Distributor recalls iconic Kiwi toy over defective part, urges parents to check batch numbers.

It's a treasured toy enjoyed by generations of Kiwi kids, but some batches of Buzzy Bees have been recalled because of choking fears.

Some of the pull-along toys have defective rear wheels, which could come loose and pose a choking threat to young children.

The defective part may be present in batch numbers 0615, 0715, 1015 and 1215.

Five-month-old Scarlett Purvis was given a brand new Buzzy Bee for Christmas and her mother Lauren said although her toy is not from an affected batch she "shivers" at the thought that the toys could be harmful.

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"It does freak me out, it's such a tiny wheel ... which can definitely go into Scarlett's mouth and be lodged and stuck, it gives me the shivers."

Ms Purvis was also concerned for other children, given the popularity of the classic piece of Kiwiana.

"In our antenatal class, there's about six of us and I'm pretty sure all of us have a Buzzy Bee. Also, thinking about the person who gifted it to us, how awful it would be you found out you bought the wrong batch number.

"You're gifting a present that is obviously well known in New Zealand."

Parents are being advised to stop their children from playing with Buzzy Bees that have the affected batch numbers on the underside.

Distributor Brand Protocole Limited asks customers with defective toys to register their contact details and batch numbers, and they are working with the manufacturer to provide replacements.

A spokeswoman for Buzzy Bee brand owner Lion Rock Ventures Limited and Brand Protocole said the companies "deeply regret this inconvenience to customers".

Lion Rock was notified of the defect by a customer in December. Investigations found an "unadvised" change was made by the manufacturer in the way the back wheel was inserted and glued into the toy.

Replacement products were expected to be available in May.

The Buzzy Bee became Kiwi folklore when a young Prince William played with the toy on the lawn of Government House during Prince Charles and Princess Diana's visit to New Zealand in 1983.

• For a replacement call 0800 BUZZEE (28 99 33). Email: buzzybee@bbrecall.co.nz.