Rocking Horses And Hobby Horses Want To Strangle Our Children

Yesterday was a dark one for the toy horse business, as two separate companies issued recalls because their rocking and hobby horses (aka “horse head on a stick”) apparently pose strangulation hazards.

First up were the 8,800 hobby horses recalled by Big Ideas Marketing. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the reins on the horse-on-a-stick toy’s bridle are long enough to form a loop around a child’s head and neck, posing a strangulation hazard to young children.

So far, there has one report of a near strangulation involving a 2-year-old boy who became entangled in the reins at his neck. The boy’s mother freed him without injury.

These toys were sold at Love’s Travel Stop and Country stores nationwide from May 2010 through July 2010 for about $6. The horse’s ears are embroidered with the words “PRESS HERE” in red. The horse makes neighing and galloping sounds when the ears are pressed.

If you happen to own one, CPSC says you should immediately remove or cut the reins to remove the hazard.

Next up are the 1,200 rocking horses being recalled by Rocking Horse Depot. Like the hobby horse, the reins on the rocking horse bridle are long enough to form a loop around a child’s head and neck, posing a strangulation hazard to young children.

CPSC has received one report of a near strangulation incident involving a 21-month old girl who became entangled in the reins at her neck. The girl’s parents freed her without injury.

From CPSC:

This recall involves Rocking Horse Depot’s small, medium and large rocking horses with bridles. The rocking horse has a hardwood frame and is covered with synthetic hide. Each rocking horse has fluffy mane and tail, and a leather Rocking Horse Depot emblem on the right side of the saddle.

The horses were from November 2006 through December 2009 for between $105 and $185.

Once again, if you own one of these rocking horses, CPSC advises you to immediately cut or remove the reins to eliminate the hazard.

Rocking Horse Depot Recalls to Repair Rocking Horse Toys Due to Strangulation Hazard [CPSC]
Big Ideas Marketing Recalls to Repair Horse-on-a-Stick Toys Due to Strangulation Hazard [CPSC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Incoming “blame the child/parent” complaints!


  2. Hoss says:

    The next recall will be 3 million live hosses

  3. obits3 says:

    What about the real horses that pose a kick you in the face hazard?

  4. c!tizen says:

    You know, this wouldn’t really be a problem if we’d put some graphic pictures of strangled babies on the packaging.

  5. dolemite says:

    I’m pretty sure any object in our physical universe represent a hazard of some kind. “He choked on a penny!” /recall pennies. “He suffocated on a pillow!” /recall pillows. “He died of an infection from a cat scratch!” /recall cats.


    • "I Like Potatoes" says:

      Those items are already considered unsafe for young children. No one is trying to sell them as acceptable toys that infants and toddlers can safely play with.

    • cmdr.sass says:

      It’s not enough to shrug your shoulders and say shit happens when you manufacturer items specifically designed for young children.

  6. Julia789 says:

    When I was a kid, I used a christmas wrapping paper tube and a cardboard cut-out head for a hobby horse. I painted it just the way I wanted and tied twine on it for reins. Happy memories!

    Maybe I’ll help my kid make one when we’re doing wrapping our gifts this year, and have tubes left over.

    • Julia789 says:

      Ugh typed too fast “…when we’re *done* wrapping our gifts…”

    • dolemite says:

      They were always lightsabers to us, that lasted about 15 seconds and became sproingy lightsaber whips.

      • Julia789 says:

        Ha ha – we saved a couple of them for lightsabers too – we were 70’s kids and Star Wars was very important to us. :-)

        My brother and I would have lightsaber battles and they used to unravel too. We’d try to “fix them” with the scotch tape and mom would get frustrated because then she’d have no tape left for gift wrapping.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      we used them to scream in each other’s ears from across the couch.
      We weren’t very good children.

  7. ChuckECheese says:

    Hobby horses hate our freedom. And that rocking horse has awful dark skin and hair.

  8. GameHen says:

    You know, my kids do strange and stupid things all the time. We “free them without injury” often. I have yet to call a manufacturer and complain. Unless you keep your kids in a padded cell 24/7, wouldn’t you pretty much be calling someone constantly?

  9. lettucefactory says:

    While theoretically anything in the world can pose a danger to anybody, it does seem like a rather poor design choice to put a neck-sized loop on a toy made for small children.

    Nobody’s asking that the vendor be hunted down and shot – they’re not even asking parents to discard the toys. Just cut the reins so it doesn’t make a noose anymore. And don’t sell children’s products with ready-made nooses going forward. I realize intelligent life forms scoff and sneer at all recall notices so pardon my ignorance, but this sounds reasonable to me.

    I think the CPSC does need to re-assess the way they do things, though. Minor warnings like this are called “recalls,” just the same as notices about lead paint and shit catching on fire. And I realize that’s because in both cases, the manufacturer is going to stop distributing the item, but from the consumer’s viewpoint, there has to be a better way to manage it. Folks still think of recalls as a Big Fucking Deal, so when they see a recall that is really just a “hey, heads up,” like this one, it feels like a freak out over nothing. And then people are more likely to gloss over an actual big deal recall.

    • elangomatt says:

      On the other hand, if you called this type of issue a “product advisory” people wouldn’t pay any attention to it at all. They are lucky if they get people to pay attention to a recall let alone paying attention to a less important sounding advisory.

  10. roguemarvel says:

    I used to work at a store that sold those hobby horses. They were so cute. I loved the sound they made. i don’t remember how long the reigns were but that was several years ago so i guess the length changed, but that is the same basic model.