Flea Market Managers Searching for Recalled Toys

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Bargains abound at East Tennessee Flea Markets.

But the latest recall from toy company Mattel has flea markets making sure they don't abound with tainted toys.

We visited the Great Smokies Flea market in Kodak where the search is on for toys on recall.

"It's a never ending challenge," says Ronnie West, the flea markets manager.

West is on the hunt.

"We don't want a child to get it and we don't want it on this property," he says.

He is referring to any of the nine million toys Mattel recalled this past week.

So booth after booth, the manager of the Great Smokies Flea Market checks toys for the magic words.

"Made in China," he says.

The recalled toys include Polly Pocket dolls, Batman action figures and even Barbie playsets.

All have now been taken off the shelves because they contain dangerous lead paint and small magnets that your kids could swallow.

West's search turns up noisy toys, but no toys for him to make any noise about.

"I'm not saying they're not here," he says, "I'm still looking."

A look around that takes four to five hours everyday.

"When you see children walking around the flea market it's a reminder of how precious they are and how important it is for us to make sure nobody sells these toys," says Krista Atchley whose family owns the flea market.

That's because in a market where most stuff is out of the box, things can be easy touchable.

Checking every booth may sound simple, but with more than 800, it's anything but.

"It's a challenge to make sure we're safe here, but it's top priority for us," said Atchley.

Informing all their vendors about the recall takes priority to all else, and if vendors haven't seen the recall list they provide them one.

For parents and bargain shoppers, its an effort they appreciate.

"If it's a dollar and it makes them sick, that's a problem," said Jeremy Williams, shop shops at the flea market. "It doesn't matter what kind of deal I get on it."

So while the bargain hunters hunt for bargains, West continues to hunt the toys that could bring shoppers more than they bargained for.

Managers say if you find a recalled toy at the flea market, let the management know and they'll dispose of it properly.


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