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Safety group releases 'worst toys' list for this holiday season  

Key Points
  • The Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade and Marvel's Black Panther Slash Claw made a consumer safety group's annual list of the "10 Worst Toys" for the holidays.
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned parents about several types of toys included on W.A.T.C.H.'s list.
  • Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of industry trade group the Toy Association, said the toys are safe.
H/O: Nici Wonderland Doll: Miniclara the Ballerina
Source: Amazon

The Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade and Marvel's Black Panther Slash Claw made a consumer safety group's annual list of the "10 Worst Toys" for the holidays.

The Massachusetts-based World Against Toys Causing Harm released this week its annual list of toys it says could present choking, strangulation, eye and other hazards. The list is meant to be a tool representing the kinds of toys parents should avoid buying for their kids, according to President Joan Siff.

"The particular toys nominated for the '10 Worst Toys' list are illustrative of some potential hazards in toys being sold to consumers, and should not be considered as the only potentially hazardous toys on the market," W.A.T.C.H. said.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned parents about several types of toys included on W.A.T.C.H.'s list, including those with small parts and magnets. The commission also encourages parents to ensure children have proper safety equipment required for some toys.

"CPSC is constantly looking for emerging hazards with toys. We will review the list and act as appropriate," said agency spokeswoman Patty Davis.

Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of industry trade group the Toy Association, said the toys are safe. He said the U.S. is the toughest market in the world in which to get a toy approved and that toys approved by the CPSC are among the safest products in American homes.

In a statement, the Toy Association said that all toys in the United States must meet over 100 rigorous safety standards by law. Additionally, W.A.T.C.H. does not actually test the toys to report their safety, according to the statement.

Hasbro spokeswoman Julie Duffy said all of its products — including the two that appear on W.A.T.C.H.'s list, the Nerf Vortex VTX Praxis Blaster and the Marvel Black Panther Slash Claw — comply with all global safety laws, regulations and standards enforced by the CPSC.

"Product safety is a top priority at Hasbro," she said.

Here are the top 10 toys W.A.T.C.H. says could harm children along with the group's description of each.

Nickelodeon Nella Princess Knight Pillow Pets Sleeptime Lites
Source: Target

Sleeptime Lites; $19.99

This toy projects colorful night sky images that children can see in their rooms at night. However, it comes with small detachable adornments that children could ingest. The manufacturer, CJ Products, also identifies a "battery acid leakage" hazard.

Chief Operating Officer Larry Boisjolie said that the Sleeptime Lites went through rigorous and extensive testing, adding that the battery compartment cannot be accessed by anyone other than an adult with a proper tool. "It is irresponsible for a third party to insinuate that there could be harmful leaking when the converse is true," he said.

Boisjolie said the company has not received a single known safety complaint since the product has been released. "CJ stands behind Sleeptime Lites and all of its products with an unconditional warranty and for unparalleled user safety and enjoyment."

Nerf Vortex VTX Praxis Blaster
Source: Amazon

Nerf Vortex VTX Praxis Blaster; $34.99

This Nerf gun made by Hasbro can "fire 10 discs in a row with pump-action blasting." The force from the gun can potentially harm eyes and faces of anyone in the path of the discs.

Marvel Black Panther Slash Claw
Source: Amazon

Marvel Black Panther Slash Claw; $9.99

This toy encourages young children to "slash" like Marvel's character Black Panther. But if kids are not careful, the claw could cause eye and facial injuries.

Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade
Source: WalMart

Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade; $29.99

This spring-loaded blade can cause blunt injuries, especially when aimed at the face. The toy's warning label cautions users against poking or swinging the toy against anyone.

Bandai America, the toy's manufacturer, didn't respond to a request for comment.

Cabbage Patch Kids Dance Doll
Source: Target

Cabbage Patch Dance Time Doll; $14.99

This doll comes with no warning label, but the detachable parts are not suitable for young kids. Although the toy is recommended for children ages 2 and older, the removable headband could be ingested.

The manufacturer, Wicked Cool Toys, said the toy has passed all of its required testing. The company also said it takes safety very seriously and hasn't had a single consumer complaint.

Zoo Jamz Xylophone
Source: Amazon

Vtech Zoo Jamz Xylophone; $14.96

This caterpillar xylophone's 9-inch-long drumstick-shaped accessory could obstruct a child's airway if they put it in their mouth.

The Toy Association, which spoke on VTech's behalf, said it wasn't concerned about the safety of the toy.

Nici Wonderland Doll: Miniclara the Ballerina
Source: Amazon

NICI Wonderland Doll: Miniclara the Ballerina; $24.99

Miniclara's "little kitten" accessory is unsafe for the 2-year-olds the toy says it is for. The cat detaches from the doll, and could potentially be ingested.

"Because the product passed the physical tests necessary to receive the allowance to be sold to consumers, we are confident that the product is safe," NICI Head of Marketing Ralph Steinert said in an email. 

Stomp Rocket Ultra Rocket
Source: Amazon

Stomp Rocket Ultra Rocket; $19.99

This toy can cause impact injuries to children who are instructed to "Run. Jump. Stomp!" to launch a rocket as high as 200 feet in the air. If children are not careful, this could harm their face, eyes, or anything else in the way of the launch site.

Stomp Rocket said its products are developed to exceed the strictest American toy safety standards. The Ultra Rocket was designed with a nose cone larger than the eye socket of a child to prevent injuries in the case the toy is misused, the company said.

Kid O Magnetic Cutting Fruit Play Set
Source: Amazon

Kid O Cutting Fruit; $39.99

The hard plastic knife that comes with this kitchen kit is supposed to be used for cutting magnetic plastic fruit. However, WATCH claims the object can cause blunt trauma injuries.

"We take safety very seriously, and all of the products have been through and passed all required safety testing," the company said in an emailed statement, noting that the Kid O Cutting Fruit toy was discontinued a while ago and is no longer sold. The company said there have been no complaints other than the one from W.A.T.C.H.

Janod Pull Along Dog
Source: Amazon

Janod Pull Along Dog; $14.99

Although not marketed as a crib or playpen toy, Janod's Pull Along Dog could pose a strangulation hazard if left in the wrong place. Industry standards require strings on crib or playpen toys to be shorter than 12 inches. Manufacturers are, however, allowed to market "pull toys" with a 19-inch cord, like the one on this Pull Along Dog.

The company said that safety is their number one priority, and that the dog is compliant with all U.S. safety regulations.

Correction: This article has been updated to clarify the industry standards on toys with strings, such as the Pull Along Dog toy, and to clarify that the Pull Along Dog toy is made by Janod and the Cutting Fruit toy is made by Kid O Toys.

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Here's why you shouldn't buy everything on your kids' holiday wish lists

Key Points
  • Almost half of parents say they "try to get everything on my kids' lists, no matter the cost."
  • Giving your kids everything that they ask for can have detrimental effects on them financially and emotionally, experts say.
  • Parent are also likely to find that gifting choice has financial consequences for themselves, too.