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From Products Liability Law Daily, November 15, 2017

Wonder Woman, Spiderman toys not super for kids, consumer group says

By John W. Scanlan, J.D.

A "Wonder Woman Battle-Action Sword" and a "Spiderman Spider-Drone" were among ten toys identified by the World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) as the "10 Worst Toys of 2017" as the holiday buying season approaches. The consumer group cautioned at a press conference that these 10 toys are not the only hazardous toys on the market, and that there were more than 254,000 toy-related injuries in 2015, including 72 deaths between 2010 and 2015 (W.A.T.C.H. Press Release, November 14, 2017).

Because it expects a majority of holiday spending in 2017 to occur online, W.A.T.C.H. stated that it is seeking to warn consumers to be aware of several potential risks when buying toys online. These include the sale of previously recalled toys, including the Itty Bittys toy on the group’s 10-worst list; limited product information; and toys with "classic" safety hazards that recur every year, such as toys with small parts, string, toxic substances, rigid materials, and inaccurate labels. The recurrence of these hazards is the result of a "broken system that needs fixing," the group asserted. While parents and caregivers need to be vigilant, the burden should be on manufacturers and retailers to prevent unsafe toys from reaching the market, W.A.T.C.H. said, noting that many consumers never receive notice of toy recalls.

The nominees. The 10 toys nominated by W.A.T.C.H. as worst for 2017 include: Hallmark "Itty Bittys" Baby Stacking Toy; Pull Along Pony; Wonder Woman Battle-Action Sword; Hand Fidgetz Spinners; Spiderman Spider-Drone Official Movie Edition; Nerf Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow; Slackers Slackline Classic Series Kit; Oval Xylophone; Jetts Heel Wheels; and Brianna Babydoll. According to the group, these toys present various hazards to children, including choking, strangulation and entanglement, eye and body injuries, and other dangers.

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