SPINNING Beyblades are all the rage among youngsters in Singapore, but the popular toy has raised concerns about its safety.
At least three children have been hurt while playing with it, while some principals have ordered students not to bring the toys to school.
Meanwhile, Tai Sing Corporation, the distributor of the Japanese product, is working with the police to track down vendors selling fakes in the republic.
The plastic toy at the centre of all this attention is a spinning top, which children can assemble themselves.
They can customise the toy with metal parts to outspin or edge out other Beyblades in dish-shaped “stadiums.”
Launched in Japan in 1999, Beyblades cost between S$9.90 (RM21.78) and S$22.90 (RM50.38) each, depending on the model.
Nearly 300,000 have been sold since they were launched in Singapore three years ago.
But it was last October, after a cartoon series with the same name had been aired on TV, that the fad caught on among children in the republic.
Eight out of 10 primary schools contacted said they had discouraged students from bringing the toys to school, citing safety concerns.
They also did not want children to be distracted from their studies.
Francina Geraldine Jodhi, vice-principal of St Stephen’s School, said: “In the excitement of things, kids may forget themselves and some of them may get hurt, especially if it’s not played the way it should be.”
A check with the National Healthcare Group’s polyclinics showed that at least two children had been hurt while playing with the toy.
The SingHealth group did not keep records of injuries suffered from particular toys.
Dr Angelia Chua, of Yishun Polyclinic, said two boys, about nine years old, had come in with red and swollen eyes after they were hit by Beyblades.
One was prescribed antibiotic eye drops while the other was sent to see a specialist.
Another nine-year-old boy ended up with a cracked toenail after the spinning top landed on his toe. – The Sunday Times/ Asia News Network
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