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Consumer safety group unveils its ‘worst toys’ list

  • James Swartz, director of World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., displays Nerf's "Zombie Strike" crossbow during a news conference Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, in Boston, where the child safety group released its annual holiday list of the 10 most hazardous toys. (AP Photo/Philip Marcelo) Philip Marcelo

  • A Wonder Woman "battle sword" is displayed during a news conference Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, in Boston, where the child safety group World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., released its annual holiday list of the 10 most hazardous toys. (AP Photo/Philip Marcelo) Philip Marcelo

  • A remote-controlled Spider-Man drone is displayed during a news conference Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, in Boston, where the child safety group World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., released its annual holiday list of the ten most hazardous toys. (AP Photo/Philip Marcelo) Philip Marcelo


Associated Press
Friday, November 17, 2017

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 last week 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 Spider-Man drone has multiple rotating blades that can lead to eye 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.

WATCH President Joan 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.

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 still is readily available online because many web sales are rarely monitored for recalls, Siff noted.

Among the other toys that made this year’s list is Nerf’s “Zombie Strike” crossbow, Razor’s “Heel Wheels,” and “Slackline” is a tightrope-like device by Brand 44.