Top 12 Most Dangerous Kids Toys of All Time

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A story of a harmful toy or a childhood injury almost always comes up when discussing product responsibility. While many injuries have been documented as a ... read more...

  1. The Gilbert Glass Blowing Kit, one of the Most Dangerous Kids Toys of All Time, was designed for you if you thought your child could benefit from a new activity and you needed some new glassware around the house. This horrific toy was promoted as an essential tool for youngsters to learn an important skill. Glassblowing was something of a practical skill needed for persons interested in studying chemistry in college when it was published in 1909. That's fine and dandy, but we're talking about giving kids a device that can use an alcohol-fueled flame to heat up the associated glass tubes.

    The package included 80 experiments for youngsters to do in order to understand the fundamentals of scoring, blowing, and sculpting glass objects. It was certainly more dangerous than a typical plush animal, and it would never be sold to children today, but it sure seems like a lot of fun. Because the kit didn't come with any protective clothing, it was sold primarily to guys, which may have saved many a young woman from burning herself on her handcrafted glass cup. When working with glass at around 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, it encourages children to use their bare hands. Can you imagine not burning down the house at that age? We are unable to do so.

  2. The Austin Magical Pistol is one of the most sought antique toy collections, but it was also one of the most deadly toys ever marketed to children. On the surface, the gun appears to be firing ping pong balls, which isn't really deadly, is it? It all depends on how you fire them off. In today's world, you might find a spring-loaded rifle to fire these harmless balls across a room, but in the 1940s, kids were given calcium carbide and told to have fun.

    Because calcium carbide and water don't mix well, kids would spit into the barrel and throw a ball in, culminating in a spectacular fireball and the launch of a ping pong ball straight at your little sister's face (nobody really aims for those paper targets when they have a kid brother or sister).Aside from the obvious issues about giving a child dangerous and explosive chemicals, the gun's breech was barely screwed on and would fly off, searing the poor kid who fired it with acetylene gas.

    Because that's probably not what toy manufacturers were looking for back then, the toys didn't last long on the market, making them more difficult to find for collectors (that was partly due to them exploding all the time). Because the Austin Magic Pistol employs a chemical explosion to launch a bullet, most states now classify it as a firearm, therefore collecting them may require a background check depending on where you live.
  3. The Gilbert Company, one of the Most Dangerous Kids Toys of All Time, was all about creating toys and kits for kids to grow up to be supervillains... at least, that's our premise. Their Atomic Energy Lab did precisely what it said on the tin. A Uranium-238 Geiger counter, a Wilson cloud chamber, a spinthariscope, an electroscope, and four samples of uranium ores were included in the kit. Yes, you read that correctly: the kids got their hands on radioactive uranium-238. It's also utilized to create plutonium-239, despite the fact that it's not fissile in and of itself (the main ingredient used in atomic weapons). Of course, these samples weren't being used to build miniature Manhattan Projects in garages. They were getting cancer, not the other way around.

    U-238 has been associated to a variety of diseases, including leukemia, lymphoma, and Gulf War Syndrome. It is not something to be taken lightly, and it should never be placed in the hands of children who are simply interested in learning about atomic energy.

    This collection was produced in 1950, five years after the first two atomic bombs were exploded in combat. Gilbert, you'd think, would have looked up the hazards of the substance. The kit was quite pricey. Few people bought it for their enthusiastic young supervillains because it cost roughly $350 in today's money, and it was discontinued after only two years.
  4. Toy companies are always on the lookout for products that put a new spin on a classic concept. The Moon Shoes were such a toy, and the trampoline was the product that inspired them (you know, that thing that causes around 100,000 injuries every year). On the surface, these appear to be harmless. They're miniature trampolines made of rubber bands that youngsters wear on their feet to allow them to leap a few inches higher, giving them the sensation of being actual astronauts jumping around on the Moon's surface. Of all, no one who has ever walked on the Moon has ever broken an ankle, but that's exactly what happens when you tie a couple of trampolines to a child's feet and let them go.

    Aside from the injuries, the instruction manual for these items provided the best warnings of all time. Children were warned against jumping indoors, particularly on their mattresses, in order to generate a "double jump" effect, because you never know who tried it. They were instructed to only use them outside and on hard, flat surfaces such as a driveway or blacktop, which are excellent places to fall and break an elbow or ankle. Moon Shoes were first debuted in the 1950s and were made of metal, so it's surprising they brought them back in the 1990s to a much more litigious environment.
  5. Kids like dolls and they like helicopters, so in the late 1990s, Galoob Toys Inc. combined the two ideas and created the Sky Dancers doll series. These dolls were set on a beautiful base and spun fast when a string was pulled. The Sky Dancers would zip up into the air and majestically soar directly into your father's face, blinding him, because their loose arms were in the shape of propeller blades.

    This isn't a joke. Yes, the dolls could fly. However, they did so in an unpredictable manner, and, like grapefruit juice, it tended to shoot into the eyes of the unwary. The company got 170 instances of the dolls colliding with individuals, resulting in eye injuries such as damaged corneas and temporary blindness. Then there were the other injuries: stitched wounds, fractured teeth, a broken rib, and even a concussion. Thus, it is one of the Most Dangerous Kids Toys of All Time,

    More product testing might have indicated that small plastic dolls flying erratically through the air inside a person's house were a bad idea.
  6. Slap bracelets were all the rage in some schools in the early 1990s, and you may have seen them. They were cool, a little odd-looking, and you practically slapped them on your skin to put them on. You're smacking yourself, and that's badass. However, because they were harmful, they were swiftly removed from schools. It wasn't the slapping that was the issue; it was the bracelet itself.

