WATCH's 10 worst toys of 2017
Every year, World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) publishes its list of the most dangerous toys. This year’s report notes that 51 percent of holiday budgets will be spent online and urges consumers to be vigilant when buying toys.
The Wayne Hogan and the Terrell Hogan law firm publicizes the list to the people of Northeast Florida.
'Itty Bittys' baby stacking toy (Hallmark)
Age Recommendation: None; Warnings: None
POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES! This plush Disney-themed stacking toy with four rattling rings is sold without age recommendations or warnings. The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall notice on August 31, 2017 due to “fabric hats and bows that can detach, posing a choking hazard.” A Hallmark “Itty Bittys” Baby Stacking Toy was purchased online after the recall was announced.
Pull Along Pony (Tolo Toys Limited)
Age Recommendation: “12m+”; Warnings: None
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR STRANGULATION AND ENTANGLEMENT INJURIES! Despite the industry’s standard requiring strings on playpen and crib toys to be less than 12 inches in length, manufacturers are still permitted to market “pull toys” such as the “Pull Along Pony” with a cord measuring approximately 19 inches. No warnings are provided.
Wonder Woman Battle-Action Sword (Mattel)
Age Recommendation: “6+”
Warnings: “WARNING: small parts may be generated” and battery safety warnings
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR BLUNT FORCE INJURIES! Young children are encouraged to bear arms, like a popular comic book and movie character, to engage in “[f]ighting alongside men in a war to end all wars. …” The rigid plastic sword blade has the potential to cause facial or other impact injuries.
Hand Fidgetz Spinners (Kipp Brothers)
Age Recommendation: None
Warnings: “WARNING: This product is a novelty gift item. It is not intended to be used as a toy” (On removable sticker)
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES! Fidget Spinners, like these bright-colored versions, can be found in retail toy aisles. These spinners remain popular with children of all ages, and some present potential small parts hazards.
Spider-Man Spider-Drone Official Movie Edition (Marvel; Skyrocket Toys LLC)
Age Recommendation: “Ages 12+”
Warnings: “Drone has rotating blades that move at high speed, posing danger of… injury; “Keep spinning rotors away from fingers, hair, eyes, and other body parts”; and other cautions/warnings on package/package insert.
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE AND BODY IMPACT INJURIES! This “official movie edition” remote-control drone, based on the well-known Spiderman Superhero franchise, is sold for use by children. The “performance drone”, designed to launch into the air powered by multiple rotating rotor blades is accompanied by numerous warnings, including the potential for “damage or injury.”
Nerf Zombie Strick Deadbolt Crossbow (Hasbro; Nerf.com)
Age Recommendation: “Age 8+”
Warnings: “Do not aim or shoot at eyes or face of people or animals”, and other cautions/warnings on product, package, and package insert.
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE INJURIES! Children as young as 8-years-old are encouraged to load “arrows” into the “deadbolt” crossbow, pull back the “primary pressurized lever” and fire the projectiles in order to “strike back” at “zombies.” The force of the arrow launch presents the potential for eye and facial injuries.
Slackers Slackline Classic Series Kit (Brand 44)
Retailer(s): Amazon.com; Dickssportinggoods.com; L.L. Bean; Homdepot.com; Magic Beans
Age Recommendation: “Ages 5+” (package); “Safe for all ages” (package insert)
Warnings: “WARNING: strangulation hazard”; “CAUTION: Remember a Slackline can be a potentially dangerous piece of equipment and can cause serious injury or even death”, and other warnings/cautions
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR STRANGULATION AND FALL-RELATED INJURIES! This Slackline is marketed for “all ages” pursuant to a package insert, providing a tightrope-like device intended to be anchored between two trees. The manufacturer warns of the potential for “severe injury”, including “a strangulation hazard, especially with children.”
Oval Xylophone (Plan Toys Inc.)
Age Recommendation: “12m+”
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR INGESTION AND CHOKING INJURIES! This multi-colored musical instrument is sold for babies as young as 12 months old. The manufacturer provides no warnings regarding the slender, rigid approximately 9 ½” long drumstick handle, which has the potential to be mouthed and occlude a child’s airway.
Jetts Heel Wheels (Razor USA LLC)
Retailer(s): Kmart; Toys R Us; Walmart.com; Kohls.com; Target.com
Age Recommendation: “8+”
Warnings: “USING HEEL WHEELS CAN BE A DANGEROUS ACTIVITY AND MAY RESULT IN INJURY OR DEATH. … USE AT YOUR OWN RISK….” And numerous other warnings on package/package insert.
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR BLUNT IMPACTAND FIRE-RELATED BURN INJURIES! “Heel Wheels” are marketed to be strapped to heels of children’s shoes so footwear can be transformed into a type of rear-wheel roller skate. The manufacturer adds “real sparking” action to the “Jetts” with “skid pads”, as evidenced by numerous warnings, including: “Keep sparks away from eyes, hair, exposed skin and clothing. Sparks can burn.”
Brianna Babydoll (Melissa & Doug)
Age Recommendation: “Ages 18 Months+”
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES!
These “huggable, soft” dolls, marketed for babies as young as 18 months old, have “removable clothing.” The pink ponytail holders are also removable, presenting the potential for ingesting and choking.