Kid’s toys are some of the most fondly remembered things we own. Yet, do to small children’s endless desire to find dangerous activities or developer oversight, a shocking number turn up dangerous. Here are ten of the worst offenders.
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10. Cabbage Patch Snack Time Doll
The innocent looking doll had a motorized mouth that let it eat plastic ‘food’. Kid’s being kids, it didn’t take long for fingers and hair to be dragged into unforgiving mechanical mouths. Whle not being life threatening, the lack of an on-off switch meant parents were a bit unhappy with the devouring dolls. In one case, a girl was nearly scalped by the disturbing children.
9. Gilbert Atomic Energy Lab
Riding the wave of public good will towards atomic energy, the Gilbert Atomic Energy Lab was promising. There was only one problem: it actually had uranium. While it has been that being near the uranium wouldn’t do much, if any of it was eaten by children, things would go wrong fast. And as we know, kids will put just about everything in their mouths. Shockingly, this took a few years to be removed from the market.
Spring-loaded and child-friendly rarely go hand in hand, but the designers of Snap Bracelets thought there metal spring loaded bracelets would be find. Designed to go rigid after being removed from wrists and ‘snap’ around the wrist when slapped, the toy was a hit in the 90s. Unfortunately, generic manufactures got ahold of it and began producing cheap knock offs. The low prices were maintained by using poor quality fabric, which the metal insides wore through and slice straight through kid’s skin.
Someone in the eighties looked at the classic bar game, darts, and create a less alcoholic version for children. The combonation of heavy sharp metal objects, impaired forethought, and children resulted in a number of injuries from the “family friendly” game. JARTS was banned in 1988 for causing 762 emergency room visits every year, with 80% being minors. Regardless of adult supervison, JARTS was responsible for over seven thousand injures and even a few deaths.
6. Creepy Crawlers
Released in 1964, Creepy Crawlers came with high temperature melted plastic and an oven for heating them into molds. The toy was extremely popular, allowing kids to design their own bugs and monsters. While intriguing for it’s build-your-own-horror aspect, a number of sizzling hot burns and toxic fumes caused this toy brand to get squashed.
Released in 2004, Megablocks released the latest toy that exploited fundamental forces of the universe for children’s entertainment. Tragically, the magnets were easily dislodged from the toys, and as we said, kid’s eat everything. The result was several toddlers consuming magnets and getting health complications as the magnets pulled at various organs. In 2005, after the recall, a 22 month old toddler died from consuming one of the magnets.
4. Austin Magic Pistol
While toy guns are almost as viciously debated as actually guns, with parents concerned about the psychological effects later in life, the Austin Magic Pistol gets special mention. It used an actual explosive reaction of calcium carbide and water to propel it’s plastic ammunition forward. The problem, if not apparent, was that the toy could actually be used for violent crimes and serious injury. It was quickly recalled.
A pair of large balls attached by a hefty string, the sole entertaining piece being seeing two objects smack into each other. The force of the concussion got out of hand quickly, resulting broken noses, bruised eyes, and damaged teeth. And that’s if the ball didn’t fly out and become a projectile, injuring others in it’s path. They were banned in 1985.
2.Splash Blaster Hydro Rocket
The iconic Hydro Rocket used water pressure from the house to launch (that word is starting to become a flag for ‘will hurt someone’) itself into the sky. Played with by both children and hobbyists….until they started exploding in mid air, sending sharpened everywhere. Skin lacerations and worse were reported to the company until the toy was recalled.
1. Aqua Dots
New technology often means new, cool, and educational toys. But novelty also means unknown consequences. For example, in 2007 the SpinMaster company in Toronto, Canada created the Aqua Dots. It was a set of small beads that, when submersed in water, stuck together. Later that year, millions of shipments were recalled when it was discovered that the manufacture included a powerful digestible sedative in the beds. And kids eat everything. Several children were found in a comatose state.