'10 Worst Toys' for 2008 holiday season

November 18, 2008 12:39:06 PM PST
A consumer safety group released its annual list on Tuesday of the "10 Worst Toys" for this holiday season.

World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.), said the list represents toys with the potential to cause childhood injuries or even death. This year's list includes nationally known names such as "Spider-Man," " Digger the Dog" and "Winnie the Pooh" and are sold by major manufacturers and retailers.

Sportsman Shotgun Price: $29.99 Manufacturer or Distributor: Parris Manufacturing Company Purchased: Netlink Enterprises, Inc. (online) Age Recommendation: "Not recommended for children under 3 years of age" and "AGE 14+" Warnings: "Never aim or shoot at any animal"; "Do not aim at eyes or face"; and other warnings HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE INJURIES! This realistic looking weapon is sold online as a "toy" for use by children. Once the rubber bullets are loaded into the shotgun's magazine and the ammunition is pushed into the gun's chamber, "[y]ou are now ready to shoot." This weapon is not a toy and should not be sold for use by children.

Go Go Minis Pullback Vehicle Price: $4.99 Manufacturer or Distributor: Kid Galaxy, Inc. Purchased: Calendar Club Go! Toys & Games Age Recommendation: "Ages 3+" (on display box only) Warnings: "WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD-Small Parts. Not For Children under 3yrs. " on display package only HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES! These miniature fire trucks, garbage trucks and school buses are sold individually at the checkout counter in a display box. The rear tires of these vehicles are removable, presenting the potential for a serious choking injury for oral age children. Incredibly, the "choking hazard" warning appears only on the display box, and not on the individual toys.

Inflatable Giga Ball Price: $49.99 Manufacturer or Distributor: Kenscott, Ltd. Purchased: Target Age Recommendation: "AGES 4+" Warnings: "WARNING: DO NOT USE ON HILLS AND IN WATER"(on box), and other warnings on toy and package insert HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR IMPACT AND OTHER SERIOUS INJURIES! Children as young as 4 years old are encouraged to "crawl inside" this colorful inflatable ball, in order to "spin, tumble, [and] bounce". The box warns against using the ball on hills or near water, and notes that parental supervision is "required". However, the toy itself indicates that adult supervision is only " recommended", and the package insert further warns the ball is "[n]ot for pool side use or as a flotation device".

Animal Alley Purse Pet Price: $4.98 Manufacturer or Distributor: Geoffrey Inc. /Toys R Us Purchased: Toys R Us Age Recommendation: "0+" Warnings: "CAUTION: Remove all tags, twist ties and plastic loops before giving to a child" (on attached tag) HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR INGESTION/ASPIRATION INJURIES! This soft, colorful pony is sold for infants. The toy has long, fiber-like hair that is not adequately rooted and is easily removable, presenting the potential for ingestion or aspiration injuries. This hazard is not referenced anywhere on the product or product tags.

Spider-Man Adjustable Skates Price: $19.99 Manufacturer or Distributor: Street Flyers, LLC Purchased: Target Age Recommendation: "Ages 3 To 6" Warnings: "HELMETS, WRIST GUARDS, KNEE PADS AND ELBOW PADS SHOULD BE WORN WHILE SKATING", and other warnings HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR WRIST AND OTHER IMPACT INJURIES! The packaging for these adjustable toy skates has numerous warnings, including the requirement that children wear helmets, wrist guards, knee pads and elbow pads while skating. Inexplicably, the safety gear sold with the toy includes only knee and elbow pads.

Pucci Puppies -- My Own Puppy House Golden Retriever Price: $14.99 Manufacturer or Distributor: Battat, Incorporated Purchased: Target Age Recommendation: "2 years +" Warnings: None HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES! Oral age children as young as 2 years old are encouraged to play with this plush, golden retriever puppy, sold with a dog house and accessories including a bone, cookie, chew toy and food bowl. These accessories are small parts that could easily be ingested by a child, presenting the potential for serious choking injuries.

Walk'N Sounds Digger The Dog Price: $9.99 Manufacturer or Distributor: Hasbro/ Playskool Purchased: Kmart Age Recommendation: "Over 12 MONTHS" Warnings: Cautions regarding batteries (on packaging) HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR STRANGULATION/ ENTANGLEMENT INJURIES! Despite the industry's voluntary standard requiring strings on playpen or crib toys to be less than 12" in length, some manufacturers continue to market toys such as this "Digger The Dog" pull toy, with a cord measuring approximately 26 inches. Sold to be "your child's best friend!", it is intended for "infants" and thus, is a prime candidate for cribs and playpens.

Meadow Mystery Play-A-Sound Book With Cuddly Pooh Price: $9.97 Manufacturer or Distributor: Disney Enterprises, Inc. Purchased: Wal-Mart Age Recommendation: "18 months+" (box) and "RECOMMENDED FOR ALL AGE GROUPS" (toy) Warnings: " CAUTION: Before giving to a child, please cut, remove, and discard all plastic attachments" (on package) HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES! This soft Winnie The Pooh doll is packaged and sold with a "Meadow Mystery" book. Pooh's cloth mask, once removed, poses the potential for choking injuries. Despite the wording on the packaging and the book that the product has been safety tested for children "18 months+", the tag attached to the plush toy indicates that it is "[r]ecommended for all age groups".

Extreme Spiral Copters Price: $3.00 Manufacturer or Distributor: Toysmith Group Purchased: Belmont Toys Age Recommendation: "Ages 5 and Up" Warnings: CAUTION: DO NOT SHOOT AT PEOPLE OR ANIMALS", and other cautions and warnings HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE INJURIES! These copters are described by the manufacturer as having "awesome spiral action!" Young children are encouraged to launch the projectile into the air with the provided elastic band, in a fashion similar to a slingshot. Cautions include: "DO NOT SUBSTITUTE THE SUPPLIED COPTER WITH ANY OTHER PROJECTILE", and "DO NOT AIM AT EYES OR FACE".

Ninja Battle Gear -- Michelangelo Price: $9.99 Manufacturer or Distributor: Playmates Toys, Inc. Purchased: Target Age Recommendation: "Ages 4 and up" Warnings: "WARNING: Choking Hazard-Contains small part, not suitable for children under 3 years" HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR BLUNT IMPACT INJURIES! Four-year-old children are encouraged to play the part of a Ninja, while wielding various weapons. One such weapon is Michelangelo's "Nunchaku", which the manufacturer describes as a "Kick-butt signature weapon!" consisting of two long plastic handles connected by a plastic chain. Remarkably, there are no accompanying cautions or warnings relating to potential impact injuries.


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