Buy safe toys

“I would hate for any other child to go through what Becca suffered because of buying dangerous toys via online marketplaces.” Becca’s mother

Toy safety: What are you paying for?

When you’re shopping online, when you type in the brand name you want, you’re often presented with lots of options, including cheaper copycats that could be dangerous.

So, if you choose the cheaper toy, are you bagging a bargain? Or are you risking an injury?

Here we compare two magnetic building block toys that look almost identical, showing how reputable manufacturers invest in toy safety.

Share our What are you paying for? download to help raise awareness.

Real Magformers toy safe magnets Copycat magnets toy broken
Quality brand name Copycat toy
Available in well-known retailers as well as online 🗸 x
Has a UK or EU contact address 🗸 x
Undergoes stringent safety tests to satisfy all UK toy safety standards. This includes abuse testing, designed to mimic the way children play with toys. The toy is repeatedly pulled, twisted and dropped from a height 🗸 x
Member of the British Toy and Hobby Association, whose members commit to good practice in toy safety 🗸 x
Care sheet explaining safe use 🗸 x
Magnets encased in strong plastic, preventing extraction and possible swallowing 🗸 x
Made with cheaper plastic to save money x 🗸
Plastic may weaken when exposed to sunlight x 🗸
Plastic breaks under pressure, releasing dangerous magnets that children can swallow x 🗸

This is just one type of toy. Other copycats can be equally dangerous but for different reasons.

Watch our videos for more examples of dangerous toys to avoid.

This BBC video demonstrates how toys from reputable manufacturers must go through a strict testing process to make sure they are safe for children to play with. Some quality brands may exceed legal minimum test ‘pass’ levels.

More information on toy safety

Magnetic balls and sweets

Toys online – nasty or nice?

Don’t get caught out buying dangerous toys when shopping online. We explain how to tell safe sellers from dodgy dealers and highlight risky toys to avoid.

Button Batteries

Button batteries

Button batteries, particularly big, powerful lithium coin cell batteries, can badly hurt or kill a small child if they swallow one and it gets stuck in their food pipe. Find out more.

Magnetic balls


Super strong magnets can rip through a child’s gut if they swallow them, causing life-threatening injuries. Find out more.

Smaller copycat and real Magformers toy

Resources to share

Download and share our free gif and photos, our visual explainers, plus a leaflet and social media assets from the Office for Product Safety and Standards.

Share this post