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Pokemon Ball Kills Second Child

On Wednesday, December 26, 2000, a second child was reported to have

suffocated on Burger King's promotional POKEMON ball. The 4-month old,

Indianapolis, Indiana boy was found dead by his grandmother who left the

toy in the crib with the sleeping child. Millions of the toys were recalled

on December 11, 1999 after a Sonora, California girl was found in her

playpen with half the ball over her nose and mouth. U.S. federal officials

accused the Miami-based fast food chain of being too slow in recalling the

containers, which the company denied. The balls, which measure 2-and-3/4

inches to 3 inches in diameter and can be opened by pulling the two halves

apart, were used as containers for POKEMON action figures given away at the

restaurant. The packaging on the toy stated that the item was "safety

tested and recommended for all ages." On Tuesday, February 1, 2000, Burger

King plans to air 15-second TV commercials warning parents to "immediately

take the balls away from children under the age of 3. 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 fries." The POKEMON toys, which were handed

out to over 25 million people, were safety tested for choking, not for

suffocation, said Burger King spokesman Charles Nicolas. Currently, it is

not an industry practice to test for suffocation added Nicolas.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
Creator of Rick's Flicks Picks