10 Worst Toys of 2020

(Associated Press, W.A.T.C.H) -  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. 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.

W.A.T.C.H.’S 2020 “10 WORST TOYS” LIST: Consumers can help children enjoy a safer holiday season knowing what traps to avoid when selecting toys. W.A.T.C.H.’s “10 Worst Toys” list, a hands-on tool for consumers, raises awareness of the different types of potential hazards to avoid while toy shopping. The particular toys nominated for the “10 Worst Toys” list are illustrative of some potential hazards in toys being sold to consumers and should not be considered as the only potentially hazardous toys on the market:

CALICO CRITTERS NURSERY FRIENDS

Price: $14.95

Manufacturer or Distributor: Epoch Co., LTD.

Retailer(s): Walmart, Walmart.com, Amazon.com, Kohl’s, Kohls.com

Age Recommendation: “3+”

Warnings: “WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD-Small parts. Not for children under 3 years” (packaging)

HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CHOKING INJURIES!

W.A.T.C.H. OUT! This set of cute “critters” is labeled for ages “3+” on the throw-away packaging, however “flocked animals”, regardless of labels, are appealing to oral-age children, as recognized by the industry small parts regulation. The Calico Critters collection includes small parts, such as a pacifier, with the potential for choking injuries.

MISSILE LAUNCHER

Price: $9.99

Manufacturer or Distributor: Toysmith, Toysmith.com, Redballoontoystore.com

Retailer(s): Home Goods

Age Recommendation: “5+”

Warnings: “Outdoor use only. Do not aim at people or animals”; “WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD—Small parts….” (packaging)

HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE AND FACIAL INJURIES!

W.A.T.C.H. OUT! 5 year old children are advised to “GO! Launch” this “missile” with the provided slingshot-like launcher, and “watch it soar…up to 75 ft!” The warnings and cautions make no mention of potential for eye or facial injuries. Moreover, the act of initiating launch occurs near a child’s face, as depicted on the packaging.

MARVEL AVENGERS VIBRANIUM POWER FX CLAW

Price: $14.99

Manufacturer or Distributor: Hasbro

Retailer(s): Kmart, Amazon.com, Walmart, Walmart.com

Age Recommendation: “Ages 5+”

Warnings: “CAUTION: Do not hit or swing at people or animals”, and other cautions on package insert

HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE AND FACIAL INJURIES!

W.A.T.C.H. OUT! These rigid, plastic “power FX” claws, “inspired” by the famous comic book character, Black Panther, are sold for 5 year olds. The manufacturer includes a caution prohibiting “hit[ting] or swing[ing] at people or animals”.

GLORIA OWL

Price: $16.99

Manufacturer or Distributor: Jellycat Ltd.

Retailer(s): Home Goods, Amazon.com, The Paper Source, papersource.com, Saks Fifth Avenue, saksfifthave.com

Age Recommendation: “Recommended for 12 months +”

Warnings: “WARNING! Not recommended for children under 12 months due to coarse fabric/fibre shredding” (and other warnings on throw-away tag)

HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR INGESTION/ASPIRATION INJURIES!

W.A.T.C.H. OUT! This cuddly, plush owl is sold for babies as young as 12 months old. Nevertheless, even the manufacturer recognizes the toy’s long, fiber-like hair may not be adequately rooted, and is prone to “shredding”. The hair, once separated, presents the potential for ingestion or aspiration injuries.

WWE JUMBO SUPERSTAR FISTS

Price: $3.99

Manufacturer or Distributor: Jakks Pacific, Inc.

Retailer(s): Kmart, Amazon.com

Age Recommendation: “Ages 3+”

Warnings: “CAUTION: Adult supervision suggested. This is a toy. Simulated gloves are not to be used as a protective device” (packaging)

HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR BLUNT FORCE AND IMPACT INJURIES!

W.A.T.C.H. OUT! These “jumbo” size fists are sold to enable 3 year old children to emulate pro wrestling “superstars”. No warnings or cautions are provided regarding the potential for blunt force or impact injuries.

