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 cheerful.
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 on this list has it out for your kid, so you better avoid them at all costs if you want 'lil Timmy to see Christmas 2012.
All joking aside, click through to see the quite serious reasons these toys have been banned.
Twist 'n Sort|
This toy, which presents "problem solving challenges" to your tot, could not solve its own problem of easily detatchable pieces that present a choking hazard to children.
Power Rangers Samurai Mega Blade|
This plastic sword is meant to spring open and fully extend at the touch of a button — regardless of your child's face being in the way. Also fun: The toy warns your kid not to "(1) aim toy at anyone, (2) hit anyone with toy, (3) poke anyone with toy, (4) swing toy at anyone." If there is a single kid out there who could take such an awesome toy as a Power Ranger sword and spend the day calmly contemplating and admiring its beauty without once taking it up to smite something, I'd like to meet him / her (and advise his parents to cut the medication dose by at least half). Because, honestly, I couldn't go three minutes without hurting myself / others with this plastic sword, and I supposedly "know better."
Fold & Go Trampoline|
One need only search YouTube for "trampoline" to see why they are amongst the most
Haba Pulling Animal Duck|
Marketed to 1-year-olds (do they have spendable cash / credit cards at that age?!) this toy "waddles amusingly when pulled," (just like Aunt Agnes, after a large meal). Too bad it's 33" cord is nothing but a noose-in-the-making. With that knowledge, the duck's eye goes from looking like an innocent blob of paint to the cold, vacant eye of a psychopathic madman, who will feel not a jolt of remorse as it garottes your child. It might even giggle as it does it. This entry got real dark, real fast, huh?
Schylling School Bus|
If you're giving your child a school bus as a present, you've probably already ascertained that they are too boring to do anything creatively dangerous with it. You would be wrong! Through no creativity of their own, the wheels on these buses can go round and round ... down your baby's esophagus. Next stop: Asphyxia. (No spitting or loud music playing. Exact change only, no bills.)
The instructions on this toy-weapon tell you not to pull the arrows back "more than half strength." This is like having a "danger" setting on a carousel, isn't it? If it's not meant to be cranked up to 11, why have the option? Why can't we have ticket-holders centrifugally flung from their racehorses into the cotton candy machine?! Why must we clip our wings?
Stepper "Low Rise" Stilts|
I have serious issues with this one. I cannot believe that these "romper stomper rip-offs" are dangerous. (Mainly because my grandfather built me a pair of these out of coffee cans and wire when I was 5 years old. Sure, this is the same man who, a few years prior to that, bought me a ride-on banana with wheels that had such a mis-balanced center of gravity, it tipped me head-over-teakettle onto the cement, causing my newly-grown front teeth to pierce my lower lip and require three stitches. But, c'mon, scars are cool!)
Pirates of the Caribbean Sword Fighting Jack Sparrow|
Push a lever and this Depp-in-a-wig-with-funny-accent doll viciously jabs a 4-1/2" sword. But that's not the worst of it! Buying this action figure because your kid put it on his Christmas list reveals that, despite your best efforts to avoid it, your child has gone behind your back and seen the latest Pirates film. I'd say there are deeper issues here than a 4-1/2" sword, wouldn't you?
The Incredible Shrinky Dink Maker|
W.A.T.C.H. seems to think that a red-hot, 60-watt lightbulb is going to burn your child, if they use this Easy-Bake Oven–like toy incorrectly. Although we agree, we also believe that it will only burn them once. It's a steep learning curve, but if they survive the experience, everyone comes out ahead.
Godzilla Bandai 12" Deluxe Gigan|
Beyond the risk of severe puncture wounds doled out in your kid's flesh from the "unforgiving, plastic protrusions" of this kaiju doll, you would be setting your kid up for future roll-play AS Gigan. Do not be surprised if you see your tot stomping around the house, saying, "I. Am. Gigan!" while swinging a pair of knives through the air. After all, you've given him / her the present of a monster with knives for hands! Are you ready for that reality?
There you have it. Avoid these toys 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!)