U.S. consumer group flags potential toy dangers

Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:04pm EST
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By Ros Krasny

BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - A foam rocket launcher, children's book and Batman and Wolverine action figures are among the most dangerous toys on store shelves, according to a consumer watchdog group.

World Against Toys Causing Harm, (W.A.T.C.H), unveiled its annual list of the ten worst children's toys, just in time for the holiday shopping rush.

"A lot of the same hazards we see, year after year, are still appearing on the shelves," said James Swartz, an attorney and director of group that has produced the list each year since 1972.

Among the items on the 2009 list were products that the group said could cause serious eye or head injuries, choking or strangulation.

The toys included a Disney-Pixar Wall-E foam rocket launcher, which is a tie-in to the popular 2008 animated movie, a Dark Knight Batman action figure from Mattel, and an X-Men Origins Slashin' Action Wolverine action figure from Hasbro.

A pogo board, "Curious George" counting book, a doll with a mini nursery and toy musical instruments also made the list.

The group, which has been successful in getting a number of toys pulled from the shelves, found the toys at a range of leading retailers.

Several toys had thematic tie-ins to popular movies, television shows or books, arguably making them likely choices for shoppers looking for a familiar brand.   Continued...