The UK toy buying group Toymaster has thrown itself behind the BTHA’s campaign ‘Don’t Toy with Children’s Safety,’ an initiative launched to prompt the UK government to better regulate the safety of some toys sold via online platforms.
The move arrives after the BTHA made the shocking discovery that 58 per cent of toys being sold via online marketplaces did not comply with UK toy safety regulations.
Following the issuance of the report by the BTHA and the launch of its campaign, Toymaster wrote to its own local MP Andrea Leadsom, to ask for her support in aiding the BTHA and further encourage the government to address the issue.
“We have today asked all our members and suppliers to also write to their local MP’s asking for them to also back this campaign,” said Yogi Parmar, operations director at Toymaster.
The findings have prompted the industry body to call for widespread change and action from the government to ensure that online marketplaces did not sell illegal toys to UK consumers.
The BTHA has launched a white paper calling for government legislation to remove non-compliant toys from the market. The research found that 58 per cent of toys selected for assessment were non-compliant with regulations, while 22 per cent of the total had serious safety issues.
Samples were taken from online giants Amazon, eBay, and AliExpress. Of the 100 taken from Amazon, the research found that 28 were illegal (did not comply with Toy Safety Directive), 18 were unsafe, and 10 had failed testing. 50 toys were then taken from eBay and AliExpress each, where it was discovered that 24 per cent of the sample from eBay was unsafe and 46 per cent non-compliant, while 30 pr cent from AliExpress were deemed unsafe, and 92 per cent non-compliant.
Natasha Crookes, director of communications for the BTHA, said: ““We are concerned that unsafe and illegal products are not removed fast enough and identical products remain on sale. There are gaps in the UK regulations which allow the sellers and the marketplaces to not be held to account and for unsafe toys to continue to be available to UK consumers. We call on government to close that gap before a child is seriously injured or killed by an unsafe toy.”