Toy Safety Watchdog Group Releases List of 10 Worst Toys

Michelangelo’s nunchucks, a wooden fire engine and a frog all made the World Against Toys Causing Harm’s annual “10 Worst Toys” list, the group revealed at its 31st annual conference Tuesday. WATCH’s conference warns consumers about potentially dangerous gifts for children before the upcoming holiday season. According to WATCH, the listed toys are dangerous to small children and have been ignored by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. WATCH feels the toys should have been removed from the market long ago but, despite their known dangers, the commission has refused to recall them. “When you walk into a store, you expect that the toys you find are safe and that is simply not the case,” said Joan Siff, a WATCH director. “They may say that they are for certain age groups, but they are not. Don’t assume they are safe.” The 10 toys included on the list were the Yo-Yo Water Ball and Yo-Yo Squeeze Toy, the Supremo Slingshot, the Traditional Wooden Fire Engine Pull Along Toy, the Star Bounce Jump Around, the Nickelodeon Super Scented Soda Fountain Gooze, the Air Hogs Sky Commander Helicopter, the Imaginability Wedgits Starter Set, the Green Orbit Extending Super Spyeriscope, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Electronic Michelangelo’s Nunchucks and the Ribbets the Rhythm Frog. Children playing with the toys risk strangulation, drowning or ingestion, all potentially leading to serious injuries such as brain damage or paralysis and, in some cases, death, the group says. Many of the toys, such as the Yo-Yo Water Ball — a liquid filled ball with elastic stretch cord attached — have been banned in other countries such as Great Britain, Australia and Canada. Some of the listed toys, such as slingshots, are already banned in the United States, according to WATCH Director James Swartz, but stores continue to sell them despite the ban. According to Shannon Eis, a representative from the Toy Industry Association, Inc., the America’s toy industry has some of the strictest safety standards in the world. Misuse of toys leads to harm, she said.”The toy industry is proactive in their investigating,” Eis said. “Supervision is the key and we cannot control how the product is used once it gets home. That is a parent’s job.”Continued on Page 15