BOSTON (AP) — A bow that shoots illuminated arrows its manufacturer says can fly up to 145 feet, and the “Catapencil” — a pencil with a miniature slingshot-style launcher at its erasure end — are among an annual list of unsafe toys released Wednesday.
World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., a Massachusetts-based consumer watchdog group, issued the “10 Worst Toys” list over possible hazards as the holiday shopping season gets underway.
Organizers, who have been compiling the lists for more than three decades, said the toys singled out this year are representative of some of the typical problems they come across, and aren’t the only potentially dangerous products on the market.
James Swartz, the group’s director, said many other toys have the same hazardous designs highlighted by the group: small, detachable parts that infants can choke on; strings that can cause strangulation; dangerous projectiles; and misleading or confusing warning labels and instructions.
“It’s not so much about the specific toys. It’s about the hazards,” Swartz said at a news conference at the Franciscan Hospital for Children.
“There’s no reason, after all these years, we should have toys like this,” he said. “We shouldn’t be finding these things for manufacturers. They should be designing them appropriately in the first place.”
Joan Siff, the group’s president, urged parents to be extra vigilant during the holiday season, when W.A.T.C.H. says more than 65 percent of toys are sold.
There have been at least 17 toy recalls representing over 4.8 million units of toys in the U.S. and Canada so far in 2014, she said.
“Remember: Toys are an embellishment on life,” Siff said. “They are not a necessity. If they can injure a child, they simply should not be sold.”
Here’s the full list of “worst toys” for 2014:
—”Air Storm Firetek Bow” by Zing
—”Ziggle” four-wheeled cycle by Radio Flyer
—”Catapencil” by Toysmith
—”Alphabet Zoo Rock & Stack Pull Toy” by Skip Hop
—”SWAT Electric Machine Gun” by Junxing Toys Industrial Co.
—”Wooden Instruments” sold at Wal-Mart
—”Bottle Rocket Party” by Norman & Globus
—”Lil’ Cutesies-Best Friends” doll by JC Toys Group
—”True Legends Orcs Battle Hammer” sold at Toys R Us
—”Colored Hedgehog” plush toy sold at Toys R Us