I’ve been waiting for a recall announcement to come out on the Big Hugs Elmo doll. I kept expecting it to come out any moment now, but have been disappointed by Hasbro’s refusal to issue a recall. Why?
Well, it turns out that there’s more to the furry little monster than spindly arms and complaints of being hugged too tight. There have been reports of batteries melting in the little guy. As soon as I heard about it on Facebook (it happened legit to a friend of a friend, not an “I’m hearing this thing that happened to a friend of a friend’s mom’s aunt’s cousin’s wife’s sister-in-law’s niece” thing), I pulled the batteries out of mine and called Wal-Mart. Yes, we could return it, no problem… and they’d already had two returned that day for the same reason in the Prince George store.
This sucks. Seriously, I had moments when I appreciated that furry little monster. Hugs are nice when my three year old is being a douche. My concerns, though, about the Big Hugs Elmo battery problem goes beyond the disappointment of returning a Christmas present, even if it was one that had hugs that even a mom having a rough day could enjoy. It’s about safety.
A damaged battery can release potassium hydroxide. A battery damaged by overheating “may produce hazardous fumes of zinc and manganese; hydrogen gas, caustic vapors of potassium hydroxide and other toxic by-products.”2 Call me crazy, but I don’t want to have to worry about toys releasing hazardous fumes when my kid sleeps with it.
If you’ve got the Big Hugs Elmo, check your batteries. Will you be keeping the Big Hugs Elmo in your home?
1.) Big Hugs Elmo customer wants Hasbro to issue formal advisory, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/big-hugs-elmo-customer-wants-hasbro-to-issue-formal-advisory-1.2479463
2.) Duracell alkaline battery MSDS, http://www.batteriesplus.com/msds/MSDS-DuracellAlkaline-9-12.pdf