Build-A-Bear Agrees To Pay $600K For Failing To Report Toy Chairs That Could Snap Off Fingers

Reading about a defective Build-A-Bear product can conjure up visions of bears coming to life to chase terrified children. The good news is that’s not happening, but the company has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $600,000 for failing to report toy beach chairs that resulted in injuries — including possible finger amputation.

Our wiser older siblings at Consumer Reports cite allegations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission staff that Build-A-Bear Workshop didn’t immediately let people know that the sharp edges on the folding chair’s wooden frame can “pinch, lacerate or amputate a child’s fingertip if the finger is caught within the frame as the chair is folded.” Ouch.

But while they agreed to the settlement, the company denies the allegations that there was any defect or hazard, or that they violated the law. The CPSC says Build-A-Bear knew about 10 injury reports between July 2007 and January 2009 and didn’t clue the CPSC in until March 2009.

In May of 2009, the CPSC and Build-A-Bear announced the recall of about 260,000 toy beach chairs. You know, even though Build-A-Bear won’t admit anything was wrong with them.

The CPSC says: “Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers to report to CPSC within 24 hours after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect, which could create a substantial product hazard, creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or fails to comply with any consumer product safety rule or any other rule, regulation, standard or ban enforced by CPSC.”

Build-A-Bear to pay $600,000 for failing to immediately report defective toy chairs [Consumer Reports]


Edit Your Comment

  1. milty45654 says:

    Also, scissors can do this as well.

    • Cat says:


      • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

        Once upon a time, when I was but a wee owlet, I got my talons caught in a closing car door. Surprisingly, however, despite making the door well difficult to open, when we did so, there was no major damage to my little claws.

        • Jfielder says:

          I did that to myself at least twice when I was a kid (I was accident prone…). I remember it being extraordinarily painful, but never broke anything. Kid bones are amazingly resilient it seems.

          • awesome anna says:

            My mom closed the door on my finger when I was around 2, severed the tip almost completely off. I don’t remember any of it and they were able to reattach it, but I do have an odd scare.

  2. Rachacha says:

    The key is in the wording. In the press release from 2009 that announced the recall ( , it says that there were “eight injuries reported” and the toy could “bruise, pinch or cut fingers”, now in the settlement, they add “amputate”, even though based on the recall announcement, there were no amputatiions.

    What got BaB in trouble was that in 2007 (6 years after they first started selling the product) they received a report of an injury, and took steps internally to pull products from the store shelves, suggesting that BaB felt that there was a defect or could present an injury risk. Had BaB simply alerted the CPSC at this time, they would not have been facing this penalty.

  3. AllanG54 says:

    When I was a kid I had erector sets, chemistry sets with bunsen burners, and all sorts of toys that wouldn’t be “safe” today. I survived and so did all of my friends. I must be a superman.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      My Dad received a working steam engine as a Christmas gift! You actually build a little fire under the boiler to make steam to run it. Somehow my Dad survived to this day.

      I’m all for being careful with children’s toys, but a little common sense goes a long way.

      • vaguely says:

        Yeah, because three year olds have SO MUCH common sense. That’s why they run so many successful companies.

        • 2 Replies says:

          Who the hell said children run companies?

          I believe his point was that it’s not the company’s place to safeguard the parent’s children.
          It’s the parent’s responsibility.

          Kids are dumb. Stupidity pretty much defines immaturity. It’s a fact of life.
          Unfortunately, some people don’t grow out of that.
          And also as unfortunate, reproduction doesn’t require common sense. It just requires instinct.
          That means some parents are too freaking lazy or stupid to raise their own kids. They expect the government (everyone else) to raise them for them.
          They think the world should change to be safer for THEIR kids.

          Which means the rest of us can’t have fun games like lawn darts.
          Because those dip shits are too stupid to supervise their dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks spawn, to keep them from throwing them at each other.

    • LanMan04 says:

      I survived and so did all of my friends.
      The plural of anecdote is not data.

      • 2 Replies says:

        Does the fact that his friends did not die make his statement any less true?
        Or is it that you get upset when you can’t apply individual testimonies to the entire public?
        Honestly, what are you saying?

        He’s just relating his personal childhood experience. Lighten up.
        Not everything needs concrete proof or supporting data to back it up.
        Not everything that everyone types needs to be applicable.

        Mmmmm that pistachio was tasty, as were the dozen eaten before it.
        Oh noes! Did my arbitrary decision to state that more than a single nut was eaten upset you?
        Cry me a single drop of water, followed by many more to form a natural watercourse.

  4. mearow says:

    What does a stuffed bear need a beach chair for? How many of those chairs did they actually sell?

  5. Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

    Fingers are merely a decadent capitalist luxury.