Albee Baby announced the recall of 130 Sorelle “Prescott” cribs today. The cribs have faulty mattress supports that have led to at least one death. But that’s where this story gets a little murky — that death was in a Simplicity crib and those cribs were recalled in April. But a savvy consumer checked under the Sorelle lablel on her crib and found — a Simplicity label! These were simply Simplicity cribs rebranded with a brand more likely to appeal to consumers.
By the time these were sold between July and December 2009, the Simplicity brand was already suspect with parents after millions of recalled cribs and a defunct company. So why would Albee Baby sell them under another name? You’d have to ask them!
KID has been concerned for years about licensing — selling one company’s product under another brand name. Danny Keysar died in a Playskool Travel-Lite Crib — made not by Hasbro, Playskool’s parent company, but by Kolcraft, a smaller and at the time, lesser known, brand. The licensing of the Graco and Fisher Price names on other Simplicity products caused confusion as well as delay in alerting consumers to product flaws.
But a formal licensing agreement is a far cry from slapping a new label on a disgraced company’s products. We urge CPSC and the FTC to have a closer look — are there other similar products out there?