Protecting Children from Fake Toy Harm

Counterfeit toys account for seven percent of all counterfeit goods confiscated by authorities worldwide. Considering that the global counterfeit trade is forecasted to grow to $1.82 trillion by 2020, the fake toy industry is a massive business. However, knock-off toys should not be viewed simply as an economic issue – they are potentially hazardous to children. Manufacturers and brands could be blamed for injuries and fatalities caused by these toys. This is why it’s crucial to protect your toy brand online to shield it from negativity caused by imitation products.

The dangers of fake toys to children

Manufacturers of counterfeit toys do not perform material testing or adhere to safety standards. They certainly do not submit their products to be certified by regulatory bodies. Their only concern is cost. As such, toys produced in their factories are inherently dangerous.

Perhaps the most dangerous element of knock-off toys is the use of plasticisers like phthalates. Phthalates are used in the production of plastic goods as they improve their durability, flexibility and colourisation. Since phthalates make plastic toys softer and more attractive, children will be more likely to bite and chew them. However, phthalates are mutagenic and carcinogenic in nature, which could cause children a variety of health problems including asthma, cancer and later in life, fertility issues.

The beautiful lead paint used to coat knock-off toys can also cause short-term and long-term lead poisoning, which could impact organs like the skin, kidneys and liver.

The lack of safety standards also means the structural integrity of fake toys like cars, pistols and musical instruments are suspect. As a result, they could break into small pieces very quickly. The small colourful bits may tempt children to swallow them, which may cost their lives! In 2018, doctors were forced to remove parts of the intestines and colon of a 4-year-old boy in Wisconsin after he swallowed small pieces of magnets from a broken fake toy. It’s unnerving to even think about.

Why brands must stay alert

Counterfeiters will not only imitate original product designs, but they will also use images and languages taken from original websites to enhance the ‘authenticity’ of their products. Since consumers will not be able to distinguish between original and fake toys, their children will be exposed to harm as a result. This impact will be especially more pronounced during peak shopping periods as unscrupulous counterfeiters try to capture a slice of the revenue.

With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, toy manufacturers must allocate resources to protect their brands online to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their customer base.


These exact serious dangers of counterfeit toys is why we follow our mission for "A Cleaner Internet. A Better Society" and created the #ImForReal initiative. Help us spread the awareness and join us.

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#ImForReal - Take a stand against the market of counterfeit goods