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 Tuesday at a Boston children’s hospital.
WATCH claims fidget spinners’ small parts 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 rotating blades that can lead to eye and other bodily injuries.
The Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization has been releasing the lists for more than four decades to inform consumers about potential toy hazards.
The Toy Association, an industry trade group, dismissed the list as “needlessly frightening” to parents because all toys sold in the United States meet “rigorous” safety standards. It also criticized the organization for not testing the toys it focuses on.
National toy safety standards are “inadequate,” as can be seen by the high number of recalls each year, WATCH president Joan Siff said.
The nonprofit says there have been at least 15 recalls representing nearly 2 million units of dangerous toys since December.
Siff said the toys named on the annual list have common hazards that the group has seen year after year. She pointed to the Pull Along Pony by Tolo Toys that’s marketed for children ages 1 and up but has a 19-inch cord.
“We don’t need a testing lab to know that’s a strangulation and entanglement hazard,” she said.
With consumers increasingly doing their holiday shopping online, it’s more important than ever to have the most current information about a toy’s safety, Siff said.
For example, Hallmark’s Disney-themed Itty Bittys plush stacking toy for babies was recalled over the summer because of fabric pieces that posed a choking hazard. But the toy still is readily available online because many Web sales — particularly consumer-to-consumer and secondhand transactions — are rarely monitored for recalls, Siff noted.
Other toys that made this year’s list include Nerf’s Zombie Strike crossbow, which the organization says poses the risk of eye and face injuries because it uses a pressurized, pullback lever to shoot soft projectiles.
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.”
And 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.