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Consumer Toy Safety Survey by eToys.com Reveals Impact of Recent Recalls on 2007 Holiday Shopping Plans

Consumers say they will buy toys this holiday season- including toys made in China, despite recent safety-related recalls of popular toys made there by leading manufacturers.

A recent consumer survey by online toy retailer, eToys.com, found that 37% plan to spend the same amount or more on toys this holiday season compared to previous years.

While 59% of those surveyed believe toys made outside the U.S. are less safe than those made in America, 43% of respondents say they will purchase toys this holiday season regardless of the country of origin. Only 32% indicated they won't buy toys made in China. Just 25% of those surveyed say they will buy only toys made in America.

Additional findings from the 2007 eToys.com consumer toy safety survey include:

-- Do consumers associate familiar brand names with toy safety?
Fifty-three percent of respondents believe toys from major toy
manufacturers are generally safer than toys from smaller ones, and
56% say they will purchase toys only made by companies they know this
holiday season.

-- Who's responsible for toy safety and who will pay the cost? When
asked by eToys.com who bears the responsibility for ensuring toy
safety in the U.S., 43% of those polled think a federal agency has the
primary responsibility for guaranteeing toy safety, followed by
31% who think it's the job of U.S.-based toy companies. Only 2% of
those polled think an overseas factory is responsible for the safety
of toys sold in the U.S.

-- Is money an issue when it comes to toy safety? Forty-five percent of
consumers responding to the eToys.com poll say they are willing to pay
more for toys made in America, with 35% of respondents willing to pay
up to 10% more than the current retail price. Slightly more than a
third of participants, however, said they are not willing to pay more
for toys made in the U.S.

-- Consumers reflect on the current state of toy safety. Consumers polled
by eToys.com perceive toys made in the U.S., Canada and Europe to be
the safest. Conversely, they feel toys made in China are the least
safe, followed by Southeast Asia and India. Also, despite the recent
toy recalls -- 69% of those surveyed say toys are safer now than when
they were children.

-- Are parents' concerns in the right place? The eToys survey
respondents ranked hazardous chemicals as the greatest threat posed by
toys to the health and safety of children, followed by lead paint and
toys containing sharp pieces. Choking hazards from small parts, which
according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) pose
the greatest safety risk, ranked fourth on the list of potential
hazards, followed by "breaks easily" and "contains small magnets."

-- Are toy labels taken seriously? When asked by eToys.com to interpret
age labeling on toy packages, a majority of parents -- 59% --
correctly stated that age labels indicate the toy is safe for play by
children in the indicated range. However, more than a third of those
surveyed incorrectly stated that age labels indicate the intellectual
capacity required to play with the toys.


"Since 2000, we have been one of the few retailers with the capability and resources to notify our customers if a toy they purchased is recalled," said Sheliah Gilliland, spokesperson for eToys.com. "Seventy-two percent of those polled said this is an important service to them. Through email notifications and our new eToys Safety Center (http://www.etoys.com/safety), eToys is focused on helping families play safely."

About the Survey
The eToys.com survey was conducted online from September 7 through September 13, 2007.

About eToys Direct
eToys Direct offers thousands of toys, custom dolls, video games and baby products to online and catalog shoppers through its popular web sites and its strategic retail partnerships. The company owns eToys (http://www.etoys.com/) and the My Twinn doll company (http://www.mytwinn.com/) and operates KBtoys.com (http://www.kbtoys.com/) under a long-term licensing agreement. eToys Direct also provides a toy and video game solution to its online and catalog partners, supplying category management, full-featured content, inventory control, order fulfillment and customer support. The privately held company is based in Denver.

Source: eToys Direct
DENVER, Oct. 5, 2007 /PRNewswire/ --

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