correct they're not a toy, but it's marketed that way, rather upsetting. you can make one out of paper, but you should make it out of wood. making one yourself will help you charge it to your energy, and gives you 100% control.
no, when it's in the box it doesn't call to spirits. it uses you as a channel, you energy pools in the board and draws spirits to it since they feed off energy. i use a board once a year to talk with the spirit with me. every time it's the same thing. he uses me as a channel, he becomes a ball of energy [as do i] and whoever is working the planchette with me is completely drained.