GO GO HAMSTERS: Media over-reacts

Tabloids go mad over 'poison' claims, but Character asserts that toy is "completely safe".
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Character Options' Go Go Hamsters has found itself at the centre of a tabloid media storm this morning over claims that it could include dangerous levels of a harmful chemical, similar to arsenic.

The Sun - which ran with the front page screamer headline of 'No No Hamsters' and 'Harmsters' on the follow up piece inside the paper - lead the charge, with the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail and Daily Express all following suit.

It is The Star, however, which wins the award for the most scaremongering headline - 'Menace of Xmas 'killer' Hamsters'.

According to the reports, consumer watchdogs tested the electronic toy for dangerous chemicals and found traces of antimony - which is similar to arsenic - beyond permitted levels.

The chemical is restricted to 60 parts per million because it can cause headaches and dizziness. Apparently, US consumer group Good Guide discovered 93 parts per million in the fur of Mr Squiggles, and 106 parts per million in its nose.

However, both Cepia, the American manufacturer of Go Go Hamsters, and Character have said the toy is completely safe and has undergone rigorous safety tests. Doubt has now also been thrown on the methods used by Good Guide.

Keep reading ToyNews Online for further updates throughout the day.


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The Copyrights Group is one of the licensing arms within The Vivendi Group. Acquired by Vivendi in 2016 Copyrights manages the licensing for a portfolio of properties to include Paddington Bear. Some of the other companies within the Vivendi Group include Universal Music Group, and their licensing arm Bravado, Gameloft and Studiocanal to name a few.