A spokesman from the Consumer Product Safety Commission said McDonald's alerted the organization after test results indicated the high lead levels, which is a poison hazard if ingested over time by children.
The bobbleheads were manufactured by Bobble Dreams USA of Fountain Valley, Calif. The company referred calls to a spokesman, who was unavailable at press time.
The CPSC put the items on its Fast Track Recall Program and issued consumer alerts Tuesday. The chain is asking consumers to take the figurines away from children and to call an 800-number for return and refund instructions.
Based on the likenesses of Chicago Bears players Brian Urlacher and Anthony Thomas, the 7-inch-tall figures were sold for $5 in McDonald's restaurants in Chicago, northwest Indiana, central Illinois and Rockford, Ill., from Aug. 19 through Sept. 12 as part of a regional promotion. Bcom3 Group's Leo Burnett, Chicago, handled the promotion for McDonald's.
While spokesmen for the CPSC and McDonald's did not have information on the actual lead levels, the federal mandatory standard for lead in paint is no more than .06%, a trace amount, according to the CPSC.
"We were made aware of the problem late last week and stopped distribution on Sept. 12," said a McDonald's spokesman, who added that McDonald's has not received any reports of injuries or incidents involving these figurines.
'Abundance of caution'
"All of our premiums are thoroughly tested," he said. "This manufacturer shipped them out prematurely prior to our looking to those test results. Our medical experts assured us that normal handling of product that's been on market does not impose any significant health risk. This was out of an abundance of caution."
McDonald's has issued several bobblehead premiums in regional promotions, but the company spokesman said all those promotions "past and present are perfectly safe."
It is unclear whether which other premiums were produced by Bobble Dreams.