Every year, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc., also known as W.A.T.C.H., releases a list of the ten most dangerous toys of the year. W.A.T.C.H. is an advocacy group bent on informing parents and keeping children safe. It’s a noble goal: hundreds of children are injured by toys every single day—and very often those toys have not yet been recalled.
So, who made the cut this year? W.A.T.C.H. recently let us know:
- Hallmark “Itty Bittys” Baby Stacking Toy, distributed by Hallmark Marketing Company, LLC, and retailing for $24.99. This baby toy has no warnings despite bows and other bits of fabric that can become detached and pose a choking hazard. It was recalled at the end of August, but it can still be found on second-hand websites like eBay.
- Tolo Pull Along Pony, distributed by Tolo Toys, Ltd., and retailing for $19.99. The toy industry standard length for strings on toys that are meant to be played with in a crib or playpen is less than 12 inches. This standard exists to prevent choking. Unfortunately, the industry allows toys to be marketed as “pull toys” with strings up to 19 inches. The Tolo Pull Along Pony has one such lengthy pull string, but also has no warnings on the box.
- Wonder Woman Battle-Action Sword, distributed by Mattel, and retailing for $19.99. Wonder Woman was a smash hit, but this toy shouldn’t be. It is marketed as a means for children to “fight alongside men in a war to end all wars.” But the blade is very rigid, and could cause serious impact injuries, particularly to the face.
- Hand Fidgetz Spinners, distributed by Kipp Brothers, and retailing for $2.00. Although W.A.T.C.H. focuses on these particular spinners, the danger spans models, brands, shapes, and sizes. The problem is with the tiny, detachable pieces and ball bearings that present serious choking hazards.
- Spider-Man Spider-Drone: Official Movie Edition, distributed by Marvel and Skyrocket Toys LLC, and retailing for $89.99. Although bearing relevant warnings, this drone’s multiple rotating rotor blades pose serious risk of injury. That risk is increased by the fact that the drone is specifically marketed to children.
- Nerf Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow, distributed by Hasbro and Nerf.com, and retailing for $49.49. Like the Spider-Man Spider-Drone, this toy comes with warnings of the danger presented. However, those warnings do not change the fact that the crossbow can launch projectiles at a velocity capable of causing eye and face injuries.
- Slackers Slackline Classic Series Kit, distributed by Brand 44, and retailing for $69.99. Slacklines are a kind of tight-rope meant to be tied between two trees. This particular slackline comes with warnings of severe injury or strangulation, but is also marketed as being “for all ages.”
- Oval Xylophone, distributed by Plan Toys, Inc., and Plan Creations Co., Ltd., and retailing for $24.99. This toy comes with no warnings and is marketed to children as young as 12 months. The danger is in the xylophone mallet’s handle—it is long and slender enough to cause suffocation if chewed on or inserted into the mouth, which is a relatively common thing for 12 month olds to do.
- Jetts Heel Wheels, distributed by Razor USA, LLC., and retailing for $33.99-$39.99. Heel Wheels are designed to be strapped to child’s feet, turning his shoes into a wobbly kind of roller skate. To add to the danger of a child as young as 8 zipping around on unbalanced roller skates, they come with a built in “skid pad” on the heel to generate sparks. Flammable, dangerous sparks.
- Brianna Baby Doll, distributed by Melissa & Doug, and retailing for $20.99. This doll is marketed to children as young as 18 months, and it does not come with any warnings. However, the doll has removable clothing and pony-tail holders, both of which present risks of choking and ingestion.
For more information, including a slideshow of pictures of the offending toys, check out W.A.T.C.H.’s website. Or, for toys that are tested for safety (and fun!) check out Good Housekeeping’s Best Toy Awards for 2017. If you or a loved one has been injured by a toy, you should contact a local injury attorney right away.