Socrates recalls unsafe toy after ACCC investigation

20 February 2007

Socrates Enterprises Pty Ltd, trading as Socrates for curious minds, has issued a national recall of the Pound the Ball toy as part of administrative undertakings given to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The recall* has been issued because the ACCC was concerned the wooden toy contained small balls which may cause a choking hazard and therefore fails to comply with the mandatory consumer product safety standard for toys for children 36 months and under**.

The Pound the Ball toy, which includes a hammer and coloured balls, was marketed for ages '2-up'. The toy was offered for sale from 4 January 2006 until 30 November 2006 in Socrates for curious minds stores across Australia.

The toy had been sourced from an overseas manufacturer for exclusive sale at Socrates stores.

Inquiries by the ACCC revealed an overseas laboratory tested the toy to the Australian mandatory safety standard, but the age group specified for testing was children over, rather than under, the age of 36 months. The toy passed the test for that age group. However, Socrates subsequently sold the Pound the Ball toy in Australia in packaging with the age grading of two years and up.

"Socrates promptly removed the toy from sale when notified of the ACCC's product safety concerns," ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel said.

"The company has co-operated with the ACCC throughout the investigation, and has provided administrative undertakings committing to introducing additional compliance procedures to avoid future occurrences."

Socrates has provided administrative undertakings to:

  • issue a national recall of the toy
  • provide a full refund to consumers of both purchase price and the cost of returning the toy, and
  • review internal systems for testing products to ensure compliance with Australian standards.

Mr Samuel said Australian suppliers and retailers must ensure products meet the applicable Australian mandatory safety standards.

"Adequate and effective procedures to prevent the supply of unsafe products must be in place at all times."

"When selling toys specifically for use by children under three years, suppliers and retailers must ensure products do not contain choking hazards in compliance with the relevant standard as parents rely on labelling information in making decisions on what toys to buy."


Release number: 
MR 041/07
ACCC Infocentre: 

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