MIAMI – Small toys showing an airplane flying into the World Trade Center were packed inside some of more than 14,000 bags of candy bound largely for small groceries around the country before being recalled.
Lisy Corp., the wholesaler that distributed the candy, said Friday that the toys were purchased in bulk from a Miami-based import company.
The toys came in an assortment purchased sight unseen from L&M Import in Miami and included the toys depicting the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the twin towers, whistles and other small toys, said Luis Padron, Lisy’s national sales manager. The invoice said the toy was a plastic swing set.
“I hate to blame the importer. He probably did not know what he was getting. He brings them in 40-foot containers. But whoever made it knew exactly what they were making,” Padron said.
Padron said Lisy did not notice the small plastic figurines until two people complained, but there is no mistaking what the toys represent: At the bottom of each is the product number 9011.
“When we found out what happened, we recalled them immediately,” said Padron, who said the toys made in China do not reflect his company’s view. “I was offended by them.”
The candy bags were distributed by the company’s 100 distributors. Most are sold to small Hispanic and Mexican groceries, Padron said. He said 448 of the twin tower toys left the warehouse for distribution, but he managed to put a hold on the rest.
Anna Rodriguez, who bought a bag of the candy for her grandson, said she was stunned when she saw the toy.
“It makes me angry,” she told television station WFTV. “I was offended because I couldn’t believe that someone would give something like that to a kid.”