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Author Topic: What to do about old toys with batteries? (UK post)  (Read 480 times)

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Offline TaffetaTopic starter

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What to do about old toys with batteries? (UK post)
« on: August 05, 2017, 09:44:09 AM »
I am trying to clear out unwanted stuff.

I have a Jem doll in her original box. She's a spanish variant doll and while the box has been opened and is a bit battered, she is complete with all her stuff. Being Jem/Jerrica, she also has a battery which is in situ with the original plastic plug to prevent the switch from slipping. I'm estimating she's probably worth £50-60ish, especially being a Spanish variant doll. So donating her is not an option.

UK post offices ask you specifically if the item contains batteries. This is an unused item and a small battery but I am not sure whether it is mailable because although it is not a played with doll, the battery is very old.

I want to sell this doll. I don't collect Jem/Jerrica and she has been taking up space in my room for a long time. I imagine this battery rule prevents me from my usual policy of international shipping on all items, but what about within the UK?

I don't want to put her on ebay if it turns out I can't ship her. I have limited time at home to sort and sell items and I am not quite sure how to explain Jem to the post teller even if I did have time to go speak to them about it.

Does anyone have any ideas/advice/feedback? I have read the RM's guidance on batteries, but found nothing on original batteries in old toys from 30 years ago.

And I am not going to lie to the post office.

This isn't specifically a pony query but it could apply to some pony items as well, so I think this is still the right forum?
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Offline Lollipop

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Re: What to do about old toys with batteries? (UK post)
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2017, 10:02:26 AM »
Within the UK you should be fine as long as it is a battery on their list that is allowed & is packaged accordingly.
Check the type of battery it is then check under batteries on this link to see if it is allowed. (if the battery is leaking at all then you can not send it)
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check this link too.
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Outside of the UK I am not sure. Is it possible to take the batteries out without ruining her packaging?
Perhaps you could say batteries will be removed if you are outside of the UK.
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Offline TaffetaTopic starter

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Re: What to do about old toys with batteries? (UK post)
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2017, 10:26:02 AM »
Hi,
Thanks for that. I had looked at the RM restrictions, but the problem is that I don't know what kind of battery it is and can'treally find out without majorly unpacking the item which is still largely attached to the inlay card. The doll is a variant made in Spain so I cannot do a check on a regular doll (come to think of it, I don't own a regular Jem Jerrica doll to check with xD) and the issue is that it's 30 years old so even if it is one of their approved ones, I don't know if that could create a potential problem.

The last time the doll inlay was taken out of the box there was no sign of leakage.
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Offline Skitterbug

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Re: What to do about old toys with batteries? (UK post)
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2017, 10:47:44 PM »
The batteries are likely button cell/watch batteries, probably LR44 or equivalent. They aren't super prone to leakage in my experience unless stored poorly, though the toys I deal with that use them are generally from the late 90s. Corroded or leaking batteries have a very distinct smell.
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Re: What to do about old toys with batteries? (UK post)
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 04:43:08 PM »
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The batteries are likely button cell/watch batteries, probably LR44 or equivalent. They aren't super prone to leakage in my experience unless stored poorly, though the toys I deal with that use them are generally from the late 90s. Corroded or leaking batteries have a very distinct smell.

Thanks. I asked about those kinds of batteries at the post office this morning when I took a couple of packages to post and they said they thought that the cell type batteries would be okay within the UK but I guess I need to do a bit more research to find out exactly what kind of batteries were in Spanish Jem. SHe probably won't get sold this time around which is a pain because I could use the cash and the space, but I would rather be safe and not make our postal system mad at me...since I use it a lot ;)

Thank you for help both of you :)  I appreciate it :)
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Re: What to do about old toys with batteries? (UK post)
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 10:57:16 PM »
Batteries are such a pain. I will admit, I've lied about batteries, but I always make sure that they are safe to travel via air before I do. Most batteries are completely safe, but the blanket rules are there because people have no common sense anymore. If I can legally take a battery into a passenger aircraft, I see no difference with cargo aircraft, they fly at the same altitudes, and have the same cargo compartment pressurization. Watch batteries are very close to perfectly safe, I just disable the device to be cautious. Phone batteries I take out and cover the terminals with tape (plastic, not paper!) and other batteries I generally do my research beforehand. Pony products generally use watch batteries, so they're pretty safe but for Jem, I'm afraid I've no idea. Being an old battery though, it might not be safe, especially if it's been out of use but left in the toy. I'd see if it's replaceable, and sell without battery, or send with a new one.
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Offline TaffetaTopic starter

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Re: What to do about old toys with batteries? (UK post)
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 11:24:16 PM »
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Being an old battery though, it might not be safe, especially if it's been out of use but left in the toy. I'd see if it's replaceable, and sell without battery, or send with a new one.

