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Watchdog Group Takes Aim at Holiday Season's High-Tech Toys

Hot-button media issues like drones and online privacy have made their way onto the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CFCC) list of worst toys.

In response to the Toy Industry Association of America’s annual Toy of the Year Awards, CFCC came up with its own awards, dubbed TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young children).

This year's TOADY nominees include the Sky Viper Video Drone, which CFCC said belies its target of kids 12-plus by advertising in TV shows like The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, which "ensures that even very young children will nag their parents for their own flying spy cam" with which to conduct "military-like surveillance."

It also takes issue with the Hello Barbie.

"Prepare your daughter for a lifetime of surveillance with Hello Barbie, the doll that records children's private conversations and transmits them to cloud servers, where they are analyzed by algorithms and listened to by strangers," the group said.

CFCC two weeks ago launched "Hell No Barbie," a public education campaign targeting the Wi-Fi enabled talking doll, saying surveillance has no place in kids' toys and could be susceptible to data breaches.

Also nominated were the Tube Heroes collector packs celebrating "the brave young men and women who upload videos of themselves playing video games to YouTube."

The "winner" will be announced Dec. 7. Representatives of the toy companies had not responded to requests for comment at press time.