Consumer watchdog report shows recalled toys are popping up online

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As you’re preparing your holiday shopping list, a new consumer watchdog report found dozens of potentially hazardous toys are being sold online.

In this report, consumer experts found brand new recalled toys are still available online. This is happening days, weeks, months and even years after they are deemed dangerous.

“He looks so nice and friendly, and you can’t tell that this [stuffed] animal contains toxics,” said Teresa Murray, consumer watchdog at U.S. PIRG.

In its latest report, consumer group U.S. PIRG found most of these recalled toys are sold on platforms like Facebook Marketplace and eBay.

“We are heavily invested in our approach to safety and have over 40,000 people across Meta working on safety and security, which includes teams proactively enforcing our commerce policies that prohibit the sale of recalled goods. Like other platforms where people can buy and sell goods, there are instances of people knowingly or unknowingly selling recalled goods on Marketplace. We take this issue seriously and when we find listings that violate our rules, we remove them.” - Meta spokesperson

“If they’re looking for a toy online, whether it’s new or used, to make sure before you buy it that it is not a recalled toy because as we found, just because it’s recalled, doesn’t mean it’s not for sale,” said Murray.

As part of its research, U.S. PIRG bought more than 30 recalled toys that are still available online. Murray said it’s illegal to sell recalled products of any kind.

“Most of the toys that we found had been recalled either for toxics or for small parts that could come loose or break off and those are, of course, particularly dangerous to children under three,” said Murray.

Another concern is counterfeit toys found online. The report says these items may not meet mandatory federal safety standards.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers from both parties are working on proposals that would crack down on knockoff goods and third-party online sellers.

“Every day in America, some child playing with a fake toy does not get the protection,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, R – California.

“When you buy products from third-party sellers on the online marketplaces, you’re really rolling the dice,” said Senator Dick Durbin, D – Illinois.

Experts also suggest that you check the federal government’s recall list more often – regardless if your kids’ toys are new or old.

“See if any of the, if your child’s favorite toys have been recalled, since they were purchased, you know, they were fine, maybe when they were purchased. but now maybe they’ve been recalled,” said Murray.

Lots of counterfeit toys are caught by Customs and Border Protection. The report found officials seized about $25 million worth of fake toys last year.

Here is a list of the latest toys that have been recalled by the federal government.