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The dangerous Christmas toys you won't find in your stocking

Electrocuting metal Christmas trees, dangerous firing pistols and remote-controlled helicopters that could catch fire, are some of the toys that will not end up in Christmas stockings this year.

Fair Trading NSW has conducted its annual Christmas blitz, seizing 146 Christmas toys and 17 electrical products – an increase of 26 dangerous toys since last year.

NSW Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts said there was a "disturbing" number of remote-controlled helicopters seized this year that could catch fire or could electrocute the user. The fire hazard came from having European plugs that needed adaptors, he said.

"European plugs are illegal, even with an adaptor they are just downright dangerous," he said.

Mr Roberts warned dads – notorious for buying action toys that they can also play with – to watch out for high-powered firing guns or archery sets.

"These toys have dangerous removal caps and are very high powered," he said.


Another worrying trend was high-voltage Christmas lights. Mr Roberts said some LED Christmas lights were discovered to use up to 240 volts.

"If you break a light bulb and you then touch the bulb, you will get the full force of 240 volts," he said.

The increase of dangerous toys comes as the number of investigations have risen from 975 retail outlets being investigated last year, to 1133 this year.

This year, fair trading officers also increased their scope, investigating toys in 257 NSW towns compared with 236 last year.

The majority of seized toys were found in discount variety stores, Christmas markets and "pop up" Christmas stores. Of the 146 toys seized, 122 had small parts that could be a choking hazard, 14 were dangerous projectile toys and 10 toys had cords that could strangle children.

"When people are looking at buying a bargain, quite often they are buying more than a bargain. They are putting themselves and their families at risk."

Mr Roberts said individuals caught selling dangerous toys face a maximum fine of $220,000 and corporations could be fined up to $1.1 million.

"I urge consumers to buy Christmas gifts at reputable outlets with good refund and return policies,” he said.

"It comes down to commonsense."