Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Leyton warehouse fined £7,000 over hazardous Halloween costumes

Waltham Forest parents are warned to watch out for counterfeit, potentially risky Halloween costumes An online store operating out of a Leyton warehouse [...]

Hero for Leyton warehouse fined £7,000 over hazardous Halloween costumes
A counterfeit Batman costume sold by the Leyton-based business (WF Council)
By Waltham Forest Echo 14 October 2021

Waltham Forest parents are warned to watch out for counterfeit, potentially risky Halloween costumes

An online store operating out of a Leyton warehouse was taken to court for selling counterfeit children’s Halloween costumes that failed safety tests.

Mr Gadget Solutions, based in a warehouse in Argall Avenue, sold costumes of popular superheroes on eBay for less than £5 after buying them from China for just £1.50 each.

However, an investigation by Waltham Forest Council’s Trading Standards team discovered the costumes failed vital safety tests and could pose a risk to children that wore them.

The council’s deputy leader Clyde Loakes said: “Halloween costumes that seem like a bargain might be tempting in these difficult times but people must remember they carry risks.

“Because they have not been checked, they could be made from flammable materials or there could be additional dangers of suffocation, poisoning from untested dyes and even strangulation due to the lack of appropriate fastenings.” 

The team discovered more than 1,200 counterfeit costumes in the warehouse, which business owner Shahid Shabbir said he purchased from China in January 2019.

It followed an investigation by Waltham Forest Council’s Trading Standards team, which uncovered more than 1,200 rip-off versions of popular children’s comic characters. 

When questioned, Shahid admitted he had made no checks to ensure the goods were genuine but insisted that, had he known they were not authorised, he would not have sold them.   

Due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, his case was not heard at Thames Magistrates’ Court until 13th September, when he pleaded guilty to all offences.

The court fined Mr Gadget Solutions £7,170 and instructed the company to pay a victim surcharge of £170 and costs of £1,501.42.  

Buyers can reduce the risks by ensuring the product is marked with a CE logo, which confirms it complies with safety standards, or the new UKCA mark, which is applicable since the UK left the European Union.