Trading Standards officers have seized 38 fake look-a-like toys from a trader in Chatham featuring the trade marked images of children’s favourites Thomas the Tank Engine and Roary, The Racing Car.

The toys could easily be confused with genuine versions by parents and grandparents buying presents in the run up to Christmas.

Selling goods featuring the unauthorised use of a registered trademark is a criminal offence, which has a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment or an unlimited fine.

The matter is subject to an ongoing investigation.

Officers have sent samples of the toys off to an approved analytical laboratory for testing to ensure they comply with the stringent requirements of Toy Safety Regulations.

Cllr Mike O’Brien, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Customer Contact, said: “It is important that Medway shoppers are confident about the goods they buy in our shops and our Trading Standards team are working hard to ensure that they are protected from any unlawful goods.

“The sale of counterfeit goods damages our legitimate businesses, who sell genuine products, and can help fund fraudsters and criminals. Counterfeit toys may not also meet the stringent safety requirements required and I would urge anyone who has any conerns to contact Trading Standards for advice on 08454 040506”.

Traders are encouraged to seek guidance from their local Trading Standards service if they are offered any cheap branded goods

Although everyone loves a bargain at Christmas, Medway Council’s Trading Standards Team want to make sure no one is disappointed by cheap fakes.

Any parents who are concerned about any toys which they have purchased are urged to contact the service for further advice on 08454 040506.