CON­SUMER GROUP UN­VEILS ‘ WORST TOYS’ LIST

Chicago Sun-Times - - CITYBEAT -

BOS­TON — Fid­get spin­ners, a plas­tic Won­der Woman bat­tle sword and a re­mote- con­trolled Spi­der­Man 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 non­profit 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 Spi­der­Man 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. It also crit­i­cized the or­ga­ni­za­tion for not test­ing the toys it fo­cuses on.

Na­tional toy safety stan­dards are “in­ad­e­quate,” as can been seen by the high num­ber of re­calls each year, WATCH Pres­i­dent Joan Siff said.

Siff stressed the toys named each year have com­mon haz­ards that the group sees year af­ter year. She pointed to the “Pull Along Pony” by Tolo Toys that’s mar­keted for chil­dren 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.

Among the other toys that made this year’s list is Nerf’s “Zom­bie Strike” cross­bow, which the or­ga­ni­za­tion says poses the risk of eye and face in­juries be­cause it 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.”

And “Slack­line” is a tightrope- like de­vice by Brand 44 meant to be an­chored be­tween two trees that WATCH says can lead to se­vere in­jury and death.

| AP

A Spi­der- Man drone toy ( top) and aWon­derWo­man bat­tle sword are considered un­safe by one con­sumer group.

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