Toy safety reviews

We tested 23 toys against safety standards, and over half of them failed.
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02.Examples of unsafe toys

The following are examples of the failures we found.

 01_toys   This Puzzle Music Train had several pieces break off or come loose when dropped or put under tension, including its battery compartment cover. 
 22_toys   This "Kitty" wooden xylophone had pieces come loose after only one drop, and more came off after further drop tests. Not a good result for a toy designed to be hit repeatedly!
 Happy Interesting Chick   The Happy Interesting Chick produced small parts when dropped, and its wheels came off when pulled with minimal force. Interesting, but not happy.
 Lovely baby   The Lovely Baby isn't so lovely after only three drops, each of which broke the toy or dislodged small parts.
 Super Police Set toy gun   The rubber cap detaches too easily from the projectiles supplied with the Super Police Set toy gun. Not very super.


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The full list of toys which failed our tests:

  • Ao Yu Cheng Puzzle Music Train
  • Band Flashlight drum
  • Beile Toys Happy Interesting Chick (Penguin)
  • Best Music plastic xylophone
  • Daye Gadget plastic phone
  • Elf Magic Wand
  • First Grade Product Sky Train Commander
  • Ha Qi Guitars Music Electron
  • Kai Ming Toys Happy Trip DIY Truck Series
  • LF Toys Boys the Plant tool set
  • Lovely crawling baby
  • Potex Fun Time Keyboard
  • ST battery operated dog
  • The Super Police Set toy gun and handcuffs
  • TongLeCheng Kitty xylophone

Small parts - choking hazards

The Australian standard for toys, AS/NZS ISO 8124.1, includes tests designed to find any small parts, whether supplied or which come free as a result of typical rough play or foreseeable misuse of the toy. These include drop tests onto a hard floor; tension and torque tests to see if any parts can be pulled or twisted off with minimal force; and compression tests.

These tests are the most common source of failure for the toys on test. Many of them have small parts that come free or break off, often after only one or two drops or with minimal force in the tension test. The standard test uses a specific device to determine if the part is small enough to constitute a choking hazard, but as a guide, any part small enough to fit into a 35mm film canister is a potential choking hazard. Some of the small parts that break off are also sharp or jagged.

Many of the battery-operated toys have a battery compartment cover with a hole for a screw to keep it shut, but have no actual screw supplied or installed. Unsurprisingly, these covers are easily opened and are often among the first parts to come off when the toy is dropped, with the result that the batteries often fall out as well. Batteries can be very dangerous to children, especially if put in the mouth or swallowed, so this is a serious failure.

Toys which passed the tests

These are examples of toys which passed our tests. Toys with simple, rugged designs are often better suited to the rough and tumble of a toddler's play.

 Blocks Truck   This truck with blocks came from a bargain store chain and shows that safe toys can still be found in this type of store.
 Toy truck   Another toy truck, this time from a major department store - a simple, durable design.
 Wooden blocks and hammer   This wooden block set with hammer, bought at a small suburban bargain store, passed our tests though it did crack slightly when dropped.
 Letters and Numbers   Foam letters and numbers from a major department store; these can be a choking hazard if pieces break off and the package should have an appropriate warning label (this product did).
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