I bought Snowy the Hopping Bunny for my 3 year old daughter. The batteries it came supplied with weren't working so we changed them. My daughter was about to go to bed and wanted to take the bunny to bed with her. My husband took out the old batteries and put in new ones. The bunny made an odd whining noise, its legs moved and then there was a terrible burning smell. The fur near the battery compartment was actually singed - the bunny seemed to be overheating which made us worry it was a fire risk.
My husband quickly got the batteries out and we took the toy straight back to the shop where we bought it. We were both left feeling not only terrified that our daughter may have taken this to bed with her, but also very worried about any other children out there with one of these faulty toys in their own bedroom.
It took 5 months to get the results back from Vivid Imagination who make the toy. Vivid say there is no risk of fire because the toy is made of flame retardant materials and that the singed appearance of the fur surrounding the battery compartment is `the natural consequence of the use of heated elements to cut the fur in production'! I will certainly be checking this myself when I next see one on the shelves. They also say they have only been made aware of this fault in `0.01% of these products placed on the market'. That's small comfort if your child happens to be the 0.01%. It may be some comfort that Vivid say they have `identified areas of the circuit which have contributed to the fault and eliminated them in future production' but that means there are still produced toys out on the shelves potentially with this fault. It also makes me question why a toy with the potential to overheat like this was ever on the shelves in the first place?
In their 2 page letter they didn't once apologise for the extreme distress their faulty product caused but did make time to ask me to remove my Amazon review of their product!
Whilst waiting for the outcome of the tests Vivid said they would like to compensate my daughter for her distress by sending her something. I thanked them and said that was fine as long as it wasn't the same toy or any other with the same internal workings. So what turned up several weeks later? Snowy the Hopping Bunny! Of course there was no way on earth I was giving it to my daughter after the horrific experience we had before, but I did take the opportunity to see one working. It hops and makes the most ridiculous and slightly scary sounds, nothing like any rabbit I ever met! Overheating issues aside, it was basically rubbish so I put it in the bin where in my opinion this toy belongs.
But I am so worried about this happening to another child - when it overheated it was too hot for my husband to keep hold of. What could that do to the delicate skin of a three year old?