NJ Toy Inspectors Performing Spot-Checks At Retail Level

To pick up slack from the undersized/overwhelmed CPSC, states are stepping up to help increase toy safety locally. New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Illinois and California have been taking “aggressive measures,” from suing manufacturers to escalating state recalls to the federal level. Newsday describes how New Jersey worked with charities and educators during toy drives to make them aware of recalled toys. The state also assigned 15 state inspectors to a toy safety task force, and over the past month, the inspectors “fanned out across the state with assistance from county health department workers to test products and check for recalled toys.

The inspections point out one real problem retailers face in isolating and removing recalled products from their inventory—the manufacturers don’t always make it easy:

Even after spotting the toy boat and suspecting it matched the one on the recall list, veteran state investigator Frank Carmody had to remove the product from its packaging and search the toy for several minutes before finding the model number on the boat’s underside, printed in the same bright orange as the boat and nearly impossible to read. He then had to call the CPSC to verify that the toy he was holding and the one in his binder were the same.

To test for high lead levels, inspectors in New Jersey use a handheld reader to identify items to send to their labs for further testing:

Working with the state, the Monmouth County inspectors field-tested 75 children’s items including a butterfly keychain, a backpack and a toddler’s touch toy. They sent 16 of the 75 on to an independent lab for further testing; all 16 passed the more extensive test.

Merry Christmas to state inspectors!

“Toy safety tops on NJ inspectors’ holiday lists” [Newsday]
(Photo: What Rhymes With Nicole)


Edit Your Comment

  1. no.no.notorious says:

    close toys r us forever PLEASE

    i’ve worked there…soo not cool.

  2. Electroqueen says:

    That looks freakishly like the TRU at Ceasar’s Bay in Brooklyn. But the entrance and the exit should be the other way around.
    At least that store knows when to pull merchandise, especially penny merchandise.

  3. darkclawsofchaos says:

    … so they check after Christmas… yeah, imagine how much they could have done one month EARLIER, the government as efficient as ever… who doesn’t think the DMV is the best… no wait, the the TSA actually beat them and the postal system which is pretty badass this holiday

  4. goodkitty says:

    That store-front must be pretty standard, it looks like the one here too. It reminds me of how I always feel like I’m stepping into a high-security prison of some sort when I go in. Then I remember that shopping at one is about as much fun as serving a jail sentence.

  5. Buran says:

    @darkclawsofchaos: It’s not Christmas yet.

  6. Eric1285 says:

    New Jersey doesn’t have the money to be doing this…

  7. BigNutty says:

    This store Entrance and Exit is backwards to the one here in California. Make it easier on all of the kids and just buy something made in America.

  8. TeraGram says:

    @BigNutty: Buy something made in America for the little tykes?

    Let me think. There must be something made here in the good ole US of A. Oh I know! We can give all the kids fast food burgers! Those are still made in the USA.

    They’re rather limited on play value, though.

  9. GinaLouise says:

    I bought toys for my niece and Toys for Tots this year, and pretty much everything I got was either Playmobil (made in Europe) and Legos. A few Lego sets actually do have components made in China, but the majority don’t and are made in Europe, the U.S. and other countries. I’m not saying Mexico and the Czech Republic have great product standards, but they haven’t put GHB in our toys yet!
    I also bought a lot of stuff by Haba, [www.haba.de], a German company. Most of their stuff is made in Germany. Unfortunately, the lousy American dollar makes these very expensive, but they’re quite cool for very young kids.
    I just found this “Not Made in China” blog a few seconds ago, and it seems to have some good recommendations.
    I saw a lot of folks examining the labels of toys carefully this year, which I’ve never seen before. I hope we can vote with our dollars and make it clear that we’re willing to spend a few bucks more for safer toys.

  10. GinaLouise says:


    Oops, forgot to post the link to the “Not Made in China” blog. [www.chinafreechristmas.info] I haven’t really explored it yet, but it looks promising.

  11. socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

    I worked there too, my first job, when the PS2 was just coming out.

    That place is horrible. They treat employees like crap, have crappy merchandise, put broken crap back up on the shelves (known from personal experience) over price things….

  12. no.no.notorious says:

    @socalrob: sell phone numbers to telemarketers, put price tags on toys that children bring into the store and loose…the list goes on

  13. HOP says:

    ‘buy something made in america”?…..where can you find something made in america????at least something that’s not gonna fall apart real quick…this country is going down the tubes as far as manufacturing goes…..it’s sad………….

  14. morganlh85 says:

    The recent testing of dishes showed that the majority of lead-tainted dishes were NOT from China, but from Europe and America! I would imagine the same goes for anything else that can be tainted with lead. Remember — the reason our goods are made in China is because American companies are money-hungry and manufacturing in China is cheaper. If lead-tainted paints and dyes are cheaper, surely they are being used here in the good ol’ US of A.

  15. econobiker says:

    New Jersey, of all places testing for safety…