TRADING Standards officers in St Helens have issued a safety warning after seizing nearly 700 Christmas toys from temporary town centre pitches.
With a combined retail value of more than £2,500, the toys were removed from sale amid fears they did not comply with safety legislation - and could be potentially harmful to children.
Many of the items seized appeared to be illegal copies of popular brands, based on characters from Ben 10, Toy Story and Nintendo.
Councillor Alison Bacon, St Helens Council’s cabinet member for environmental protection, said: “We became concerned when our Trading Standards team found the toys and their packaging did not display the important safety information required by law.
“Clearly we need to be sure that toys are safe and Trading Standards have removed the toys from sale while they make further inquiries. I’d advise anyone buying toys for children this Christmas to buy only from reputable, established retailers who you can go back to or contact if you have any problems.
“As is often the case, the toys seized were being sold at similar prices to the genuine, safety-tested ones – so could never be considered a bargain.”
Anyone requiring advice on toy safety or who may have concerns over a toy they have recently bought can contact Consumer Direct on 0845 040506 or go online at: www.direct.gov.uk and search for Consumer Direct.