In 1991 a fictional toy called the Happy Fun Ball made the first of many appearances on Saturday Night Live, accompanied by a series of ominous warnings. "If Happy Fun Ball begins to smoke, seek shelter and cover head," advised one parody advertisement. Another: "Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball."
Unfortunately the real-life toy market is littered with dangerous playthings, some of which sport instructions and advisories nearly as bizarre as those associated with the Happy Fun Ball. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled 44 toys in fiscal year 2010, ended Sept. 30, and several more in October and November. And that doesn't count recalls of sporting equipment used mostly by kids, such as theClassic Sport Super Bounce pogo sticks sold through Sports Authority, which were recalled just last month.
That means early holiday shoppers may have already purchased some of these items, unaware of the dangers they pose. So check the gifts hidden in your closets, as well as what's already stuffed in your kids' toy boxes.