Consumer group flags most dangerous toys

Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:16pm EST
 
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By Ros Krasny

BOSTON (Reuters) - A Power Rangers "samurai mega blade" and a Godzilla figure with dagger-like attachments are some of the most dangerous toys lurking in stores this holiday season, according to a consumer watchdog group.

Boston-based World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) on Wednesday issued its annual list of the 10 worst children's toys, just in time for the shopping frenzy that typically starts in late November.

On the list were items the group said pose risks for choking, electrocution, puncture wounds and more.

Joan Siff, president of WATCH, said there have been at least 28 toy recalls representing 3.8 million units in the United States over the past year.

"Any recall is too late in the process," she said, urging better vetting and testing of toys before they go on sale. "Testing cannot take place in the marketplace."

The group has produced its list each year since 1973, and has been successful in getting a number of toys pulled from the shelves. It found this year's selections at leading big-box retailers, on line, and in small specialty stores.

James Swartz, a director of WATCH, demonstrated the "Z-Curve Bow," a foam bow and arrow set recommended for kids eight and over.

A warning label suggested the bow should not be pulled back "at more than half strength" and that "anyone at close distance to the target should be alerted" before firing.   Continued...

 
<p>Toys are seen before a news conference by the group W.A.T.C.H. where they reveal their nominees for the 2011 '10 Worst Toys List' in Boston, Massachusetts November 16, 2011. W.A.T.C.H stands for World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. REUTERS/Adam Hunger</p>