WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and
Burger King Corp. are again urging consumers to immediately destroy and
discard Pokemon balls distributed with Burger King kids meals in November
and December 1999. On January 25, 2000, a 4-month-old boy in Indianapolis,
Ind., reportedly suffocated when one-half of a Pokemon ball that was in
his crib became stuck on his face.
||More than 25
Million Pokeman Balls Were Recalled for Posing a Suffocation Hazard to
Children Under 3.
Burger King Corp., in cooperation with CPSC, issued a voluntary recall of
more than 25 million Pokemon balls on December 27, 1999. The balls pose a
suffocation hazard to children under three years of age.
In December, a 13-month old girl reportedly suffocated when one-half of a
Pokemon ball covered her nose and mouth. Also in December, an 18-month old
girl nearly suffocated when a ball-half got stuck over her face. On the
second attempt, the girl's father was able to pull the ball-half from her
Pokemon balls are plastic, ball-shaped containers between 2.75 and 3
inches in diameter. They pull apart to reveal one of 57 different Pokemon
toys inside. The balls were distributed in a variety of colors including
red and white, and hot pink. Packaging described them as safety tested and
recommended for all ages of children.
Burger King restaurants nationwide distributed the Pokemon balls inside
Burger King big kids meals and regular kids meals from early November
through December 1999.
Consumers should immediately take the balls away from children under the
age of three. They should discard the ball or return both halves of the
ball and the clip to a Burger King restaurant for a free order of small
fries. Children can continue to use the Pokemon toy that came inside the
As part of the voluntary recall effort, more than 8,100 Burger King
restaurants posted recall notices in both English and Spanish. When the
recall was first announced, Burger King placed an ad in USA Today, and
CPSC broadcast a video news release so local television stations could use
video tape showing the danger. CPSC Chairman Ann Brown also announced the
recall on the Today Show reaching millions of viewers.
In addition, Burger King worked with the CPSC to send recall notices to
56,000 pediatricians' offices, 10,000 emergency room directors and 25,000
emergency health care clinics across the country. Notices were posted on
the CPSC and Burger King web sites, and on web sites frequented by Pokemon
fans and parents. Recall notices will be posted on tray liners, carry-out
bags and french fry bags as well.
Burger King also will purchase national cable and network television
advertisements to alert consumers to the recall. The company also has set
up a toll-free hotline number with information about the recall in both
English and Spanish at (800) 775-0625.
Product Safety Commission