Toy safety group releases annual list of top 10 ‘worst’ toys

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BOSTON (AP) — Cute plastic animals with tiny accessories that pose a choking hazard, Black Panther-inspired claws with the potential to cause facial or eye injuries, and green slime that could be harmful if swallowed: These are just some of the items on an annual list of potentially dangerous toys released Monday by a consumer advocacy group.

“Although intended for fun and entertainment, many toys contain hidden hazards unnecessarily putting children at risk of injury or death,” Boston-based World Against Toys Causing Harm Inc. (WATCH) said in a statement announcing its “10 Worst Toys” of the year.

With parents looking for ways to keep children occupied during the coronavirus pandemic, and with the 2020 Christmas shopping season approaching, toy safety awareness is critical, the group said.

“Shockingly, classic toy dangers, such as small parts, strings, projectiles, toxic substances, rigid materials, and inaccurate warnings and labels, continue to reappear in new generations of toys putting children at risk,” the organization said.

There are an estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries to children each year and a child is brought to the emergency room every three minutes for a toy-related injury, according to WATCH.

The Toy Association, which represents toy manufacturers, called the WATCH list needlessly alarmist.

“By law, all toys sold in the United States must meet 100+ rigorous safety tests and standards,” the association said in a statement. “However, WATCH does not test the toys in its report to check their safety; their allegations appear to be based on their misrepresentation of the mandatory toy standards — and of the priority, the toy industry puts on safe and fun play.”

The Toy Association said parents and others should always choose age-appropriate toys, encourage safe play, and make sure they purchase toys from reputable manufacturers and sellers.

The full “10 Worst Toys of 2020” list and their potential dangers from World Against Toys Causing Harm Inc.:

1. CALICO CRITTERS NURSERY FRIENDS

Warnings: Potential choking hazard

Calico Critters Nursery Friends. Potential choking hazards. Manufacturer or Distributor: Epoch Co., LTD. (Courtesy: World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.)
2. MISSILE LAUNCHER (Toysmith, Toysmith.com, Redballoontoystore.com)

Warnings: Potential for eye and facial injuries

Missile Launcher. Potential for eye and facial injuries. Manufacturer or Distributor: Toysmith, Toysmith.com, Redballoontoystore.com (Courtesy: World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.)
3. MARVEL AVENGERS VIBRANIUM POWER FX CLAW

Warnings: Potential for eye and facial injuries.

Marvel Avengers Vibranium Power FX Claw. Potential for eye and facial injuries. Manufacturer or Distributor: Hasbro (Courtesy: World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.)
4. GLORIA OWL

Warnings: Potential for ingestion

Gloria Owl. Potential for ingestion. Manufacturer or Distributor: Jellycat Ltd. (Courtesy: World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.)
5. WWE JUMBO SUPERSTAR FISTS

Warning: Potential for blunt force and impact injuries

WWE Jumbo Superstar Fists. Potential for blunt force and impact injuries. Manufacturer or Distributor: Jakks Pacific, Inc. (Courtesy: World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.)
6. SCI-FI SLIME

Warnings: Potential for chemical-related injuries

Sci-Fi Slime. Potential for chemical-related injuries. Manufacturer or Distributor: Alex Brands-Scientific Explorer (Courtesy: World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.)
7. boomerang interactive stunt ufo

Warnings: Potential for propeller-related injury

Boomerang Interactive Stunt UFO. Potential for propellor-related injury. Manufacturer or Distributor: Amax Group (Courtesy: World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.)
8. boom city racers

Warnings: Potential for eye and facial injuries

Boom City Racers. Potential for eye and facial injuries. Manufacturer or Distributor: Moose Toys LLC (Courtesy: World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.)
9. MY SWEET LOVE LOTS OF LOVE BABIES MINIS

Warnings: Potential choking hazard

My Sweet Love Lots of Love Babies Minis. Potential choking hazard. Manufacturer or Distributor: JC Toys Group, Inc; Walmart Inc. (Courtesy: World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.)
10. STAR WARS MANDALORIAN DARKSABER

Warnings: Potential for blunt force and eye injuries

Star Wars Mandalorian Darksaber. Manufacturer or Distributor: Hasbro; DisneyPotential for blunt force and eye injuries. (Courtesy: World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.)

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