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Toy shopping news: Online guides, apps, and headlines

Consumer Reports News: December 08, 2010 11:47 AM

Fifty-three percent of Americans say they are planning to purchase toys as holiday gifts this year, according to a new Harris Poll.—Harris Interactive (via MarketingCharts) has tested thousands of toys since 2007 to help consumers make better choices when purchasing toys and other children’s products. Last month, they posted their new Toy Test Screening results, including levels of lead, PVC content, and other chemical hazards in toys. You can search by name, brand, or toy type.—

Despite promises to reduce toxic chemicals in toys, Toys “R” Us continues to sell products made out of PVC, the “poison plastic,” without adequate cautionary labeling for parents. In fact, the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) and the Teamsters Office of Consumer Affairs is calling for Congressional action against the toy giant.—Eco Child's Play

The "2010 Trouble in Toyland" report is the 25th annual Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) survey of toy safety. In this report, U.S. PIRG provides safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for small children, and provides examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards.—U.S. PIRG

The holiday season is upon us, and since your baby or toddler probably can’t express exactly what he or she is dreaming of this year, we’ve compiled a list of the best green gifts for tots.—inhabitots

The federal government in Canada is introducing the most stringent rules in the world to effectively ban lead from toys for young children and other products that kids put in their mouths.—The Vancouver Sun

With the help of “mommy bloggers” and a tepid economy, Mr. Nichols turned the squishy toys, named Squinkies, into a fad.—New York Times (free registration required)

According to a Nielsen survey to see which tech products American kids want, Apple's iPad sat at the top of the list, with 31 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 12 saying they want to get their hands on the device.—CNET News

There are a number of places to find out about toxic toys. But what if you're already in the store with cash in hand? Jeff Gearheart with worked with California Poison Control this year to develop an automated system for helping shoppers check lead levels in toys while they shop.—KQED Radio

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