Toys: Top 10 Worst Toys in the World

Living in a, well, how should I say this, developing country like the Philippines has a lot of disadvantages. For one, we, Filipinos—at least the young ones—don’t get to venture out much on our own. Thank the Big G we have the Internet, which opens up a lot of new possibilities for exploration.

My dad tells me that our generation is lucky, that we have everything they—the previous generations—ever dreamed of, though of, and wanted.

Joel, my father, lived in the age of Atari, Coleco, Game and Watch, and BMX bikes. Today’s generation is blessed with Wii, Playstation, X-Box, and online games. The downside is, children of this generation don’t get much exercise. At least dad had a BMX bike. 😛

There is one thing our generation has in common with my dad’s generation, though. Child safety from unsafe toys.

There is an organization that takes an active interest in promoting child safety against potentially unsafe toys. Called World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., the organization has, since 1973, identified toys with the potential to cause childhood injuries, even death. And the group makes it public by enumerating every year the “Ten Worst Toys.”

So, without further a due, let me present three of the 10 Worst Toys of 2006.

Heelys and similar products
Heelys These are shoes that have removable wheels in the heels, turning mundane sneakers into roller skates. In fairness to Heelys’ manufacturer, Heeling Sports Ltd., it put warning labels on the boxes of these sneaky sneakers. But what about those copycats being sold in Asian countries, particularly the Philippines? Bet you’ve seen several children rolling around the mall in these type of shoes. What makes these dangerous? W.A.T.C.H.’s take: Potential for blunt impact, head and spinal injuries. Ouch.

Superman Lamp
Superman Lamp This colorful lamp that hit the toy department of every major store in the world at the same time as the film Superman Return splashed across theaters is a molded figurine in the form of the popular comic book superhero. Again, to be fair to the product’s manufacturer, Idea Nuova Inc., warning labels can be found on the box. The problem is young children, even when told the figurine is not a toy but an electric product, can’t help but be attracted to it. Why the big fuss over Superman’s bust? W.A.T.C.H. warns: The potential for electric shock is great.

Fear Factor Candy Challenge
Fear Factor Candies The name itself sends tingles down my spine. We can’t deny the allure of the reality television show Fear Factor, and the manufacturer of these weird-looking candies knows this. The TV series, however, is conducted under strict supervision. Children popping mysterious candy in their mouths while asking playmates if “fear is a factor” is not. So what if kids suddenly rip open bags of these goodies and stuff their mouths with its contents? W.A.T.C.H. says with a groan: Children can choke on the candies, especially if they eat these like the contestants on the reality show.

For more information about unsafe toys, click here.

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