November 15, 2018

A Black Panther “slash claw” and a plastic Power Rangers sword are among the items topping a consumer safety group’s annual list of worst toys for the holiday season.

Massachusetts-based World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., unveiled its 46th annual list of the 10 worst toys yesterday at Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Boston.

Joan Siff, the nonprofit organization’s president, said many of the toys on the list represent choking, eye and other safety hazards that surface year after year, despite the group’s efforts.

Here are the 10 toys W.A.T.C.H. said shoppers should avoid this holiday season:

Nickelodeon Nella Princess Knight Pillow Pets Sleeptime Lites: $19.99

This toy projects night-sky images, marketed as a way to make bedtime fun. Yet W.A.T.C.H. said even though it’s marketed for infants as a nightlight, its packaging warns that it’s “not intended” for crib use. Other parts of the toy present a potential ingestion hazard, and the manufacturer warns that “battery acid leakage” could be a hazard. The toy is found at Target and other retailers.

Nerf Vortex VTX Praxis Blaster: $34.99

This toy gun might put your eye out. That’s according to W.A.T.C.H., which said the toy’s launch force presents the potential for eye and facial injuries.

Marvel Black Panther Slash Claw: $9.99

This Hasbro toy is accompanied by a warning that children shouldn’t hit or swing at people or animals, nor should it be used around breakable objects. Based on the popular Marvel movie, the claw is marketed to children as young as 5 who just might be tempted to “slash” like the superhero they look up to.

Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade: $29.99

The toy encourages children to “power up,” but doing so could cause injuries to themselves or others, thanks to the spring-loaded plastic blade. The packaging includes warnings about never hitting people with the toy, nor swinging or poking at them with it.

Cabbage Patch Kids Dance Time Doll: $14.99

This retro toy may appeal to millennial and Gen X parents who want their kids to relive mom and dad’s fun with the Cabbage Patch Kid phenomenon, but the nostalgia probably doesn’t include choking hazards. The doll has a removable headband that can be ingested.

Zoo Jamz Xylophone: $14.96

This toy, recommended for ages 1.5 to 4, doesn’t come with any warnings, but W.A.T.C.H. said the drumstick handle can be mouthed and potentially occlude a young child’s airway.

Nici Wonderland Doll: Miniclara the Ballerina: $24.99

This ballerina doll is marketed for children as young as 2, but it doesn’t come with any warnings. It does come with a plush kitten that can detach from the doll and present a choking hazard for children.

Stomp Rocket Ultra Rocket: $19.99

Aimed at children 6 and up, this rocket stomper toy could lead to eye or facial injuries. The toy works when a kid stomps on an air pad, forcing air into a foam rocket that shoots upward. The toy includes warnings that it can lead to “serious eye or face injuries.”

Cutting Fruit: $39.99

This toy, aimed at children as young as 2, comes with a “slicing knife” made of hard plastic. The knife could potentially create blunt trauma injuries.

Chien A Promener Pull Along Dog: $14.99

Manufacturers continue to make “pull toys” with cords that are longer than 12 inches, which create a strangulation hazard. This toy has a string that’s about 19 inches long, but it doesn’t come with any warnings. The toy is marketed to children as young as 12 months old.

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