Consumer watchdog announces 10 Worst Toys List
Just in time for the holiday season, W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm), a Massachusetts-based consumer watchdog organization, announced its annual “10 Worst Toys” list at a conference in Boston’s Franciscan Hospital for Children. According to the organization’s website, “Founder Edward M. Swartz and W.A.T.C.H. have fearlessly exposed potentially dangerous toys to the general public. As a result, children’s lives have been saved.”
The Worst Toys list, which the organization has published for 36 years, combs the market for toys that have the potential to cause childhood injuries and death. W.A.T.C.H. claims that the list has prompted toy manufacturers to discontinue, redesign, and improve many toys.
In the 12-month period since the last Worst Toys list was published, 31 toy recalls have been announced, representing nearly 5 million individual units. Strangulation and choking hazards are some of the most readily apparent and, unfortunately, oldest types of toy design flaws that have endangered children.
- DISNEY-PIXAR WALL-E FOAM ROCKET LAUNCHER
Manufacturer or Distributor: Disney/Hoop Retail Stores, LLC
“The rocket, despite the manufacturer’s proclamation that it is ‘safe,’ launches at a high rate of speed with the potential to cause serious eye injuries.”
- MOON BOARD POGO BOARD
Manufacturer or Distributor: Big Time Toys, LLC
Risk of tripping and falling injuries, poor labeling and safety warnings, and risk of being injured by an elastic handle that “if stretched and released … could spring back and cause injury”
- CURIOUS BABY CURIOUS GEORGE COUNTING – MY FIRST BOOK OF NUMBERS
Manufacturer or Distributor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
“The rod and beads have the potential to dislodge, posing a potentially serious risk of ingestion and choking injuries.”
- THE DARK KNIGHT BATMAN FIGURE
Manufacturer or Distributor: Mattel
Toddlers may fall on extremely sharp plastic protrusions and sustain serious injuries.
- X-MEN ORIGINS SLASHIN’ ACTION WOLVERINE
Manufacturer or Distributor: Hasbro
Toy has sharp, rigid plastic claws that can cause injury on contact. Insufficient warnings on product labeling
- LOTS TO LOVE BABIES – “mini nursery”
Manufacturer or Distributor: JC Toys Group, Inc.
Toy has a small plastic shower attachment that when detached “fails even the industry’s inadequate small parts ‘choke tube’ standard.”
- JUST KIDZ JUNIOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Manufacturer or Distributor: Kmart Corporation
Contains a slender, 4 1/4” drumstick that could easily choke a small child.
- CAT “rugged mini”
Manufacturer or Distributor: Toy State International Limited
The toy’s axles and wheels “have the potential to separate from the chassis, exposing a solid metal spoke over 3” long, which could cause serious puncture wounds.”
- PUCCI PUPS MALTESE
Manufacturer or Distributor: Battat Incorporated
Has a 35” leash, which is almost three times longer than the industry standard, posing a strangulation hazard. Also has long, easily removable hair that can obstruct child’s breathing if swallowed.
- SPY GEAR VIPER-BLASTER
Manufacturer or Distributor: Wild Planet Entertainment, Inc.
“The blaster shoots the supplied ‘darts’ with enough force to potentially cause eye injuries.”
For more detailed descriptions and pictures, please view the list here.