News That Matters

Tag: Toys

Amazon and eBay pull CloudPets smart toys from sale

Amazon and eBay pull CloudPets smart toys from sale

Technology
Amazon and eBay are among retailers pulling a brand of cuddly smart toys from sale after warnings they pose a cyber-security threat.Concerns were raised about CloudPets products in February 2017 after it was discovered that millions of owners' voice recordings were being stored online unprotected.Manufacturer Spiral Toys claimed to have taken "swift action".But subsequent research commissioned by Mozilla found other vulnerabilities.The devices' California-based maker has not responded to requests for comment.One independent expert told the BBC it was "great to see retailers acting responsibly", but added she wished they had done so sooner."It seems that refusing to sell products that threaten customers' security and privacy is th...
Jobs threatened as Toys R Us and Maplin collapse

Jobs threatened as Toys R Us and Maplin collapse

Business
The future of 5,500 jobs was hanging in the balance on Wednesday following the collapse of two major retailers in Toys R Us UK and Maplin.Administrators were called in to both companies within an hour of each other after Sky News reported both had failed in their efforts to secure a rescue.Toys R Us was first to admit defeat - despite securing a deal among its creditors just before Christmas that allowed it to shut its worst performing stores and slash its rent bill.Image:A notice informing customers of the collapse of Toys R Us is stuck on the window of its High Wycombe store. Pic: Sinead SillarsIts problems, a result of high poor sales, were compounded by demands for a £15m VAT payment.Administrators confirmed all 105 stores would remain open for now and that most of the stock would be d
Toys R Us collapse puts 3,200 jobs at risk

Toys R Us collapse puts 3,200 jobs at risk

Business
Toys R Us has crashed into administration placing 3,200 jobs at risk as a string of UK retailers battle tough trading conditions.As first reported by Sky News, the company's UK operation had been engaged in a frantic search for a buyer for the last month following weak Christmas trading which left it with little hope of paying a £15m VAT bill demand.Sky's City Editor Mark Kleinman also expected the electrical goods retailer Maplin to collapse later on Wednesday - placing a further 2,500 jobs in jeopardy and sealing the worst day for the high street in many years.Chains are juggling a swarm of pressures including rising costs, online competition and dwindling consumer spending.Moorfields has been appointed administrator to Toys R Us, the country's largest toy retailer, which is continuing t
Toys R Us seeks urgent bids for European arm

Toys R Us seeks urgent bids for European arm

Business
Toys R Us is seeking bids for its stores in Continental Europe just hours‎ before it plans to place its British operations into administration.Sky News understands that advisers to the stricken toy retailer have told potential buyers of its European division to lodge offers by the close of business on Monday.Toys R Us trades from more than 230 shops in 10 European markets, including Austria, France, Germany and Spain.Several private equity firms are understood to be planning to table bids for the division, which also has a presence in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Poland and Portugal.It was unclear this weekend whether the European arm of Toys R Us faces a similar path towards insolvency if a sale cannot be agreed in the coming weeks.Sky News revealed on Friday that Moorfields, a corp
Second-hand toys could harm children, scientists discover

Second-hand toys could harm children, scientists discover

Health
Plastic used in some second-hand toys could pose a health risk for children as they don't meet the most up-to-date safety guidelines, a study has found. Scientists tested 200 used plastic toys they found in nurseries, thrift shops and homes across England's south-west for nine hazardous elements.Twenty toys had traces of all nine elements, with some concentrations high enough to fail European standards. But experts said it would be difficult to quantify the risk. "Lego bricks from the 70s and 80s are the big fail," said Dr Andrew Turner, of the University of Plymouth, who conducted the study. "Toys in those days weren't tested and now we're using them and handing them down." Chronically toxicFor the study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, Dr Turner and his team used X-ray...