OAKBROOK, IL (December 10, 2020) – Every parent loves to watch their children light up when they unwrap “The Gift”. But what if “The Gift” has hidden dangers? How do you best avoid giving the most dangerous toys this holiday season?
In an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19, most children are playing at home more in 2020, and keeping boredom at bay has presented parents and caregivers with some pretty major challenges. This holiday season, toy safety remains critically important. Each year, there is an average estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries to children. Despite this, dangerous toys remain on store shelves and retail websites.
Sadly, throughout history, children have suffered disfigurements, disabilities, and even death as a result of poorly designed and tested toys. As with all consumer goods, parents should make sure that their children’s toys don’t present a risk of injury, are age-appropriate, and safe.
Most Dangerous Toys Ever Made
Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper
In the late 1970s, this sci-fi toy was introduced into the market following the premiere of the television show Battlestar Galactica across the United States. When a 4-year-old aimed the toy into his mouth, launched one of the projectile missiles, and inadvertently choked himself to death, the toy was quickly recalled.
By March 1979, Mattel was facing a lawsuit and families were calling for the removal of projectiles from all toys. The Battlestar is actually the reason why all toys with small pieces now have a choking hazard warning.
These fairy figurines had soft foam wings that allowed them to twirl in the air when launched. Unfortunately, when the cord was pulled to launch the fairies, it did so at great velocity.
Three years after being introduced to the market, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received 150 reports of eye injuries, broken teeth, and even a mild concussion.
Essentially the boy-friendly version of an Easy-Bake Oven, the Creepy Crawlers toy in the 1960s allowed kids to make molds of spiders, frogs, and other insects. The problem with the toy was that the oven got extremely hot, causing burns, and the liquid plastic was quite toxic.
CSI: Fingerprint Examination and Investigation Forensics Lab Kits
Dangerous toys are not just a thing of the past. These two kits released in 2007 allowed kids to dust for fingerprints similar to how it was done on the show. Unfortunately, the powder used in the kit actually had remnants of asbestos.
The Environmental Group reported that the powder contained 7 percent of tremolite, one of the most dangerous forms of asbestos.
Marketed as trampolines for your feet, these shoes were never recalled but were known to cause ankle fractures and other leg injuries.
Snacktime Cabbage Patch Doll
Cabbage Patch dolls were one of the most wanted items of the 90s. One doll in particular though was recalled in 1997. The Snacktime Kid came with real chewing action, but it couldn’t differentiate between the plastic snacks it came with and other edibles.
Some children suffered injuries to their hands while others had their hair caught in the doll’s mouth.
Most Dangerous Toys of 2020
Today, classic toy dangers, such as small parts, strings, projectiles, toxic substances, rigid materials, and inaccurate warnings and labels, continue to reappear in new toys, putting children at risk.
To help parents make smart and safe decisions this holiday season, World Against Toys Causing Harm Inc. has announced its annual list of
“10 Worst Toys” of the year and stated which toys should not be in the hands of children. They also offered tips for identifying hazards so parents and caregivers know what traps to avoid when inspecting toys already in their homes and when buying toys.
Calico Critters Nursery Friends
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.
$14.95, Manufactured by Epoch Co., LTD. Sold at Walmart, Amazon, Kohl’s
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE AND FACIAL INJURIES!
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 the potential for eye or facial injuries. Moreover, the act of initiating launch occurs near a child’s face, as depicted on the packaging.
$9.99, Sold at Toysmith, The Red Balloon Toy Store, Home Goods
Marvel Avengers Vibranium Power FX Claw
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE AND FACIAL INJURIES!
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.”
“CAUTION: Do not hit or swing at people or animals”, and other cautions on the package insert.
$14.99, Manufactured by Hasbro, Sold at Kmart, Amazon, Walmart
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR INGESTION/ASPIRATION INJURIES!
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.
“WARNING! Not recommended for children under 12 months due to coarse fabric/fibre shredding” (and other warnings on throw-away tag)
$16.99 – Jellycat Ltd. – Sold at Home Goods, Amazon, The Paper Source, Saks Fifth Avenue
WWE Jumbo Superstar Fists
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR BLUNT FORCE AND IMPACT INJURIES!
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.
$3.99 – Jakks Pacific, Inc. – Sold at Kmart, Amazon
Scientific Explorer Sci-Fi Slime
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CHEMICAL-RELATED INJURIES!
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….”
“WARNING: This set contains chemicals that may be harmful if misused. Read contents on the individual containers carefully. Not to be used by children except under adult supervision”, and other cautions/warnings.
$19.99 – Alex Brands-Scientific Explorer – Sold at Amazon, Kohl’s, Toy Express, Magic Beans
The Original Boomerang Interactive Stunt UFO
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR CUTTING AND PROPELLER-RELATED INJURIES!
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….”
“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.
$14.99 – Amax Group – Sold at Target, Walmart
Boom City Racers Starter Pack
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR EYE AND FACE INJURIES!
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– Risk of eye and facial injuries.
“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.
$14.89 – Moose Toys LLC – Target, Amazon, Walmart
My Sweet Love Lots to Love Babies Minis
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR INGESTION AND CHOKING INJURIES!
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 23⁄4” long with the potential to be mouthed and occlude a child’s airway.
$6.97 – JC Toys Group, Inc – Sold at Walmart
Star Wars Mandalorian Darksaber
HAZARD: POTENTIAL FOR BLUNT FORCE AND EYE INJURIES!
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.
“CAUTION: Do not swing, poke or jab at people or animals”, and other cautions/warnings on packaging and package inserts
$29.99 – Hasbro; Disney – Sold at Target, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy
When to Contact A Product Liability Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured by a dangerous toy or defective product, contact product liability attorney Mario Palermo at Palermo Law Group. We can help you determine what your legal options are. To learn more please call us at (630) 684-2332 or request a free legal consultation.