Safety group unveils ‘worst toys’ list
BOSTON — Fidget spinners, a plastic Wonder Woman battle sword and a remote-controlled Spider-Man drone are among the toys topping a consumer safety group’s annual list of worst toys for the holidays.
World Against Toys Causing Harm, or WATCH, unveiled the top 10 list Tuesday at a Boston children’s hospital. The non-profit organization has been releasing the lists for more than four decades.
WATCH claims fidget spinners contain small parts that can be a choking hazard, Mattel’s Wonder Woman sword has the potential to cause blunt-force injuries and Marvel’s Spider-Man drone has multiple rotating blades that can lead to eye and other bodily injuries.
The Toy Association, an industry trade group, dismissed the list as “needlessly frightening” to parents because all toys sold in the U.S. meet “rigorous” safety standards.
National toy safety standards are “inadequate,” as can be seen by the high number of recalls each year, WATCH President Joan Siff said.
The non-profit says there have been 15 recalls representing nearly 2 million units since December.
Siff stressed the toys named each year have common hazards. She pointed to the “Pull Along Pony” by Tolo Toys that’s marketed for kids over age 1 but has a 19-inch cord.
“We don’t need a testing lab to know that’s a strangulation and entanglement hazard,” she said.
It’s important to have the most current information about the safety of a toy online, Siff said.
Hallmark’s Disney-themed “Itty Bittys” plush stacking toy for babies was recalled over the summer due to fabric pieces that posed a choking hazard. But the toy is readily available online because many web sales are rarely monitored for recalls.
Also on this year’s list is Nerf’s “Zombie Strike” crossbow, which uses a pressurized, pull back lever to shoot soft projectiles.
Razor’s “Heel Wheels” are strapped onto children’s shoes to turn them into improvised roller skates but pose a burn risk because they include “real sparking action.”
A plastic Wonder Woman battle sword made a consumer list of the 10 most hazardous toys.