A Nerf gun, Cabbage Patch doll, and a Stomp Rocket rank amongst W.A.T.C.H.'s list of 10 unsafe toys of 2018.

By Lauren Pardee
Aleksei Potov/Shutterstock

November 14, 2018

Amongst the wave of shopping guides and holiday gift listicles sweeping the internet for the most shopped time of year is the W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.) list of 2018s “10 Worst Toys.” It nearly stands alone, subtly reminding parents of the importance of investigating gifts they give their young children. According to USA Today, The Toy Association does not back this list nor the tone of it, which is to scare parents—they also commented on the lack of thorough testing of these toys performed by W.A.T.C.H. But, never the less, we still believe these findings are worth sharing, and we’ll leave it to you to deem what’s safe for your children.   

Manufacturer or Distributor: CJ Products, Inc.

Retailer(s): Target, Target.com, Express.Google.Com

Age Recommendation: “0+”

Hazard: Potential for ingestion and battery-related injuries.

W.A.T.C.H. Warning: “These soft, plush “Pillow Pets Sleeptime Lites” project colorful night-sky images to make ‘night-time fun.’ Marketed for infants as a nightlight for baby’s room, remarkably the package cautions that the product is ‘not intended’ for use in a crib. Nella is adorned with small, felt-like flower and heart-tag accessories which, if removed, present potential ingestion hazards. Additionally, the manufacturer identifies a ‘battery acid leakage’ hazard.”

Nerf Vortex Vtx Praxis Blaster

Manufacturer or Distributor: Hasbro; Nerf.com

Retailer(s): Target, Target.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Ebay.com, Bonanza.com

Age Recommendation: “8+”

Hazard: Potential for eye injuries.

W.A.T.C.H. Warning: “Children as young as eight-years-old are invited to load the supplied ammunition and ‘fire 10 discs in a row with pump-action blasting!’ The launch-force of the discs presents the potential for eye and facial injuries.

Marvel Black Panther Slash Claw

Manufacturer or Distributor: Hasbro

Retailer(s): Target, Target.com, Kohls, Kohls.com, Walmart, Walmart.com, Amazon.com, HasbroToyShop.com

Age Recommendation: “5+”

Hazard: Potential for eye and facial injuries.

W.A.T.C.H. Warning: “These rigid, plastic claws, based on a popular comic book and movie character, are sold to five-year-olds to ‘slash’ like the Black Panther, while simultaneously advising not to ‘hit or swing at people.…’”

Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade

Manufacturer or Distributor: Bandai America Incorporated

Retailer(s): Target, Target.com, Ebay.com, Walmart.com, Amazon.com, Bonanza.com, Express.Google.com

Age Recommendation: “4+”

Hazard: Potential for blunt force and injuries.

W.A.T.C.H. Warning: “Young children are encouraged to ‘power up’ with this ‘Super Ninja Steel’ spring-loaded plastic blade, with the potential to cause facial and other impact injuries.”

Cabbage Patch Kids Dance Time Doll

Manufacturer or Distributor: Wicked Cool Toys LLC

Retailer(s): Target, Target.com, CabbagePatchKids.com, Bonanza.com, Blinq.com

Age Recommendation: “2+”

Hazard: Potential for choking injuries.

W.A.T.C.H. Warning: “‘Dance Time Cabbage Patch Kids’ wear brightly color tutus. Incredibly, even though the dolls are marketed for oral-age children, they are sold with a ‘removable’ headband, which can be ingested.”

Zoo Jamz Xylophone

Manufacturer or Distributor: Vtech Electronics North America, L.L.C.

Retailer(s): Walmart, Walmart.com, Amazon.com, Vtechkids.com, Target.com, Buybuybaby.com, Bedbathandbeyond.com, Zulily.com

Age Recommendation: “1½– 4 Years”

Hazard: Potential for ingestion and chocking injuries.

W.A.T.C.H. Warning: “This multi-colored, caterpillar-themed instrument is sold for babies as young as 1 ½ year old. The manufacturer provides no warnings regarding the slender, rigid, approximately 9-inch-long drumstick handle, which can potentially be mouthed and occlude a child’s airway.”

Nici Wonderland Doll: MiniClara the Ballerina

Manufacturer or Distributor:  NICI

Retailer(s): Amazon.com, Neat-oh.com, Walmart.com, Barnes & Noble.com, Henry Bear’s Park

Age Recommendation: “2+”

Hazard: Potential for choking injuries.

W.A.T.C.H. Warning: “The MiniClara ballerina doll, marketed for oral-age children as young as 2-years-old, is sold with her friend ‘little kitten’ as an accessory. The soft, plush kitten, however, can detach, posing the potential for choking if ingested.”

Stomp Rocket Ultra Rocket

Manufacturer or Distributor: D & L Company

Retailer(s): Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, Stomprocket.com, Magic Beans

Age Recommendation: “Ages 6 and Up”

Hazard: Potential for eye, face, and other impact injuries.

W.A.T.C.H. Warning: “6-year-old children are advised to ‘Run. Jump. Stomp!’ in order to launch a rocket ‘up to 200 FEET!’ Many warnings appear on the package and package insert, in an effort to ‘prevent serious eye or face injuries.…’”

Cutting Fruit

Manufacturer or Distributor: Kid O Toys

Retailer(s): Walmart.com, Ebay.com, Magic Beans, Mbeans.com, Liltulips.com, niniandlolli.com, Buyforbabies.com, Giftuniversal.com

Age Recommendation: “2+”

Hazard: Potential for puncture and blunt force injuries.

W.A.T.C.H. Warning: “The magnetic apple, pear, and orange are sold with a ‘slicing knife’ made of hard plastic. The knife can potentially cause puncture wounds and other blunt trauma injuries.”

Chien Á Promener Pull Along Dog

Manufacturer or Distributor: Janod; Juratoys

Retailer(s): Amazon.com, Magic Beans, Mbeans.com

Age Recommendation: “12-36 m”

Hazard: Potential for entanglement and strangulation injuries.

W.A.T.C.H. Warning: “Despite the industry’s standard requiring strings on playpen and crib toys to be less than 12 inches in length, manufacturers are still permitted to market ‘pull toys’ such as ‘Pull Along Dog’ with a cord measuring approximately 19 inches. No warnings are provided.”


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