SCIENTIFIC EXPLORER SCI-FI SLIME

Price: $19.99

Manufacturer or Distributor: Alex Brands-Scientific Explorer

Retailer(s): Amazon.com, Kohl’s, Kohls.com, Toyexpresskids.com,

Magic Beans

Age Recommendation: “10+”

Warnings: “WARNING: This set contains chemicals that may be harmful if  issued. Read contents on individual container carefully. Not to be used by children except under adult supervision”, and other cautions/warnings

HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CHEMICAL-RELATED INJURIES!

W.A.T.C.H. OUT! This “supreme slime lab” is marketed for children to create “GLOBS of gross gloppy goop!”, further identified as “magnetic”, “atomic”, and other types of “slimes”.

There are numerous warnings and cautions on the box, package inserts, and the included chemicals and ingredients. For example, the zinc sulfide pouch warns that its contents “[m]ay cause eye, skin, and respiratory irritation. Harmful if swallowed….”

THE ORIGINAL BOOMERANG INTERACTIVE STUNT UFO

Price: $14.99

Manufacturer or Distributor: Amax Group

Retailer(s): Target, Target.com, Walmart.com

Age Recommendation: “Ages 8+

Warnings: “BOOMERANG UFO WARNING: “….The boomerang UFO can cause damage to the user, spectators and animals….”; “WARNING! Keep hands, hair, and loose clothing away from the propeller….”, and other cautions/warnings on package and package insert

HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CUTTING AND PROPELLER-RELATED INJURIES!

W.A.T.C.H. OUT! Children are encouraged to “PERFORM AMAZING STUNTS &

TRICKS!” by “tossing” it into the air. Despite warning about potential propeller “damage”, the manufacturer urges users to play “catch” by “pass[ing] the UFO back and forth to friends....."

BOOM CITY RACERS STARTER PACK

Price: $14.89

Manufacturer or Distributor: Moose Toys LLC

Retailer(s): Target, Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com

Age Recommendation: “For Ages 4+”

Warnings: “WARNING: DO NOT PLAY SOUNDS CLOSE TO YOUR EAR! DO NOT AIM AT EYES OR FACE! CAUTION: DO NOT LAUNCH VEHICLE AT PEOPLE OR ANIMALS!” and other warnings/cautions on packaging and packaging insert

HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE AND FACE INJURIES!

W.A.T.C.H. OUT! The “BOOM CITY” race cars are sold with a ripcord “launcher” so children as young as 4 years old can use the “stunt set” to “RIP, RACE, [and] EXPLODE!” these miniature vehicles. The manufacturer provides numerous warnings and cautions, including not to aim at “eyes or face.”

MY SWEET LOVE LOTS TO LOVE BABIES MINIS

Price: $6.97

Manufacturer or Distributor: JC Toys Group, Inc; Walmart Inc

Retailer(s): Walmart, Walmart.com

Age Recommendation: “2+”

Warnings: None

HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR INGESTION AND CHOKING INJURIES!

W.A.T.C.H. OUT! This “mini” baby comes with a feeding set, sold for 2 year olds as “[a]ccessories for doll use only”. The slender, rigid plastic spoon is approximately 2¾” long with the potential to be mouthed and occlude a child’s airway.

STAR WARS MANDALORIAN DARKSABER

Price: $29.99

Manufacturer or Distributor: Hasbro; Disney

Retailer(s): Target, Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart,

Walmart.com, Bestbuy.com

Age Recommendation: “4+”

Warnings: “CAUTION: Do not swing, poke or jab at people or animals”, and other cautions/warnings on packaging and package inserts

HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR BLUNT FORCE AND EYE INJURIES!

W.A.T.C.H. OUT! Young children are encouraged to “SWING FOR BATTLE….!” with this “ancient, black bladed lightsaber” made of rigid plastic, with the potential for facial and other impact injuries.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.