PhotoThousands of consumers should soon be finding a pleasant surprise in their mailboxes.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has just mailed more than 10,000 checks to consumers who bought Disney- or Marvel Hero-themed vitamins for their kids featuring characters such as the Disney Princesses, Winnie the Pooh, Finding Nemo and Spider-Man.

Consumers who submitted claims for vitamins they bought between May 1, 2008 and September 30, 2010, will be receiving more than $425,000 -- 100% of what they paid, up to $125 per household. The refunds are part of a settlement with vitamin marketer NBTY Inc. and two subsidiaries, which resulted from charges that they made false health claims about their vitamins.

Consumers who receive the checks have 60 days to cash them. They should be aware that the FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information before refund checks can be cashed. Those with questions should call the refund administrator, BMC Group, at 1-866-224-4336.

Major retailers such as CVS Pharmacy, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, Kroger, Kmart, Meijer and Rite Aid sold the vitamins. They also were sold online.

The settlement

The FTC reached a settlement in 2010 requiring the marketers to stop making allegedly false and unproven claims that their vitamins promote healthy brain and eye development in children.

The FTC charged NBTY, Inc., NatureSmart LLC, and Rexall Sundown, Inc., with making deceptive claims about the amount of DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid, in their children’s vitamin gummies and tablets, and the effect of that amount on eye and brain development in children.

Consumers are urged to evaluate advertising claims carefuly for vitamins and other dietary supplements.   

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