Consumer Advocate Group Releases Annual ’10 Worst Toys’ List
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This is the season for toys, but one watchdog group is warning people about 10 specific toys, calling them the worst of the year.
The non-profit group World Against Toys Causing Harm, better known as W.A.T.C.H. has sounded a warning to parents, who pay attention to the group’s annual list of the toys most likely to harm children.
“We have the benefit of knowing toys that have caused harm in the past and we want to make sure consumers have the same information when they go out to shop,”
“Like a guideline so you can go take a deeper look,” said Akim Morgan, of Far Rockaway. “They can’t make the choices themselves so you definitely have to make the right choices.”
The list includes the following:
- Kole Imports Magnetic Fishing Game: It has a small magnetic lure that W.A.T.C.H. says poses a choking hazard.
- Toys R Us’ Bongo Ball: It encourages children as young as 3 to climb inside to play but W.A.T.C.H says it’s an invitation for serious impact injuries.
- Prime Time Toys Ltd.’s Dart Zone Quick Fire 12 Dart Gun: W.A.T.C.H. said the gun can shoot the supplied darts with enough force to potentially cause eye injuries.
- FuzionNextsport’s Spinner Shark 4-Wheel Kneeboard: W.A.T.C.H. says the toy’s packaging itself warns “Kneeboards can and are intended to move, and it is therefore possible to get into dangerous situations and/or lose control and/or fall off.”
- V Tech’s Explore & Learn Helicopter: W.A.T.C.H. says it presents the danger of entanglement injuries and strangulation.
- Hasbro N-Force Vendetta Double Sword: The blade has the potential to cause facial or other impact injuries, according to the watchdog group.
- Water Sports, LLC’s Water Balloon Launcher: The manufacturer even admits is can “cause severe injury or facial damage.”
- Bandai’s Power Rangers Super Samurai Shogun Helmet: W.A.T.C.H. says the crown’s pointed and rigid plastic tips have the potential for impact and puncture wound injuries.
- P’Kolino’s Playful Xylophone: According to W.A.T.C.H. “The approximately 5-inch drumstick, which is not connected to the xylophone, could be mouthed and occlude a child’s airway.”
- Hasbro’s The Avengers Gamma Green Smash Fists: W.A.T.C.H. says they could have the potential for blunt impact injuries.
One consumer advocate reviewed the list and says labeling is a big problem.
“If there’s a very small part, it has to be labeled for children 3 and above. And a lot of the labels are either hard to understand or they’re marketed for younger children but the label still has for 3 and above,” said Megan Ahearn, of the New York Public Interest Research Group.
The list and the warnings provided on the toys by the manufacturers themselves are things toy shoppers need to keep in mind.
“Not everybody works with children not everybody understands what’s appropriate and what’s manageable for different ages,” said pre-school teacher Sarah Levkoff.
Members of W.A.T.C.H hope their list will help consumers avoid potentially dangerous toys online and on store shelves.