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"10 Worst Toys": When the Danger Outweighs the Fun

December 12, 2006

Seattle, WA - Before you finish your holiday shopping for the kids on your list, it's worth a look at another list -- the annual "Ten Worst Toys" roundup. This year, it contains some items that you may not think of as being especially hazardous to children. It includes everything from a $10 lamp shaped like Superman, to $60 sneakers with wheels on their heels, and candy made in gross-out shapes that could cause kids to choke in speed-eating contests like those seen on the TV show, "Fear Factor."

But do merchants take the list seriously? After 34 years of compiling it, the Swartz family says apparently not. Attorney James Swartz points out that even toys from previous years' lists are still being sold.

"Clearly the system isn't working. The self-policing isn't working, the voluntary standards aren't working. There needs to be more done by the government, more attention paid by the manufacturers."

According to Swartz, eight million toys already have been recalled this year in the United States.

"On this year's list we have a strangulation hazard, we have an electrocution hazard, small parts, projectiles; those types of things."

Toy manufacturers' counter that their packaging contains safety warnings to alert parents and childcare providers when necessary. You can take a look at this year's "Ten Worst Toys" list online, at

Chris Thomas/Eric Mack, Public News Service - WA