The Grinches at U.S. Customs and Border Protection just stole Christmas from all those kids just waiting for their .99 cent Chinese rubber duckies to be unveiled on the morning of December 25.

Well, to be fair, in announcing that it has seized a whopping 35,712 of the bathtub toys, which appear to be holiday themed, CBP says it's protecting kids.

The illegal duckies, stopped at the local ports, contained …

… controversial “plasticizer” chemicals called phthalates.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulation limits their for use in toys because they could be dangerous for children, the CBP says.

CBP spokesman Jaime Ruiz told us:

The main concern is for children under 12. The chemical has been seen to be dangerous.

The CBP explains:

Credit: CBP

Credit: CBP

CPSC regulation prohibits the sale, distribution or importation into the United States of any children's toy or child care article that contains concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), or benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP).

The federal law enforcers seized the duckies, $18,522 worth, it says, at the port on Tuesday but just announced the haul today.

[@dennisjromero / / @LAWeeklyNews]

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