- Paul Davidson
A Boston area non-profit group today released a report that included the 10 most dangerous toys for children this season. The group, WATCH (World Against Toys Causing Harm), released the following list:
I’d like to address each of the toys on this list and tell you the real reason they’re harmful to your kids, versus the faux-reasonings of WATCH.
1. Yo-Yo Water Ball (Imperial Toy Ja-Ru): Strangulation injuries, my ass. The real harm to your children will come from the fact that no child alive today should be seen playing with a Yo-Yo. The last time any kid was seen playing with one, it was Oliver from The Brady Bunch. And we all know what happened to Oliver. He was an outcast, eventually plucked from the Brady family for all the chaos him and his yo-yo caused. Not to mention, if you don’t want your child being looked at in the same way people look at the Amish for their lack of telephones and swimming pools — you’d be smart to keep your kids away from any toys made by hand, containing rope or string of any kind (think lanyards, hair extentions or that damn bewildering “cats-in-the-cradle” game) or carved out of wood.
2. Supremo Slingshots (Prime Time Toys): It appears as if the movie A Christmas Story and the mantra “You’ll shoot your eye out” is still being used by clueless adult safety groups who don’t want kids to flex their god-given, Constitutional right to bear slingshots (i.e. guns). Really, the danger in providing your kids a Supremo Slingshot is that they’ll end up the next beltway sniper. That, or a hang-around fixture at a local carnival (think about all those games involving perfect aim) where they’ll make friends with freaks who don’t shave their backs or have deformed limbs. Shooting your eye out is the least of your worries.
3. Traditional Wooden Fire Truck Pull-Along (Toy Workshop Ltd.): WATCH is apparently worried that small children will pop off the little weebelo-like characters and eat their heads. In reality, the real danger is that your kids will start fires in the house, hoping that their lifeless weebelo-like fireworkers will come to life and save your house, much like the heroes of 9/11 did. In reality, these weebelo fireworkers are not real. Let your kids live a life in the real world, people.
4. Stats Bounce Jump Around (Toys R’ Us): WATCH insists here that children will either become paralyzed or drown in this trampoline type toy. First of all, don’t fill up the damn thing with water, people — it isn’t a POOL. It’s a “jump around” thingie, well, you know whatever that is. As for paralysis…? God knows how. Unless you put this thing up on the top of the nearest 10 story building and challenge your kids to do an Officer Riggs (see Lethal Weapon, the best of all four). In reality, the real danger to your kids here — abandoning your dreams of them going to college in lieu of wanting to become a trapeze artist or flippy-flier in Cirque du Soleil. Get those damn jumpy toys out of there!
5. Nickelodeon Gooze Soda Fountain (Flying Colors Toys, Inc.): The danger here? That any of your family members will actually start using the ridiculous word “gooze” in any normal, sane conversation.
6. Air Hogs Spy Commander Helicopter (Spin Master, Ltd.): Whoever designs a helicopter that’s supposed to launch off from your hand is stupid. Whoever urges their children to stick their face in way of the blades is stupider. But the real danger is that Tom Ridge’s Homeland Security will detain your child for an unknown amount of time when realizing they’re commanding a spy helicopter on American soil. By the time Homeland Security realizes their mistake, your child will be forty-seven.
7. Wedgits Starter Set (Imagability: These multi-colored pyramid shaped blocks, apparently, are ready for children to fall on, impaling themselves. The real danger? It’s only a starter set. Good god — what dangerous things could happen to your children when they purchase the huge, Puffy Circle Wedgits with Hidden Ebola Packets Booster pack?
8. Extending Super Spyperiscope (Green Orbit): Apparently, WATCH feels that children will use this item to look directly at the sun and cause blindness. The real danger? Your child will never pass the verbal portion of the S.A.T.’s. Why? Anyone who gets used to stringing along two words together as one (Spy and Periscope) will most likely do the same as they spell and read — and we know how much of the verbal portion is made up of reading comprehension. Say goodbye to this toy or say hello to community college for your kid!
9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Electronic Michaelangelo’s Nunchuckus (Playmates Toys, Inc.): Blunt injuries? Nah. Try “pop culture isolation” for your child, when they start carting around these toys from a cartoon way beyond its time. If you’re gonna give your kids this, might as well break out the old Air Supply records also — since no one alive today (under the age of 30) has ever heard of either. The other danger? The name is damn long. Stop it!
10. Ribbets the Rhythm Frog (International Playthings, Inc.: This stuffed animal comes with “jingle bell bracelets” that can be removed and one by one, swallowed. (The jingle bells, that is.) The real danger? That your child will learn any kind of rhythm or lilypad-esque dance steps from a green, stuffed frog wearing a “jingle bell bracelet”. Their first night at a dance club is going to get them killed.
So, as you can see — WATCH is way off. They really should be concentrating more on the real-world danger than the “consumer (will I get sued) related damage” they’re obviously worried about.
Time to go play with fire. Have fun.