These Dangerous Toys Are Supposed to be Meant for Children?
Toys are supposed to be child’s play, but not all of them are as safe as they look. Over the years, we’ve had a handful of scary toys with life-threatening features.
We’re still amused at how they made it to the counters and into the homes of unsuspecting families. Here’s a frightening list of 25 toys that were too dangerous to grace a child’s playground.
Unsafe CSI Kits for Young Detectives
What could be cooler than solving a crime like a real-life detective? For many kids, the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit and the CSI: Investigation Forensics Lab Kit were a dream come true. However, these kits were a curse in disguise as they had several harmful chemicals.
Till today, we wonder how the toy passed quality control with asbestos fingerprint powder in the kit. After backlash from medical personnel and a public uproar about safety concerns, the toys were eventually recalled.
Aqua Dots and Their Deadly Coating
Aqua Dots, also known as Bindeez, was a popular craft toy that allowed children to create designs using small, colorful beads. These cool beads were fun because they stuck together permanently when you added water.
Unknown to the unsuspecting parents, the toy’s adhesive coating had a chemical that turned into GHB when ingested. The harmful substance in this toy caused comas and seizures in kids and was the reason the toys are no longer available.
The Gilbert Lab Was Radioactive and Insane
Since atomic energy was a trendy topic in the 50s, the inventor of this toy wanted to keep up with the times. In his excitement, he created the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab for aspiring young scientists.
This toy included three kinds of live uranium ore, a Geiger counter, and an instruction manual for conducting nuclear experiments. Thankfully, Gilbert makers realized how ridiculous this toy was and pulled it from the market.
The Doll That Ate Children's Hair and Fingers
The Snacktime Cabbage Patch Doll was another toy fad because it could eat snacks. This doll looked like a cute and harmless toy, yet it was a nightmare waiting to happen.
The toy had a mechanical mouth with jaws that ran on motors, but that wasn’t the problem – the doll couldn’t tell between snacks and children’s body parts. The manufacturer recalled the dolls after several injuries were reported.
Trampolines Are a Bounce Away From Disaster
Trampolines are a backyard staple for many families; however, they’re also one of the most dangerous toys out there. While bouncing is a lot of fun, it can also cause severe injuries, including broken bones.
Many families still use trampolines, most of them unaware of the dangers. If you want a bouncy toy for your kids, then you must ensure adequate supervision to protect them.
Red-hot Danger in Barbie Pink
If you were a child of the 90s, chances are you begged your parents for a Rollerblade Barbie, the ultimate combination of fashion and extreme sports. Sure, it looked harmless, but it was a recipe for disaster.
The skates had flints in the heels that caused sparks when rolled, with some children even getting burned. Mattel had to quickly roll back the toys and face some very disgruntled parents.
A Creepy Crawly Oven?
The name alone brings a thousand questions to mind. The Creepy Crawlers Oven allowed kids to create their own rubber insects, but it was so dangerous we wonder why kids were even allowed near it.
It produced toxic hot melted plastic and could become even hotter than an Easy Bake Oven. Despite the risks, kids loved playing with it in the 60s and back then parents didn’t have the same definition of danger as we do.
Presenting the Magic of the Austin Pistol
The Austin Magic Pistol might be one of the riskiest toys of all time, firing ping pong balls with highly flammable “magic crystals” that caused small explosions. Even though it was dangerous, it was a popular gift for kids – before it was banned, of course.
Clearly, children would have been thrilled to shoot people, but why did our parents and grandparents ever consider giving them as gifts?
Risky Nostalgia Featuring Gilbert Glass
The Gilbert Glass Blowing Set, a cherished relic from our parents’ and grandparents’ childhood, was the ultimate DIY kit for young scientists and artists alike. As we look back on it now, we flinch at the thought of this once-popular toy.
Complete with a dangerous open flame and molten glass, this “educational” set was a recipe for disaster. Despite its unsafe nature, it brings back fond memories for our parents. After all, what’s childhood without a little risk-taking?
Flying Ballerinas for Christmas
Sounds extraordinary, doesn’t it? Sky Dancers, the airborne ballerinas that enchanted children in the ’90s, were toys that seemed innocent enough at first glance but proved to be pretty high-risk.
A simple pull of a string caused these toys to take flight, propelling themselves through the air and crashing into walls, furniture, and even other children. The toys are best remembered as Christmastime insanity.
Slide and Glide Toy
The Slide and Glide Toy is a popular water toy that has been around for decades. It’s known for its simple design – just a long plastic sheet with water running down it and endless summer fun.
However, the original Slide and Glide Toy was made for children – a bad idea in hindsight. In 1993, after several severe injuries and paralysis cases, the Consumer Product Safety Commission gave a warning about the toy’s dangers.
Risky Metal Toys
Risky Metal Toys were once a staple in parks and schools, but they came with their fair share of risks. These play structures were notorious for causing burns, Tetanus, split lips, and even concussions.
