You'll shoot your eye out: Top 10 worst toys for this holiday season

December 16, 2010

Each year health organizations, doctors and not-for-profit advocates put out lists about dangerous toys. Since I have a three year-old who loves tattoos and flying darts, I'm always on the lookout for toys that might destroy body parts.

Phillip Kaufman has been putting lists like these out since the 70s. His work is probably the basis for the hilarious SNL sketch where Dan Aykroyd defends the "bag o glass." Below, I have the "Top 10 Most Dangerous Toys for 2010." My favorite has to be the airbrushed tattoo art set. If you spray too much, you could get it in the eyes. It's for six year-olds.

My favorite quote from Kaufman in the press release: "The realistic crossbow, which comes in pink or black, fires toy ammunition 50 feet with enough force to impale an eye,”  Notice he says, pink or black. As in, don't be fooled by the color - this crossbow will shoot your eye out regardless.

Here are the top 10 dangerous toys from Philip Kaufman's list:

Crossbow Assembly   Ages 12+

NXT Generation

Cleveland, Ohio  44103

This large toy crossbow with a 12-inch open barrel fires foam darts 50 feet.  The problem is that the foam dart can be easily replaced with a pencil or regular dart that will fire with enough force to impale an eye, causing total blindness.  Modified ammunition in the easily accessible open barrel can puncture dry wall and shatter glass. The manufacturer is targeting children with a pink version of the crossbow. 

Daisy Lever Action Carbine BB gun    Ages 10+

Daisy Outdoor Products

Rogers, AR72757-0220

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) states that BB guns should not be used by children under 16, yet the manufacturer labels this BB gun for ages 10 and up.  The CPSC warns that BB guns can kill and those with muzzle velocities of 350 feet per second increase the risk.  Much too close to the lethal muzzle velocity, this BB gun has a muzzle velocity of 300 feet per second.  The manufacturer is targeting children with a pink version of this high-velocity BB gun.  

Havoc Heli Helicopter Ages 8 - 10

Spin Master Ltd.

Toronto, ON MSV1B6 Canada

Touted for indoor use, this “slice and dice” toy helicopter puts every child in the room at risk for eye trauma.  The remote-control fails to control the specific direction of the toy, which travels at high speed.  The unprotected rotator blades swirl fast enough and are sharp enough to slice the front of an eye.  The customer service representatives recommend that you have the helicopter take off from your hand, which creates even more control problems and additional exposure to the eyes.

Airbrush Tattoo Art Set  Ages 6+

Toys “R” Us, Inc.

Wayne, NJ  07470

A spray gun for putting on a temporary tattoo, it also can be used to apply a tattoo to the cheeks.  Any overspray easily can get into the eye.  In addition, a young child who can’t read the directions might try to put the dye onto the eyelids like eye make-up.  The problem with this is that the spray is not sterile.  It will sting when it gets into the eye.  It also can color the eye for as long as a full week.  Most important, it can cause an eye infection.  The kit includes 10 different colors of dye, which entices children to experiment.  Although the manufacturer warns against doing this, a 6-year-old will not be reading the directions.  

Air Hogs R C Pocket Copter  Ages 10 -12

Spin Master Ltd.

Toronto, ON MSV1B6 Canada

The unprotected rotator blades swirl fast enough to slice an eye.  One of the popular “pocket” helicopters, it will fit into a child’s pocket or backpack.  Children are likely to hold this “slice and dice” toy close to their face.  The remote-control fails to control the specific direction of this toy.

NERF DEPLOY CS-6 Blaster  Ages 6+

Hasbro, Inc.

Pawtucket, RI  02862-1059

Spring-loaded 20-inch rifle fires foam darts 30 feet with enough force to cause a traumatic eye injury.  The dart is small enough to fit between the lower and upper eyelids.  The quick-reload clip of six foam darts promotes rapid fire succession.  Children could insert other objects as ammunition into the toy.  Plus, the darts are easily modified to become more dangerous. 

Air Zone Tetra-Strike   Ages 6+

Buzz Bee Toys

Geoffrey, LLC, a subsidiary of Toys “R” Us, Inc.

Wayne, NJ  07470

The air-pump gun fires four darts at once with a velocity capable of damaging a child’s eye.  The 14-millimeter suction cup attached to each foam dart is the size of a contact lens, which is just the right size to adhere to an eye. 

Air Hogs Helix 360 Copter  Ages 12+

Spin Master Ltd.

Toronto, ON MSV1B6 Canada

Touted for indoor use, this “slice and dice” toy helicopter puts every child in the room at risk for eye trauma.  The remote-control fails to control the specific direction of the toy, which travels at high speed.  The unprotected rotator blades swirl fast enough and are sharp enough to slice paper or the front of an eye. 

Radical SKY Stunt Glider with Launcher  Ages 6+

JA-RU, Inc.

Jacksonville, FL  32207

A sling-shot fires this 11–inch toy glider 50 feet.  The hard-plastic tip mounted on the front of the toy plane is heavy and hard enough to cause a severe eye injury on impact at close range.

Rubber Band Shooter

Simple Toys LLC

Meriden, CT 

This metal device in the shape of a pistol shoots rubber bands with enough power to cause a traumatic injury to the eye. 

Patrol Helicopter  Ages 5+

Shuang-Jun Industry & Trade Ltd.

Shantou, Guangdon , China

This 10-inch helicopter features a rotor swirling fast enough to lacerate the eye.

 

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