These Are the 10 ‘Worst Toys’ This Holiday Season

November 19, 2015, 8:19 PM UTC
People make their Christmas shopping in a toys shop on December 15, 2012 in Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, near Tours. AFP PHOTO/ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph by Alain Jocard — AFP/Getty Images

Toy safety watchdog World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., released its annual list of the 10 “worst toys” of 2015 ahead of the holiday shopping season, calling out products that it says don’t properly address the necessary safety hurdles to keep children out of harm’s way.

Nearly 46% of purchases are expected to be made online this year, meaning parents won’t have the ability to see the product in person to review the safety level of each toy. Such parental reviews are necessary, says W.A.T.C.H. Childhood injuries from toys are not uncommon. Last year, an estimated 251,800 children were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for toy-related injuries, and there were reports of 11 toy-related deaths—all among children under the age of 12, according to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

This year’s toy report, put together by consumer advocates and lawyers Joan Siff and James Swartz, demonstrates the types of hazards they say parents should be on the lookout for both online and in stores. Here are W.A.T.C.H.’s top 10 “worst toys” of 2015.

Skipit’s Wheely Cute Pull Along

WATCH - Toys 2015 - Budpulltoy2Courtesy of W.A.T.C.H.
The fluffy pull toy is marketed for infants as a “friend” who’s “ready to roll.” However, its wheels may not get very far, according to W.A.T.C.H. Certain lots of these toys were recalled in June because the hubcaps can break off and pose a potential choking issue. W.A.T.C.H. ordered a similar version and found that it showed the same potential danger.

Foam Dart Gun

WATCH - Toys 2015 - DartGunCourtesy of W.A.T.C.H.
The picture says it all. This children’s dart gun looks eerily similar to a real gun. Last December, Cleveland cops fatally shot a 12-year-old boy after mistaking his toy gun as a real threat. W.A.T.C.H. says regulations preventing realistic toy gun designs are “inadequate.”

Small Trampoline

WATCH - Toys 2015 - Trampoline1Courtesy of W.A.T.C.H.
This toy trampoline, which sells on eBay and at Toys “R” Us, warns in its packaging that “landing on the head or neck can cause serious injury, paralysis, or death, even when landing in the middle of the bed.” W.A.T.C.H. says that such toys are dangerous and shouldn’t “be sold as a playtime activity for young children.”


WATCH - Toys 2015 - PooDough2Courtesy of W.A.T.C.H.
While it may seem clear from the toy itself why it’s on the list of worst toys, that’s not the real reason. The Poo-Dough actually contains an allergy notice on the throwaway packaging, W.A.T.C.H. notes—it contains wheat, which could be a potentially harmful allergen for some children.

Smack Shot

WATCH - Toys 2015 - SmackShot1Courtesy of W.A.T.C.H.
W.A.T.C.H. says this high-powered slingshot toy has the potential for eye injuries given its capability of firing rubber ammunition “up to 100ft!” The warnings on the box include alerting “anyone within close distance … prior to firing.”

Kick Flipper

WATCH - Toys 2015 - Kick1Courtesy of W.A.T.C.H.
The Kick Flipper, which is touted as a skateboard without the wheels, made the list for its potential for head and impact injuries, according to W.A.T.C.H. The toy warns children not to use it on stairs, hills, or inclines, though it doesn’t advise children to wear protective gear like a helmet while they “Kick it! Flip it! Pop it!”

Leonardo’s Electronic Stealth Sword

WATCH - Toys 2015 - LeonardoSword1Courtesy of W.A.T.C.H.
This Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sword has the potential to cause blunt force injuries, W.A.T.C.H. says, as young children are encouraged to play “Ninja Battle” with the rigid, plastic toy. It’s recommended for kids ages 4 and up.

Doctor Play Set

WATCH - Toys 2015 - Doctor1Courtesy of W.A.T.C.H.
The doctor play set looks innocent enough, but W.A.T.C.H. warns that the small toys within have the potential for ingestion and choking injuries. The toy is recommended for ages 2 and up and includes medical devices like a thin plastic tongue depressor that’s only 4 and 3/4 inches in length that children are encouraged to put in their mouths.

Pull Along Zebra

WATCH - Toys 2015 - Zebra1Courtesy of W.A.T.C.H.
Another pull toy makes the list. Rather than fear of losing its wheels, W.A.T.C.H. notes that it poses the risk of strangulation and entanglement injuries due to a cord thats nearly 21 inches long. The industry standard requires any strings on playpen and crib toys to be less than 12-inches in length, according to W.A.T.C.H., though manufacturers are still allowed to market toys that avoid that requirement. The toy is recommended for toddlers ages 1 year to 36 months.

Jurassic World Velociraptor Claws

WATCH - Toys 2015 - Raptor2Courtesy of W.A.T.C.H.
These oversized dinosaur claws are intended for children ages 4 and up and encourage young kids to “claw like a raptor!” W.A.T.C.H. warns that these claws have the potential for eye and facial injuries, which isn’t called out on the packaging.