Luckily, most of the metal pieces are now made with plastic, and any remaining metal parts are coated to prevent rust. Although, it’s still important to be cautious on hot days and to avoid touching the slides and swings when kids are not playing on them.
Kaster Kits by Gilbert
Gilbert’s Kaster Kits were a popular toy set in the 1930s that allowed children to cast their toy soldiers out of molten lead. As fun as that may sound, these kits were potentially lethal.
It’s worth noting that the same company that produced the kits made the Gilbert Glass Blowing kit, another hazardous toy that literally allowed kids to play with fire. Children’s toys have come a long way in terms of safety since then.
Belt Buckle Pistol
The Belt Buckle Pistol was a small plastic gun launched in 1959 that fired a brass bullet up to 15 feet in a random direction.
The gun was loaded with a small exploding cap that made a “BANG” noise, and it was worn as a belt buckle right in the crotch area. It’s no surprise that it hurt many children. If you’re thinking of buying one today, you can find them on eBay – but please keep them away from kids.
Dock Model Kits
Model Dockyard was a toy locomotive made in the mid-1800s when child safety standards weren’t a thing. This toy was a miniature train that moved, powered by a steam engine fueled by kerosene or alcohol.
The child had to light it up to make the metal train run, but the trouble was it dripped fuel from the back. It also lacked tracks, so it could easily spread the flammable liquid and set the house on fire!
The mini hammock, which gained popularity in the early 90s, turned out to be an unsafe toy, especially the “Hang Ten” model from EZ Sales. Children would get entangled in it, leading to severe head and brain injuries. It was difficult, if not impossible, for them to escape.
By 1996, ten different toy manufacturers had produced three million mini hammocks, but they were recalled due to safety concerns.
The moon shoes were all the rage in the 90s and were called trampolines for the feet. Although they may have looked cool, they did pose a significant danger to children wearing them.
Anyone who saw them would think, “someone is bound to twist their ankle in these.” Sadly, the manufacturer only realized the mistake after numerous reports of hurt children surfaced.
Radio-Controlled Sky Rangers Airplane
Imagine a child playing with a toy airplane, and suddenly it goes up in flames! Terrifying, isn’t it? That’s precisely what happened with the Sky Rangers toys back in 2007.
The manufacturing company had to withdraw them because there were over 50 reports of them randomly exploding while kids were playing with them, causing several injuries. The radio-controlled airplanes were a popular fad among kids, but in the end, they weren’t that kid-friendly.
Paradise Avian Slingshot
The Bird of Paradise slingshot wasn’t just any ordinary toy – it was so dangerous that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wanted it banned.
It was the very first toy to be recalled because of injury risk, not because of any harmful chemicals. Why, you ask? Well, the slingshot was a toy that came with super sharp “missiles” that could seriously hurt someone.
Little Magnetic Balls
Magnetix was a toy set that allowed children to build structures from magnetic balls and plastic pieces with magnets. A recall began after children who were too young to play with them swallowed the magnets, choked, or had surgery to remove the balls from their stomachs.
It turns out Bucky Balls had similar troubles. It’s why they say parents should stop toddlers and babies from playing with toys with small parts that little ones may swallow.
Miniature Versions Of Metal Power Tools
Back in the 1960s, miniature versions of adult metal power tools were released, stirring mixed feelings. While it was dangerous to give children access to such tools, dexterous kids could use them to build useful items, such as decks.
The power mites allowed kids to have a realistic experience of the electric-powered tools they may have seen at home. These tools were metal and plastic replicas that functioned as real tools but were definitely not suitable for children.
Explosive Balls For Fun?
Children could have hours of fun with Super Blast Balls! When you smash these two balls together in your hands, you create a spark, it’s like holding a real toy gun cap in your hand except it’s safer.
Kids would be delighted to play with these exciting balls! But don’t forget that when exploded, blast balls emit a loud sound and bright light, as well as a chemical irritant, like tear gas.
Toys R Us Recalls Writing Set with Razor Blade
Toys R Us once recalled a writing set designed for children in 1988 because it had a small razor blade. We don’t need to tell you that’s extremely dangerous.
The writing set itself was shaped like a cheerful yellow submarine and contained several drawers filled with various writing and craft supplies. The designer seemed to think a razor blade should be in those craft supplies. We bet they didn’t have kids.
Potential Infant Risks in Aqua-Leisure Baby Boats
Aqua-Leisure was well aware of the hazards of its baby boat toys. The toy was launched in 2002, and although no infants perished while playing with the boats, there were still high risks of babies getting hurt.
The boats were practically built for disaster as the leg straps often tore off, which was the thing that secured the baby to the seat in the float. Putting a baby in the water in these boats would be a very bad idea.
The Tragic History of Lawn Darts
In the 50s, lawn darts, javelin darts, or J Darts were popular toys —- possibly because there was no safety testing yet. These darts, which were sharp and weighted, were pretty much weapons, and tragically, a little girl was killed by one in 1987.
The sad event prompted a major change in the US toy industry, and now, “soft-tipped”, safer versions of the game are available instead.