of the original products.
The firm has issued the initiative after news that a child in the US was hospitalised after swallowing magnets contained in a toy developed by IMDEN and bought online at Amazon, sent shockwaves across national media over the Christmas period.
In the coverage, the product was incorrectly identified as belonging to Magformers but it was later discovered to be a copycat product that failed to meet the stringent quality regulations of the big brand name.
Magformers itself has since been active in ensuring the mistake is corrected and has since called upon retailers to boycott copycat products and protect the safety of children around the globe.
A statement from Magformers UK Ltd managing director, David Kelly, said: “While our thoughts are very much with the White family, it is important to state that the product in question is not a Magformers product – but a cheap copycat product that was bought online.”
The product has now been withdrawn from sale by Amazon.com.
Kelly continued: “Authentic Magformers products have all been safety tested to all relevant international Toy Safety Standards so when retailers and consumers buy genuine Magformers products, they get the benefit of years of research and development, including specially designed plastics made exclusively for Magformers toys.”
Kelly goes on to note that pricing of Magformers products reflects the “unswerving commitment to toy quality and safety,” while calling on retailers, particularly e-tailers to ‘not seek out a cheap alternative to Magformers’, or purchase ‘clearly counterfeited product,’ as the results are ‘regrettably clear for all to see.’
Authentic Magformers products are currently only available in the UK to the trade directly from Magformers UK. In the run up to Christmas, the firm intercepted a shipment of fake Magformers products at Tilbury which was being imported into Watford.
Kelly said: “While Magformers takes an active role in stopping as many instances of fakes and copies as we can, retailers also have a responsibility to source their stock through approved suppliers and channels.
“Unfortunately, despite our attempts to protect our brand, fake and copy products do make their way online. Some of them are passed off under the Magformers™ name. Others claim that they ‘work with’ or are ‘compatible with’ Magformers™.
“These are not genuine Magformers™, have not been tested by Magformers™, are not affiliated with Magformers™ and do not adhere to Magformers™ quality standards.”
The company’s managing director goes on to state that parents should also be aware of these copycat products and counterfeits when making their purchase decision and ‘take an active role in ensuring safe and fun play.’
“We urge consumers to only buy from authorised Magformers™ retailers (in the UK these include Tesco, Argos, Smyths Toys, John Lewis, Dobbies, Hamleys, Eason, Toymaster, QVC, Groupon and Magformers.co.uk), and to look for the Magformers™ brand logo and ‘Original Magformers’ round logo on packaging.”