Parents are being warned to watch out for counterfeit comic book costumes that could pose “serious risk” to children this Halloween.

The alert comes after an online store operating from a warehouse in Leyton was fined more than £7,000 for selling the fake outfits.

It followed an investigation which uncovered more than 1,200 rip-off versions of popular children’s comic characters.

Among the items found were Transformers, Thor, Batgirl, Antman, Spiderman and Batman fancy dress kits.

The costumes tested failed essential safety provisions under the General Product Safety Regulations

Shahid Shabbir, the business owner, said he purchased the children’s outfits from China in January 2019 at a cost of £1.50 each.

He then put them up for sale on eBay through his company Mr Gadget Solutions Ltd for between £4 and £5.

They had not been through the proper safety regulation checks meaning there was an increased risk to the children wearing them.

None of the kits had been authorised by Warner Brothers and therefore infringed upon their copyright.

The investigation, which began in May 2019, followed a tip-off to the Council’s Trading Standards Team who searched the premises at Unit 14 Forest Business Park, Leyton E10.

When questioned Shabbir said had made no checks to ensure the goods were genuine and went on to claim had he known they were not authorised he would not have sold them.

He was prosecuted but due to the pandemic, the case was not heard before Thames Magistrates’ Court until September 13, when the company pleaded guilty to all offences.

The court fined Mr Gadget Solutions £7,170 and instructed the company to pay a victim surcharge of £170 and costs of £1,501.42.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Waltham Forest’s Deputy Leader who leads on trading standards, said: “Halloween costumes that seem like a bargain might be tempting in these difficult times.

“People must remember they carry serious risks, because they have not been checked they could be made from flammable materials, or there could be additional dangers of suffocation, poisoning from untested dyes, and even strangulation due to the lack of appropriate fastenings.”