    The bracelets were made of a flat strip of metal coated in colorful fabric or paper, but after a few usage, the metal's edge could shred through the coverings. This would expose a sharp metal edge, similar to a playground shank. Schools were wise to step in and impose restraining orders on these wristbands.
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    You could remember them as Lawn Darts or simply Jarts, but most people remember them as little javelins of doom and the reason your uncle still walks with that strange limp. For obvious reasons, lawn darts were outlawed in 1988. While the game could be entertaining—you'd stand back from a target on your lawn and throw darts at it from afar—it was also quite dangerous.

    People who had these items pierced through their brains and other areas of their body certainly wished they hadn't been impaled in the first place. Over the course of eight years, 6,100 people were sent to the hospital after playing these games, the majority of whom were children. Three people have died as a result of this lethal mix of horseshoes and darts.
  8. CSI has always been a popular television show, so it's no surprise that games were made to promote it. That wouldn't be a problem in and of itself, but the concern here isn't that these kits allow children to image themselves as people who sample bodily fluids from corpses; it's that they include something lethal in the kits. You've probably seen those adverts on TV that question if you have mesothelioma. This is the sickness that occurs when you inhale asbestos fibers, which are exactly what these sets contain.

    The powder used to dust for prints in the fingerprint set contained asbestos. CBS eventually agreed to a settlement in the class action lawsuit and issued a toy recall after 20 months. Although it was never explained why asbestos was put in the fingerprint powder, which was easily breathed, many buyers blamed China because the game was developed there. Perhaps CBS can come up with a game to test youngsters to determine whether they've been poisoned by asbestos—practical it's and, given the fingerprint catastrophe, would definitely sell well.
  9. Clackers, Knockers, and Click Clacks was nothing more than two acrylic balls tied to a long piece of string, regardless of whether they were named knockers, click-clacks, crackers, or any other similar name. To induce the balls to swing into each other, a person would take the central string and jerk it up and down in an up-and-down motion, which produced a pleasant banging sound that drove your parents mad. Swinging small acrylic balls about at fast speeds may appear to most people to be a safe hobby, but the danger emerges when the balls reach their breaking point.

    These things would wear out after a while. They'd have to smash against each other so forcefully that they'd shatter. You might not be playing with the safest toy in the world if you expect a gratifying "boom" but instead get splintered ball parts in your eyes. Due to most parents' wish to keep shrapnel out of their children's faces, these little men were made in the 1970s and didn't make it very far into the following decade.
  10. Toy guns can be harmful for a variety of reasons, but the most common one is when a cop mistook them for the real thing. One of the reasons toy manufactures began producing Belt Buckle Derringer out of various colored plastics or adding bright orange pieces to the ends of their muzzles was because of this. Toy firearms used to appear just like real guns, and the Belt Buckle Derringer by Mattel was one of them. This gun was fashioned into a belt buckle and was the same size as a real derringer. It fired a metal shell that was loaded with a spring-loaded plastic bullet. The bullet would be about the same size and form as a.22-caliber rifle slug and would be fired about 12–15 feet from the gun.

    Because it appears and performs like a gun, it isn't always a deadly toy. It's dangerous since it's a trash gun that can lodge a small bullet into someone's eye or down their throat. This plastic, crotch-shot round of fun was most often the unfortunate receiver of the eye, which made it particularly deadly. In addition, you had to put an explosive cap in the gun to generate the appropriate "bang" sound. It's up to you how close you want to put an explosive to your trash, but this was a deal-breaker for a lot of folks.
  11. Remember when you could launch a neat tiny rocket from a G.I. Joe or Star Wars toy without worrying about your baby brother's eye being popped out? Unfortunately, those days are long gone, thanks in large part to toys like the Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper. The ship would launch a plastic missile, which, like any other spring-loaded weapon of mass devastation, might lodge in children's necks or strike them in the eyes. Unfortunately, in 1978, a four-year-old boy named Robert Jeffrey Warren died after mistakenly putting the toy's nose into his mouth and launching the missile down his throat. Mattel put warning stickers on all of their items capable of releasing lethal missiles after this event (and a few others reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission).

    Even the worst, most deadly assassin known to exist in any world, Boba Fett, was affected by the product safety stickers. The original Boba Fett toy was planned to come with a missile that could be fired from a pack on his back, however due to issues with the Battlestar Galactica line of toys, this feature was removed. Prototypes were the only versions of that toy that could fire a spring-loaded missile, making them highly uncommon and valuable collectibles.
  12. Have you ever seen one of the Child's Play movies about the terrifying toy Chuckie and his desire to murder? Chuckie is nothing compared to the Cabbage Patch Snacktime Doll because, while Chuckie is a cool figure, he isn't real and doesn't gnaw on young children's fingers and hair. On the surface, it's a pretty cool doll—you feed it vegetables and French fries, and it constantly crunches them down into its tummy. It's certainly preferable to those dolls that wet and poo themselves.

    These Cabbage Patch dolls are voracious, thus they never stop munching, unlike those incontinent little bastards. That's when it goes from cute to terrifying, since several incidences have surfaced in which the doll has gotten a hold of a little girl's hair and chomped on it until it was torn clean out of her scalp. Little girls adore their hair, so that's bad enough, but those unfortunate kids who got their fingers hooked in those ravenous jaws might never be able to feed a real baby again.

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