Hasbro issues recall for nails in toy workbench set following 2 child deaths

Friday, September 22nd 2006, 10:51 am
By: News On 6

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) _ Hasbro Inc., the nation's second-largest toy maker, is recalling parts of a toy workbench set after two children apparently suffocated to death on oversized plastic toy nails, company officials said.

Chief Executive Al Verrecchia said Friday the voluntary recall applies to two plastic nails included in the Playskool Team Talkin' Tool Bench, which has sold about 255,000 sets in the last year.

The toy company learned in February about the death of a 19-month-old boy from Martinsburg, W.V., who apparently choked on a 3-inch-long plastic nail, Verrecchia said.

Last week, the company learned it was named in a civil lawsuit prompted by the death of a 2-year-old boy from League City, Texas, who also allegedly choked on a toy nail.

``As soon as we heard that, we made the decision to get the product back and find out what's going on,'' Verrecchia said.

The toy workbench is designed for children three years and older, company officials said. Both victims were younger than that.

Verrecchia said the nail, which is more than an inch wide, meets federal safety guidelines.

Consumers who return the plastic nails will receive a $50 gift certificate for Hasbro products. Verrecchia said consumers can also claim a gift certificate for returning toy plastic screws in the set, although those parts have not been blamed for any deaths and are not part of the recall.

The toy was sold for about $35 at Toys R Us, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., KB Toys stores and various other stores nationwide from October 2005 through this month.

Shares of Hasbro, which trails Mattel Inc. among the biggest U.S. toymakers, fell 35 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $21.68 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.