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Consumer Group Unveils Year's 10 Worst Toys

Fidget spinners, Wonder Woman sword made the list
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 15, 2017 2:10 AM CST
Consumer Group Unveils Year's 10 Worst Toys
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 released its annual holiday list of the 10 most hazardous toys.   (AP Photo/Philip Marcelo)

(Newser) – 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 the worst toys for the holidays. World Against Toys Causing Harm, or WATCH, unveiled the top 10 list Tuesday at a Boston children's hospital, the AP reports. The nonprofit group claims fidget spinners contain small parts that can be a choking hazard, Mattel's Wonder Woman sword could cause blunt-force injuries, and Marvel's Spider-Man drone has rotating blades that can lead to eye and other bodily injuries. National toy safety standards are "inadequate," as can been seen by the high number of recalls each year, WATCH President Joan Siff said. The Toy Association, an industry trade group, dismissed the list as "needlessly frightening" to parents because all toys sold in the US meet "rigorous" safety standards. The other toys on the list:

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  1. Nerf's "Zombie Strike" crossbow, which the organization says poses the risk of eye and face injuries because it uses a pressurized, pull back lever to shoot soft projectiles.
  2. Razor's "Heel Wheels" are strapped onto children's shoes to turn them into improvised roller skates but pose a burn risk because they include "real sparking action."
  3. "Slackline" is a tightrope-like device by Brand 44 meant to be anchored between two trees that WATCH says can lead to severe injury and death.
  4. The "Oval Xylophone" made by Plan Toys is sold for babies as young as 12 months, but it includes a "9 ½" long drumstick handle, which has the potential to be mouthed and occlude a child's airway."
  5. Melissa & Doug's "Brianna Babydoll" is marketed to babies 18 months and up, though the removable clothing and plastic ponytail holder could be a choking hazard.
  6. 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 said.
  7. The "Pull Along Pony" by Tolo Toys is 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," Siff said.
(Read more toys stories.)

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