Posted on Friday 13th December 2019
Frozen counterfeit dolls seized by Staffordshire County Council's Trading Standards team
Dozens of counterfeit must-have Christmas toys including Frozen Dolls and LOL doll Merchandise have been seized in Trading Standards operations in Staffordshire.
Officers from Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team made the seizures at a shop in Newcastle-under-Lyme and a market stall in Rugeley.
The fake children’s toys represent the latest line of counterfeit Christmas gifts and were being knocked out at pocket money prices.
The LOL Surprise balls and dolls were priced at £3 each where the genuine item would set you back between £11 and £15. The LOL rucksacks were going for £5 each whereas a genuine one would be priced at around £13
Frozen dolls are usually priced between £15 - £35 with the knock-off items going for just £9.99.
Testing on the products showed them to have a number of dangerous aspects including loose parts which could cause a choking hazard.
Tony Shore, Trading Standards Manager at Staffordshire County Council said:
“The run up to Christmas is always a busy time for us and a time when the counterfeiters are in full swing.
“We’re finding that fakes are increasingly hard to detect, and the counterfeit operations are increasingly sophisticated. This is simply the latest example of counterfeiters jumping on to the latest range of “must-have” goods.
“Anyone who buys counterfeit goods like these, will find themselves with poor quality items that can be dangerous, and at the same time could be helping to fund criminal activity. When something is being sold at a knock-down price, people should be extremely wary. We always say that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
The main concerns officers have with counterfeit products of this nature are:
- Small parts that detach easily which may present a choking hazard to young children
- The quality and standard of the products produced - they tend to be cheaply made and not of the quality of those produced by the manufacturer.
- They could contain phthalates; chemicals which are used to make the plastics softer. These can leak out of the plastic over time and have harmful effects on the body. This is particularly harmful to children as they tend to put things in their mouths.
- Some products may also contain azo dyes which can have carcinogenic effects on the body.
People can report the sale of counterfeit goods by calling Staffordshire Trading Standards on 01785 330356.