Toys are displayed during World Against Toys Causing Harm's annual nominations for its 10 Worst Toys of 2007, in Boston, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007. W.A.T.C.H. has released the list around the holidays for 35 years, but this year it came amid a number of recent high-profile recalls, particularly of toys made in China.
The Hip Hoppa, an inflatable high energy ball, left, and B'Loonies Party Pack are displayed during the announcement of World Against Toys Causing Harm's (W.A.T.C.H.), annual nominees for its 10 worst toys at a news conference in Boston, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007.
James A. Swartz, consumer advocate and trial attorney, presents W.A.T.C.H.'s annual nominees for its "10 Worst Toys of 2007," during a news conference in Boston, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007. Learn more about the toys in the photos that follow:
Go Diego Go Animal Rescue Boat
The orange and yellow boats were sold at retail stores nationwide from June through October 2007. Tens of thousands of these toys were recalled on Oct. 25, 2007, after it was discovered that the "[s]urface paints on the toys contain excessive levels of lead, which violates the federal standard prohibiting lead paint on children's toys." W.A.T.C.H. warns that millions of the recalled toys still may be in homes and schools.
This "powerful magnetized iron ore," marketed and sold as a toy for children, has the potential to cause severe internal injuries. If more than one magnet is swallowed, they can attach inside the body, potentially causing intestinal perforation, infection or blockage which can be fatal. W.A.T.C.H. says there have been recalls of toys that incorporate such magnets, due to the significant risk of injury.
Jack Sparrow's Spinning Dagger
W.A.T.C.H. OUT! This rigid plastic dagger, which is intended to strap to a child's wrist, is associated with a character from Disney's popular "Pirates of the Caribbean" series. The weapon spins at the push of a button with accompanying "electronic battle sounds." W.A.T.C.H. says the manufacturer fails to provide any warnings regarding the potential for serious eye and other impact injuries.
Dora The Explorer Lamp
Consumer advocate and attorney James A. Swartz holds a Dora The Explorer Lamp during the announcement of W.A.T.C.H.'s annual nominees for its 10 worst toys in Boston, Nov. 13, 2007. The lamp, by FunHouse, is labeled, in part, "Not a toy!" but has the potential for electric shocks and burns.
Lil "Giddy Up" Horse - Sassy Pet Saks
The soft, plush horses are sold with their own "Pet Saks" that are intended to be used as carriers. A tag on the horse states that it is sold for newborns, but the carrier advises the toy is not intended for children younger than 18 months old. W.A.T.C.H. says the toy presents a serious choking hazard in the form of a small, wooden bead and long, fiber-like hair that is not adequately rooted and is easily removable.
Spider Man 3 New Goblin Sword
W.A.T.C.H. says the toy is marketed to children as "one of the most awesome weapons ever wielded by human hands!" The manufacturer claims the rigid, plastic spring-action blade swiftly extends at the push of a button to a length of "over 3 feet long!" W.A.T.C.H. warns that the sword has the potential to cause serious facial and other impact injuries.
Consumer advocate James A. Swartz, holds the Hip Hoppa, one of 10 toys nominated as the worst of the year by the nonprofit World Against Toys Causing Harm on Nov. 13, 2007. The combination footboard and bouncing ball that children jump on has the potential for head and other injuries. W.A.T.C.H. says children on the packaging are not wearing any safety equipment despite the manufacturer's advisory to do so.
B'Loonies Party Pack
Young children are encouraged to "Create Fun B'Loonie Shapes," by squeezing out a ball of plastic from one of the enclosed squeeze tubes, and to "stick [it] on the end of the blowpipe." W.A.T.C.H. says the gooey concoction contains chemicals such as poly vinyl acetate, ethyl acetate and plastic fortifiers. Flammable chemicals and related chemical fumes should not be part of a child's toy.
My Little Baby Born
W.A.T.C.H. says toddlers are encouraged to "pamper" this "soft & cuddly" doll "just like a real baby!" The small pink pacifier is attached to the baby's pajamas with only a ribbon. Once detached, W.A.T.C.H. says the plastic pacifier fails the toy industry's inadequate small parts "choke tube" standard.
Rubber Band Shooter
This shooter, which fires colorful rubber bands, is a "new" toy which the manufacturer promotes as "Old Fashioned Fun." Incredibly, says W.A.T.C.H., at the same time the packaging promotes "Family Fun," there is cautionary language stating: "For target practice only. Dp not aim at people..." W.A.T.C.H. warns that rubber bands should never be sold as toys, and have the potential to cause serious eye injuries.