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Today's quote

'I'm going just to experience the craziness of it.'

- Amy Pluth, a San Francisco investment banker, telling the financial news service Bloomberg.com why she plans to join the traditional kickoff of the Christmas shopping season today for the first time since graduating from college.

Toys for tots that critics rate as too potentially hazardous

The day after Thanksgiving traditionally is the busiest shopping day of the year for retailers. In time for the holiday bonanza, World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH), a Boston-based child-safety group, released its annual list of toys that experts consider potentially dangerous. WATCH's 10 "worst toys" of 2002 (in alphabetical order), their makers or distributors, and what it says are their hazards:

• Baby Had a Little Lamb - Cuddly Buddy, Battat; hair that could be ingested
• Bob the Builder Counting Hammer, Tiger Electronics; hard plastic hammer
• Bull's Eye Mini Pellet Shot, JA-RU; BB-like ammunition
• Creative Coaster, Fisher-Price; dowels that could choke
• Critter Mobile, Pottery Barn Kids; string that could entangle baby
• Curious George, BRIO; small parts that could choke
• Digital Monsters Digimon Bank, Fun-4-All; sharp point that could puncture
• Hot Wheels Sling Shotz Blaster, Mattel; launcher and missiles that shouldn't be pointed at people or pets
• Little Stars Lamaze - My First Dollhouse, Learning Curve International; plush cloth dog that could cause choking
• Snoopy & Friends Sno-Cone Machine, Kid Dimension; metal edges that could cut

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