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Fake Halloween Costumes Could ‘Spell’ Danger

With Halloween just a few days away Waltham Forest Council is warning residents to be careful when buying their fancy dress costumes, after Trading Standards officers seized over 800 items suspected of being counterfeit, including Harry Potter, Batman, Spiderman, Supergirl and Superman.

Officers visited a shop in the borough yesterday (27 October) along with a trade mark representative to seize the items. A sample of the items had already been tested by the trade mark representative, and was found to be flouting safety regulations. Officers will now be carrying out further investigations.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment said: “We know lots of people will be looking to forward to dressing up for Halloween, but it’s important that you know that your costume is safe, especially when children are taking part.

“Parents should ensure that costumes carry the ‘CE marking’ on its label or packaging, and check for the manufacturer’s name, address and registered trademark. If you have any doubt about whether a costume is genuine, don’t buy it. It’s also the responsibility of the retailer to ensure that they are not selling items that could pose a serious safety risk.”

Children’s Halloween costumes are classed as toys and so should carry the ‘CE marking’ on its label or packaging. However this does not guarantee that an item has been tested for flammability.

Other points to look out for when buying a children's fancy dress costume include:

  • Check the label or packaging contains the manufacturers name, address, postcode or phone number and a registered trademark.

  • Check if the product has been recalled on the TSI website (

  • Ensure the product is accompanied by instructions and safety information 

If residents have concerns or think they have seen counterfeit items on sale in Waltham Forest they can contact Trading Standards on 020 8496 3000 or

If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at or on 020 8496 4521 / 4802.

For out of hours please email or call 07966 915 157.