December 22, 1998
Toy Manufacturers Announce Recall to Replace Toy Basketball Nets

Ohio Art, Little Tikes, Today's Kids and Fisher-Price are announcing a voluntary recall to replace the nets on 10.1 million toy basketball sets. Children could strangle on loops or openings in the nets that come unhooked from the rim, or have knots that slide. If children put their heads into these openings, the net can get tangled around their necks.

Since 1988, manufacturers have received 20 reports of children under 5 years old getting their heads and necks caught in the nets of toy basketball sets. In 1992, an 18-month-old child died after becoming entangled in a partly unhooked net. Consumers should immediately inspect their toy basketball sets for nets that can unhook from the rim or have knots that slide.

The toy basketball sets with nets that need to be replaced come in a variety of colors and include a nylon net and plastic hoop attached to a plastic pole. The pole is set in a plastic base and adjusts from 3.5 to 6 feet high. The manufacturer's name and model are located on the backboard or base of each toy. The manufacturers will help consumers determine if the nets need to be replaced. Toy stores nationwide sold the toy basketball sets for about $10 to $50. While most have been sold since 1988, some were sold as early as 1976. Toy basketball sets sold in stores today, by the participating manufacturers, have nets that are attached securely to the rim, without sliding knots, and are not involved in this recall.

Consumers should remove and throw away nets that can unhook or have knots that slide, and call the manufacturer. Consumers should have the manufacturer's name and model on hand before calling. Manufacturers will send consumers new nets that securely attach to the rim, and do not have sliding knots. The basketball set can be used without a net until the new net arrives. Consumers should not return the product to retailers.

Manufacturer                                             Quantity/Dates Sold                                                           Toll-Free Number/Web Address
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Ohio Art
Bryan, Ohio                          4.2 million sold between 1976 and 1997                                          (800) 641-6226 www.world-of-toys.com

Little Tikes
Hudson, Ohio                      3 million sold between 1993 and 1998                                              (888) 848-4537 www.littletikes.com

Today's Kids
Booneville, Ark.                  1.7 million sold between 1986 and 1997                                            (800) 916-8697 www.todayskids.com

Fisher-Price
East Aurora, N.Y.                1.2 million sold between 1988 and 1996                                            (888) 229-4555 www.fisher-price.com

In 1995, Come Play, of Worcester, Mass., recalled about 70,000 basketball nets that were included in its Junior Pro Basketball Sets. For information about these recalled nets, consumers should call Come Play at (800) 528-3328.