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W.A.T.C.H, a Boston consumer advocacy group, issues a list of 2012’s worst toys

It’s now an annual rite of the holiday shopping a season --- a consumer advocacy that calls itself W.A.T.C.H issues a list of the “10 Worst Toys.”

At a Boston news conference at the Franciscan Hospital for Children, the group put out its 2012 list Tuesday --- its 40th list by W.A.T.C.H.’s count --- and among the toys on this year’s list are ones with small parts that are choking hazards for small children.

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The group’s director is James A. Swartz, who is also affiliated with the law firm Swartz & Swartz. He is a trial attorney whose practice includes cases involving product liability injuries. W.A.T.C.H. stands for World Against Toys Causing Harm.

According to W.A.T.C.H., consumers need again to be especially vigilant in making Internet purchases. Why? Internet toy shoppers are often provided with less product safety information than consumers who go to brick-and-mortar stores. Many toys sold online have warnings and age recommendations from retailers that are inconsistent with those supplied by toy manufacturers, W.A.T.C.H. said.

Here is an abbreviated 2012 list of toys that W.A.T.C.H recommends that consumers should avoid.

The Magnetic Fishing Game. A possible choking hazard for “oral-age children,” the group said.

The Dart Zone Quick Fire 12 Dart Gun. Despite a manufacturer’s directive that it is not suitable for children under 6, it was marketed online as appropriate for children much younger, W.A.T.C.H. said. The dart gun has a potential to cause eye injuries.

The Explore & Learn Helicopter. With a roughly 24-inch cord, it has the potential for strangulation and entanglement injuries, W.A.T.C.H. said.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.
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