What was touted as one of the hottest new toys this Christmas is being pulled off store shelves because of fears it could poison children.
Aqua Dots, distributed in North America by Toronto-based Spin Master, are liquid-filled beads that can be arranged into designs and sprayed with water to hold them together. But if swallowed, the beads’ coating reportedly metabolizes into the hallucinogenic “date rape” drug gammahydroxybutyrate, also known as GBH. An overdose can cause seizures, coma or death.
The toy, aimed at kids age 4 and older and heavily advertised on TV, is made in China by Australian company Moose Enterprise. Marketed in Australia as Bindeez, it was withdrawn there this week when three children needed hospital treatment after swallowing beads.
The Toys `R’ Us chain was the first here to take Aqua Dots off its shelves, followed by Mastermind, which has stores in Toronto and across the GTA. It had been on Wal-Mart’s list of top 12 Christmas toys.
Spin Master issued a statement yesterday saying it was asking retailers across North America to stop selling Aqua Dots.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we have stopped shipping this item and are working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada,” the firm said. “Our company is working diligently to identify any shipments that could potentially be included in a recall by . . . Canadian officials.”