Remember the yo-yo ball — an inexpensive toy made of questionable materials with a long rubbery cord and a ball filled with liquid? The dangers of the toy were brought to light by parents whose children were nearly killed by the product when the cord wrapped around their neck and couldn’t be easily removed. Among them was Lisa Lipin of Skokie Illinois. She, along with other concerned parents, set up a website and began tireless efforts to get the product banned. States such as New Jersey, Illinois and New York banned the product and the standard setting group ASTM International included a performance requirement in the toy standard that wouldn’t allow the long dangerous cords. That standard then became a mandatory standard through the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).
Now a court in New Jersey has fined an Indiana company $67,000 for selling the product in New Jersey, despite that state’s ban. Activists like Lipin hope it sends a message to anyone still selling the product — stop!