Recall ordered for toy that turns into drug


Reverend Anaglyph says:

A report in this morning's Melbourne Age talks about the recall of a childrens toy that has beads that, if swallowed, can metabolize into the party drug 'Fantasy' or GHB.

I thought you'd particularly dig the pic of colourful unicorns made out of the beads that they use to illustrate the story...



  1. What should we do with all these plastic beads that look just like candy? I know, lets package them and sell it to kids! Great idea geniuses! After they get rid of the GHB chemicals, I hope they are ready for the wave of choking deaths that follow.

  2. Man – I hope they re-engineer these to be GHB-free and start selling them again soon, because I am seeing fantastic opportunities for pixel-art earrings.

  3. two days ago i stood staring stupidly through the window of an australian geographic shop at a set of these toys. my daughter was begging me for them. i say ‘stupidly’ because my brain had shut down in protest a little while before when we went to see the game plan, a kid-movie featuring the rock.

    i said ‘noooo i’m not buying you any bindeez,’ but i didn’t really have a great reason other than that i didn’t want to spend more money until my brain rebooted.

    now i feel justified and vindicated in my fatherly stinginess: i am very happy.

  4. For what it’s worth, this seems to be the same product as the North American-distributed Aqua-Dots. I can’t find any information on if that product also contains GHB, but my daughter isn’t going to play with hers till further notice.

  5. any word what the unsafe glue they used is?
    seems like if it breaks down into ghb, it would be a hot commodity in the underworld already.

  6. JTollert – I guess there’s a fairly obvious experiment you can run to find out whether your daughter’s beads have any psychotropic effects…

  7. JTOLLERT, you beat me to the punch! I just spoke to a customer service rep at Spinmaster ( They own the license to distribute the product in North America. He told me that they do have an afiliation with Moose in Australia. He was unsure whether or not the North American product was manufactured in the same place as the Aussie product. I asked him, “What do we do now?” He replied, “It is our feeling that, at this time, you do not allow your children to play with the product as we do not yet know if this problem affects the product in North America.” He said that they are looking into it and will post any recall information on their website should the need arise.

  8. I was just looking over a set of Aqua-Dots at Costco last night.

    GHB was never on my list of drugs to try or I’d give a report whether the North American ones were drugged up or not.

  9. Mikey I nearly bought them too but we already have HAMA beads which are the same except you iron them instead (they give off a real chemical stench when you do this – I guess ironing plastic is not healthy, who would have thought)

  10. Dang. Here I was waiting for the new Ecstasy Pez dispensers to come out with such rapt anticipation that I completely forgot to pick up the GHB Aqua Dots.

    BOY, mom’s gonna be a-n-g-r-y…

  11. Oh my. I was so close to buying these for my daughter. Guess its back to the plain old lead tainted Mattel toys for her.

  12. “The warning…[is] that the brown beads that are circulating around us are not specifically too good. It is suggested that you do stay away from them.”

  13. So that’s it!

    If all the hands-on play toys remaining in the stores are from China, electronic toys may finally take over completely.

    That’s how we love our children in the West. Get them cheap stuff made by those who don’t understand our values and/or mesmerize them with electronics.

    About the same as sending them out to pick coal of the tracks I guess.

  14. I just love how they never specify exactly how a plastic solvent has anything to do with GHB. GHB is a water soluble substance, usually found as a salt with potassium or sodium. What they must surely be talking about is GBL, gamma butyrlactone, a substance found in much higher quantities in nailpolish removers commonly.

    If you ask me this whole story is a media beat-up, it’s nonsense that residue of GBL in solid plastics would be sufficient to cause intoxication let alone death, before choking, in the scale of risks of such a product, except perhaps in a child under the age of 3 months. I believe that risk is usually covered by the ‘not suitable for children under 5’ or some such notice on the package, putting the danger liability onto the parents/guardians of children.

  15. I think it’s probable that the chemical in question is 1,4 butanediol, which is often used as a solvent chemical in the making of plastics. It also converts to GHB in the liver. They probably had a bunch of the stuff lying around and needed something to fill the little plastic balls with.

  16. Okay…so they’re not giving our children just lead any more. China is substituting GHB for a non-toxic glue in a popular, award-winning candy-looking toy. How come we were all concerned when Communists weren’t putting fluoride in our water (which is beneficial) but the guvmn’t doesn’t seem unduly concerned when they actually do start giving our children GHB … an agent designed to knock out and make its victim compliant and threaten their life. (G. Orwell? China calling.) Somebody explain to me, in very small words, why this is not a no brainer trade embargo. I understand it would devastate the US economy. That’s not a good thing. But they’re giving our children GHB! You know that story where Faust gets a bunch of the good times for a while by knowingly signing away his soul? Sure, we’re enjoying insanely cheap goods while China buys our dollars thus putting off our economic collapse. Yet I don’t remember voting on signing away the soul of our entire country. Blockade the ports. It’s time for the Portland Tea Party.

  17. so uh china seems to have it in for our children, they either want to dumb them down with lead or put them in a coma with solvents that metabolize into GHB.

    I guess killing off their own children wasn’t good enough.

    I think we need to write some congressmen and senators. The US Consumer Product Safety Comission ( seems to think reacting to problems is a good enough strategy.

    Maybe we have found the reason for declining test scores in America – I wonder how many years this has been a problem, seems awefully strange that just recently this became a problem, more likely just recently the CPSC got caught not doing its job and now are trying to make up for it.

    I remember my voltron die-cast toys that got taken from me cause of lead paint in the 80’s, did it every really stop? or did the CPSC just fail us for a a couple of decades?

    Finally one last point, the recommended age for these toys are +4 years old (one of kids was 20 months old). Seems like some parents are doing a bad job reading the labels and making good judgement, or not supervising their kids, perhaps they ate lead paint too. (yah yah accidents happen but I suspect kids say “i want that” and parents say “ok”. plus if you have kids at different ages, you gotta make sure that the young ones stay away from the toys for the older ones)

    I say again, just WTF is going on?

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