Trouble in Toyland: Consumer Groups Release ‘Worst Toys For Christmas’ List

All toys aren’t created equal. PRIG, the Public Research Interest Group, and WATCH, World Against Toys Causing Harm, released their annual worst toys lists and Christmas safety reports today.

WATCH has been releasing their toy report since 1973. The list tells parents which toys could be possibly dangerous to children.

WATCH director James Swartz told Yahoo:

“We’ve been looking at these issues for decades. The 10 toys aren’t meant to be a list of the only hazardous toys on the market, but representative of particular hazards. It’s a reminder that all toys on the shelves are not safe… We walk up and down toy aisles, and we shop online these days, much as consumers would do, because consumers don’t have access to testing labs. The current regulations and testing standards aren’t adequate. The fact is that we’re seeing a lot of the same types of hazards year after year.”

Here are 10 toys to avoid this Christmas. (You can read more about the list at toysafety.org.)

  1. A wooden Twist n’ Sort toy for toddlers
  2. Power Rangers Samurai Mega Blade sword
  3. Fold & Go miniature portable trampoline
  4. Pulling Animal Duck
  5. Schylling toy school bus
  6. Z-Curve Bow
  7. Stepper “Low Rise” Stilts
  8. Sword Fighting Jack Sparrow action figure
  9. The Incredible Shrinky Dinks Maker oven
  10. “Gigan” Godzilla Creature 12-inch action figure

WATCH isn’t the only group pointing out potentially dangerous toys this holiday season. The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Public Interest Research Group has also released a “toys to avoid” list.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group found a dozen toys on store shelves that didn’t meet safety requirements. One toy, a $6.99 Sesame Street Oscar the Grouch doll, had a hat that was considered a choking hazard. The group also said that some toys contained unsafe levels of lead or chemicals called phthalates. PRIG’s 26th Trouble in Toyland report also says that noisy toys can harm children’s hearing.

Toy makers are downplaying the report, saying that government recalls of toys have been going down for the last several years. Bob Adler, a commissioner at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said he acknowledges that some problems still exists but is confident about the toys available this Christmas.

Adler said:

“I would feel much more confident today than I would several years ago.”

Joan Lawrence, the Toy Industry Association’s vice president for safety standards, said:

“All eyes have been on toy safety for several years now. I am confident that the toys on store shelves are safe. The toy industry works year-round on this.”

Do you look at these worst toys reports before you go Christmas shopping?