Toy Safety: Elmo, Dinosaur Make Bad Toy List

NEW YORK ( -- An "excessively loud" triceratops and an Elmo lunch bag with "potentially toxic" chemicals were among the items listed in the U.S. Public Interest Research Group's 2009 list of dangerous toys released Tuesday.

The 24th annual report, "Trouble in Toyland," targeted 16 examples of toys in 3 categories: toys that it considers dangerously loud, or containing small parts that may present choking hazards for small children, or containing toxic chemicals or lead.

In the first category, the PIRG, a public advocacy organization, listed toys that "pose potential choking hazards." This included three toys that "may violate" the ban on small parts for children under three, such as the Creative Wood Stacking Rings from Zaidy Products, the Real Wood Shape Sorter Barn from P&C Enterprise and an "unnamed play food tray" from World Market.

The PIRG also identified several toys with small parts that come uncomfortably close to violating bans, thereby posing potential hazards. This includes one of the Baby Born toy kids from Zapf Creation, the Pizza Planet Gift Pak from Mattel, the FurReal Baby Bird from Hasbro and the Worky tool set from Nemmer.

"Although the toys do not violate the letter of the law, these parts could block a child's airway given their shape and size," the report said.

The report said that the baby bottle included with the FurReal Baby Bird "barely passes the small parts test." But Hasbro said the "allegations are false."

"The FurReal Friends product does not contain small parts, is properly age graded for kids four and up, and the packaging contains the appropriate labeling," said a Hasbro spokeswoman, in an e-mail.

The PIRG also listed several toys deemed "excessively loud" at close range, meaning that they match or exceed 85 decibels within 25 centimeters of the toy, presenting a risk of hearing loss.

 The organization pegged the loud toys as the Kota and Pals Stompers Triceratops from Playskool, the Secret Saturdays Cryptid Claw from Mattel, the Laugh & Learn Learning Phone from Fisher Price and the Bright Lights Phone from VTech.

Five products made the list for containing lead or "potentially toxic chemicals."

This includes a Touch and Feel Cloth Book called "Big Rex and Friends" from Priddy Books. The PIRG said that a red dot on one of the pages contains lead. Likewise, a metal charm that comes with the Alligator Cell Phone from the Claire's retail chain also contains lead, the organization said.

The PIRG also identified a Collector's Series toy duck that has lead paint on its face and body. The organization said that the manufacturer of this toy was unknown, but that it was purchased at a Dollar Tree store.

Two toys were identified containing "potentially toxic" chemicals known as phthalates, including Pretty Princess Puppy Purse from Claire's and the Elmo Lunch Bag from Sassy.

The PIRG released its list just three days ahead of Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year. This year, Black Friday retail sales are expected to outpace 2008, with 16% more shoppers participating.

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