FOX43 Finds Out: The ‘worst toys’ that are still on store shelves this season

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YORK COUNTY, Pa -- Toys and the holiday season go hand in hand, But do you ever think what you're putting in your child`s hand could be dangerous?

The non-profit group World Against Toys Causing Harm, known as WATCH,  has researched and released a list of what WATCH calls its 10 worst toys every year for the past few decades.

While all the toys on the list have passed certain federal and consumer regulations the director of WATCH James Swartz says that doesn`t mean the toys are safe.

"A minimum standard is really not a strong one and so you need to be careful," said Swartz.

So, members of WATCH hit the stores.

They search the toy aisles themselves and use consumer feedback to make up the list each year.

So, let`s take a look at some of the items on this year's list.

First, it`s Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Family.

The issue here isn`t so much the toy itself, it's the label.

Take a look at the boxes WATCH found.

"Same toy, same shelf, same retailer completely different instructions, warnings and age recommendations," said Swartz.

One says the toy is for ages 3+ and has a choking hazard.

The other, for the same exact toy, says for ages 2 plus with no warning.

Swartz says toys made for kids younger than three should never come with a choking hazard.

"There's no excuse for that kind of inconsistency, especially when you're talking about such an important safety issue."

We bought the Peppa Pig  Muddy Puddles Family and handed it over to an expert, three-year-old charlie.

The figurines are fine for a kid like Charlie.

He meets the 3+ requirement and is above the age for most choking hazard toys.

Another popular toy on the list is based off the Disney movie "The Good Dinosaur."

This is Galloping Butch, distributed by TOMY and sold at places like Toys R Us or Amazon.

This dinosaur ended up on the list because of its tail.

"This tail is essentially like a dagger. It's that sharp and it's that rigid," said Swartz.

The tail comes as an extension piece and once you put it on, you cannot take it off.

Then to get Butch to gallop, you have to hold the button in the back with the sharp tail facing the child.

WATCH says 'There exists a potential for significant puncture wound injuries during encouraged playtime activity.'

So again, we had our resident expert Charlie test it out, he was a fan but did get his hand caught at one point.

So if you buy Galloping Butch, it might be best to just leave the tail extension off all together.

Another toy of the WATCH list is for the big kids, the Nerf Rival Apollo XV-700 Blaster.

It's made by Hasbro and is sold at most of the big box stores and online.

And yes, it sounds like something a kid would like in the movie 'A Christmas Story.'

WATCH says you might not "shoot someone's eye out," but there could be an injury.

"There's no warnings or cautions on the packaging what so ever and the projectiles are just about the size of an eye socket," said Swartz.

This toy is for kids ages 14 and up, so kids who should know not to shoot the ball directly into someone`s eye.

But Swartz says the packaging is a bit misleading.

You can see kids playing and wearing masks but there's a catch.

Now the packaging does say the masks aren`t included but shows you where you can buy one.

"On some shelves, you can find these face masks. Problem is, if you do happen to look for them and find them and purchase them, there is some language on the packaging of those face masks which says they are not protective equipment," says Swartz.

So, we let the big kids at FOX43 test this one out.

The consensus? The toy had much more pop than thought and definitely shouldn`t be aimed at anyone`s face.

Oh, and because the balls are small and can shoot far they`re not so easy to find.

Now it`s important to note that none of these toys have been recalled and the watch list is really a suggestion for what parents should be checking when they buy kids toys.

"Think about how that toy is going to be used in your child's hands in the real world. Are they instructions that realistically can be followed to avoid injury, sometimes serious injury."

Also, Swartz thinks the worst toy list is more important than ever - since so many of us shop online and won`t get the hold the toy in our hands until after we buy it.

"The warning and cautions that the manufacturer would like family to know about are not even on the website. So you don't even know what's on the box, or for that matter what's on the package insert."

Here's the WATCH list of the 10 worst toys.

FOX43 reached out to all of the companies on the list, here are some responses:

Hasbro statement: Product safety is of utmost concern at Hasbro and all our brands undergo rigorous reviews and testing. NERF RIVAL has undergone the same reviews and tests to assure that it’s safe and fun to play with for consumers aged 14 and up, and meets or exceeds global standards and regulations.

NERF foam darts and foam rounds are not hazardous when used properly. Consumers must never aim NERF blasters at a person’s eyes or face, should only use the foam darts and foam rounds designed for specific NERF blasters and never modify darts or dart blasters. The face mask depicted on the NERF RIVAL package is not included with this blaster. It is sold separately and designed for role play. The NERF RIVAL segment offers a team-based play experience, and the mask helps designate which team (red or blue) each person is on.

It’s important to note that the NERF brand encourages parents and caregivers to be involved in aspects of their children’s development, including play. Ultimately, a parent or caregiver knows his or her child best and is best equipped to make decisions on what forms of play and entertainment are most appropriate for his or her child.

Jazwares statement: Safe is a top priority at Jazwares and all of our products meet or exceed globally safety standards.



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