SEOUL — Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials say no additional safety testing is needed on a stock of toys from a manufacturer whose products have been recalled three times because of lead-based paint and other hazards.

On Monday AAFES recalled the “Invincible Transport Converters,” a toy made by Hong Kong-based manufacturer Toy Century Industrial Company Ltd., after the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced it contained lead-based paint.

AAFES is still selling 22 different Toy Century products under their in-house brand Soldier Bear. Some Soldier Bear toys on AAFES shelves contain pieces that appear to be identical to those involved in recalls from Target in November and Toys “R” Us in March.

The toys — sold in all three store chains under in-house brands — are packaged differently but contain many of the same pieces.

One toy recalled from Target was called the “Air, Land & Sea Defense Play Set,” and contained a boat, Humvee, parachute and jet. The AAFES store on Yongsan Garrison was selling the “Air, Land & Sea Play Set,” which contained what appeared to be the same boat, Humvee and parachute. Instead of a jet, the AAFES set offered a helicopter.

AAFES headquarters officials in Dallas, contacted via e-mail and phone, say there are no problems with their Toy Century products.

“It has not been confirmed that the toys in Yongsan are identical to what was recalled” at Target and Toys “R” Us, AAFES spokesman Judd Anstey replied in an e-mail.

He said AAFES is not going to conduct additional testing because Toy Century provided “independent laboratory reports” that stated they complied with federal safety regulations prior to AAFES ordering the toys in 2006.

Anstey said AAFES does not consider those lab results questionable, even after the CPSC found hazardous levels of lead in the Invincible Transport Converters.

AAFES said they hired an independent laboratory to test four of their Toy Century products following the Toys “R” Us recall. That lab said three of the toys tested positive for hazardous levels of lead.

AAFES officials then requested additional testing by the CPSC, and those results showed only the “Invincible Transport Converters” tested for hazardous levels of lead.

Anstey said the discrepancy between their contracted lab results and the CPSC lab results could be because the CPSC tests were more thorough.

AAFES stores carried the toys starting in 2006, not 2005 as AAFES originally stated in its recall announcement.

A Toy Century spokesman, who would identify himself only as Mr. Yip, said Tuesday his company is drafting a message for AAFES and declined to answer additional questions.

According to the National Safety Council Web site, lead poisoning in children can cause IQ deficits, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, stunted or slowed growth, impaired hearing, kidney damage, mental retardation, coma and death.

Tainted toys?

On April 3, an AAFES-contracted lab reported that the following toys tested positive for lead-based paint:

Helicopter with Figure, #89125Toy Tower with Two Figures (battery operated), #89867Invincible Transport Converters, Four Poseable Figures, #88931Follow-up testing with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, however, showed that only the Invincible Transport Converters with figures tested positive for excessive levels of lead. AAFES recalled that product on Monday.

— Stars and Stripes

Recall timeline

Nov. 15, 2006: The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall on 10 toys sold under Target’s private label “Kool Toyz,” manufactured by Hong Kong-based Toy Century Industrial Ltd. AAFES officials contacted their buyers and were assured that the recall affected Target stores only.

March 13: The CPSC issued a recall on three Toy Century products sold at Toy “R” Us. AAFES again stated its products were not involved.

March 14: AAFES officials — concerned about their Soldier Bear line — initiated independent testing on four toys made by Toy Century and halted sales of those toys until testing was complete.

April 3: AAFES received lab results stating that three of the four toys tested positive for lead-based paint and notified CPSC. AAFES sent three samples of each toy to CPSC for testing.

May 14-17: After testing, CPSC notified AAFES that only one of the four products tested had lead-based paint.

May 21: AAFES issued a recall on the “Invincible Transport Converters.”

— Stars and Stripes

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