If it were a loose item I would've done that right away, but it's a doll that has been partially out of box but has never been removed from her inlay. Taking out her battery requires me deboxing her and removing her from the inlay. That's a big deal decision for me to take, as I do not debox vintage items. This is a strong rule of principle for me; my policy is always 'do no harm' when it comes to old packaged items.

Prance's site says Jem generally has an A-76 battery which is obselete. That means the post office probably doesn't have a rule for it. Sigh. I probably will have to maim her then. I'm really not all right with doing that.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 11:28:20 PM by Taffeta »
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Re: What to do about old toys with batteries? (UK post)
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2017, 07:40:17 AM »
Oh that really sucks. I just saw that the box had been opened, and figured complete but not NRFB. If she still has the battery plug, she very well might be okay - if those batteries have never been used, they might still be pretty stable. The post office might be okay with shipping an unused battery if you talk to them, I know I've shipped AAAs in their packet with a toy that didn't have batteries included, and that was okay because they were new apparently, but that may have been a lenient PO employee, or a different policy here in Australia.

In the end though, if that doesn't work out, maybe you could put her on a site like Gumtree, or a trading post for local pick-up?
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Re: What to do about old toys with batteries? (UK post)
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2017, 12:41:40 PM »
This is a really interesting one from the point of view that batteries can deteriorate and cause damage. Disposable batteries probs should be removed but this introduces the question of whether any items were made with other kinds of batteries and what to do with MIP items.  A lot of items were 'batteries sold separately' possibly for this reason?  Does she definitely have a battery inside? Sorry can't help you out with the post office.
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Re: What to do about old toys with batteries? (UK post)
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2017, 01:33:36 PM »
Jem/Jerrica is the only Jem character who has a battery function but all MIB Jem/Jerrica dolls come with the battery fitted inside. I don't collect Jem/Jerrica so it hasn't been a huge problem for me but I want to be responsible with this doll. She will still have the plug in place because of this but 30 years is a long time.

Many second hand Jem dolls with the taped boxes have broken seals because of the tape drying out, like in pony boxes, and so collectors will often slide out the tray and ensure nothing is missing but that is different from taking them off the inlay. Dolls with glued boxes, as most of the 2nd year dolls are, require more brutality to break the seal and thus there's less of a grey area involved.

This one being a Spanish variant also makes it difficult. Local pickup is not really possible as the place where she is and where my family live is not exactly in the best place for that (country)
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Re: What to do about old toys with batteries? (UK post)
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2017, 05:46:29 PM »
Based on reading about the type of battery and Royal Mail's site I think you would be okay to ship her international or domestic.

An A-76 is an alkaline battery - "Must be new and sent unopened in their original retail packaging." the battery in your toy is still unused to my understanding which would fall under new (technically it's aged not used). And it is unopened in the original retail packaging.

So I'm thinking this is what would pertain to your battery specifically:

Quote
Electronic items sent with new alkaline metal, nickel metal hydride (NiMH) or nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries
Must be new and sent unopened in their original retail packaging. Surround with sufficient cushioning material to protect each item from damage. Wrap each item, including plugs, individually. Place item in a rigid container and cushion to avoid movement. Any equipment sent with batteries or cells must be secured against movement within the outer packaging and must be packed to prevent accidental activation. The sender’s name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.

The big concern with batteries is generally the larger ones or the lithium ion batteries. As long as you pack the doll carefully I see no reason you wouldn't be in compliance. Looking at the data for the A76 batteries from multiple manufacturers (assuming we're not looking at alkaline battery since they do exist) you're looking at a single cell batter that at the strongest would be is about .25 watts, and they don't start limiting the batteries until you're at about 20 - 100 watts for batteries within an item.

I'm not in the UK but I just went through something like this (except with larger batteries) in the US lol. We have similar restrictions but the outcome was that my package followed guidelines. And I pushed them waaaay more than you would be here. They way they put it to me was most toys with batteries will follow the the guidelines as long as we're not talking about something like the cars that kids can ride in and may require a lithium ion battery.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 06:04:32 PM by Duenia »

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Re: What to do about old toys with batteries? (UK post)
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2017, 08:21:06 PM »
Bookmarking this for later reading! I know nothing about batteries.  So interesting.
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Re: What to do about old toys with batteries? (UK post)
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2017, 08:33:10 PM »
Duenia, thank you so much :) I will be at the post office again tomorrow, so I will take the information you have given me and check that alkaline batteries in situ in a toy untouched are ok in the UK post with a doll like mine :)

It may be a while before Jem gets a home but at least when she does I will hopefully be informed.

I maybe also ought to post something in the nonpony forum to see if anyone would be interested in taking her at ponycon, because that would solve the problem entirely.
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