Ah, the holidays! They're a wondrous time in a child's life. Lights, songs, presents! OH! The presents! So why chance ruining all the fun by getting your kid a toy that's going to harm them? That's not very in-the-spirit-of-the-holidays.
Thankfully, the kind people at W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.) are watching out for your kids. Just like every other year since time began, this group has put together its list of the season's "10 Worst Toys." Each one of the offenders has it out for your kid, so you better avoid them at all costs if you don't want to spend Christmas morning in the ER. For the very serious reasons why you shouldn't buy these items, click here. For some inappropriate joking, read on.
Magnetic Fishing Game|
Yes, a tiny magnet, dangling from the end of a 9" string does pose a choking risk, but how else is your kid supposed to retrieve all the other magnets they've swallowed from their stomachs? (Looking at you, Buckyballs!)
A giant, inflatable ball that your child can crawl into and roll around in? Hazardous, sure, but compare it to the alternative of the kids getting into the dryer and going for a tumble cycle. See, W.A.T.C.H.? It's all about perspective.
Prime Time Toys Dart Zone Quickfire 12 Dart Gun|
You'd think that the good people of W.A.T.C.H. would have a problem with this toy being a gun. Nope! Their issue is that it's "marketed online for babies as young as 7 months." Guess they figure that by 8 months old, babies know how to safely handle a gun.
Spinner Shark 4-Wheel Kneeboard|
Tip to parents: No one names something after a shark if it's going to be pleasant and safe to ride. Also, it's good to see that toy makers are constantly innovating ways to make the skateboard more dangerous. (This time, you're closer to the ground and have no way of braking!)
VTech Explore and Learn Helicopter|
In what is possibly the weirdest complaint against any toy this season, W.A.T.C.H. wants this one banned because the propeller blades can cause flashbacks ... to watching M*A*S*H* and not finding it as funny as you were expecting it to be. (None of this is true.)
N-Force Vendetta Sword|
One of the warnings reads: "Discontinue use if core is exposed." That applies to this toy, nuclear scientists, and anyone eating an apple.
Water Sports Marine Wrist Balloon Launcher|
From the manufacturer: "[It] can cause severe injury or facial damage." And since it's launching balloons at speeds of up to 75 mph, that should not be unexpected. Your car, driving on the highway, often doesn't go that fast (unless you're like, super cool or something).
Power Ranger Shogun Helmet|
Being a Power Ranger is dangerous business. You got that weird witch and all those putties to deal with. If you don't want your kid poking another kid's eyes out with a shogun helmet, you should probably change his behavior at the source. (Meaning: Skinner Box.)
P'kolino Playful Xylophone|
Get your kid interested in hitting things with a mallet and he'll grow up to be either the "Test of Strength" guy in a traveling carnival or a xylophone player. Not sure which is worse.
Gamma Green Hulk Smash Fists|
The catchphrase isn't "HULK SIT QUIETLY AND READ BOOK!" so it should come as no surprise that your child may be tempted to use these fists in the manner in which they were intended: To smash. No amount of warning labels, threats of no desserts, nor "time outs" are going to stop a kid from immediately punching something, the second they put these on.
Your best bet? Just avoid the items above like Santa avoids the Island of Misfit Toys* and have a safe, choke/puncture/strangulation-free holiday!
*Though, in the end, Santa wound up picking them all up and giving them to kids, didn't he? So avoid them like an Island of Misfit Toys that also has the plague. (Hey! Maybe that's what was wrong with the little girl doll?! Santa, you fool! You've killed us all!)
Front page photo credit: Mac Resource