Warning to Christmas shoppers: Don't get caught out by fake L.O.L Surprise! dolls
Parents are being warned of the dangers of counterfeit toys after fake L.O.L Surprise! dolls were seized in Lincolnshire.
Fake versions of the toy, described as the ‘must-have’ Christmas toy for 2018, have been discovered by county Trading Standards.
Officers received reports of counterfeit goods being sold locally and goods were seized after confirmation they were found to be fakes.
Angela Kane, senior trading standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, says: "As well as our large seizure, we're hearing that consumers are being scammed on online marketplaces. They purchase what they think are genuine L.O.L Surprise! dolls with official pictures, albeit at a lower cost than at the high street.
"Unfortunately, when the items arrive, they are not official products. In fact, they are far from that – they have screws in the back of them (see picture above) which are dangerous to small children, are of poor quality, faulty and fail to perform like genuine dolls such as changing colour or squirting!"
For me, you can't put a price on your child's life
Earlier this year, the European Commission, an arm of the European Union, sent out a safety alert about counterfeit L.O.L Surprise! dolls shipped from China to the Czech Republic. The plastic dolls contained a chemical – bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate or DEHP — a phthalate that 'may harm the health of children, causing possible damage to the reproductive system'.
Angela explains: "I'd urge shoppers to only buy toys from reputable retailers, particularly when shopping online. It's always worth buying the genuine article as they have been though considerable amounts of safety testing – meaning they meet the correct safety standards. For me, you can't put a price on your child's life. "
When buying L.O.L Surprise! Dolls, follow these tips:
· Official L.O.L Surprise! Dolls are never sold in boxes
· The ones sold in UK don't speak or have batteries
· Fakes usually cost a lot less than the genuine item
· If the L.O.L Doll has a screw on its back it's a fake
· Check the name on the packaging as often the fakes have LQL rather than LOL
· Other spelling mistakes on the packaging
· Genuine products should say "MGA Entertainment inc" or MGA on the packaging
· Be cautious of unfamiliar sellers based outside the UK and only purchase locally from trusted retailers.
· For more information on toy product safety, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards