Toy Recall Nightmare: Build-a-Bear Has Evil Eyes

Piper Weiss
Shine from Yahoo! CanadaJanuary 5, 2012

Don't be fooled by the colorful hearts, the batting lashes, the slight head tilt suggesting tenderness. This bear is bad news.

Almost 300,000 of Build-a-Bear's Colorful Hearts dolls have been recalled just days after the holidays.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued the recall after the bear's eyes were found to potentially fall out and present a choking hazard for young children. A spokeswoman for company, which sold the doll in stores around the US and Canada this year, issued a statement that the measure is merely precautionary. No injuries have been reported.

Back in November, Build-A-Bear recalled another product- a Teddy Bear Swimwear Set- after a 3-year-old girl tried to pull the bear's inner-tube accessory over her head and couldn't get it off. Another product, the Love Hugs Peace Lapel Pin, was also recalled in August when paint on the pin was found to contain excessive levels of lead.

"That we have conducted three product recalls this year despite the fact that we have not received a single injury report related to any of those three products clearly demonstrates how seriously we take product safety," Build-a-Bear spokeswoman Jennifer Saunders told NPR's blog Shots .

Like the company's other products, the seemingly innocuous Colorful Hearts bear passed an independent safety inspection before it was released. But since then, "substandard fabric" has been earmarked as a potential culprit for loosening eyes. (Even in context that sentence is terrifying.)

So what next? Exchange the doll at  your local Build-a-Bear for a coupon good for any stuffed animal in the store. But first, go into your daughter's crib and pry the smiling tattooed doll from her delicate child-hands. Go ahead and explain that the Christmas present she's come to love like a sibling, has the potential to kill her with its cold, dead eyes. Then shave off some of that money you've been saving for a family vacation and put it towards her long-term therapy.

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