We all remember toys from our childhood that, when we look back at them now, were extremely dangerous. It’s a miracle we didn’t end up seriously hurting ourselves or our families and friends.
Well, some of us did, sadly.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 most ridiculously dangerous toys that children used to play with.
1. Gilbert Atomic Energy Lab
This toy is a ticking time bomb. Quite literally. Although the point is make-believe science and fun, there’s more to this lab than that.
While children are using this toy, they are given real power – the kind that’s actually hot on the black market. You see, the kit came with uranium ore samples as well as a cloud chamber.
There is nothing wrong with being interested in chemistry as a child, as long as you don’t blow up your room. Instead, learn about all the cool things chemistry allows people to do in the safety of a classroom with a teacher’s watching eye.
2. Johnny Reb Cannon
This toy looks like so much fun but is so dangerous. When learning about and re-enacting the Civil War, nothing could be cooler than having an actual cannon that can shoot.
The Johnny Reb Cannon came from Remco Industries – a very popular toy manufacturer fo the 60s.
While this toy may not be one of the most dangerous on our list, it is still not something that a little one should be playing with.
It came with a foot tall cannon with ramrod and 6 hard (plastic) cannonballs. Add to that the Confederate Flag and it becomes even more inappropriate.
3. Cabbage Patch Kids Snacktime Kid
The idea behind this was probably good on paper but it did not work in reality. The Cabbage Patch kids eating plastic snacks through a mechanism in their mouths are just plain creepy.
Sure, it’s supposed to be cute but what happens when a child’s hair gets stuck in the motorized mouth? There were actually quite a few reports of children getting their fingers stuck in the mouths. And there was no on or off switch – the motor was activated by the presence of something entering the mouth.
Not so cute anymore, huh?
4. Powermite Circular Saw
It is a good idea to teach children to work with their hands from a young age. But safety needs to be kept in mind at all times. This is children we’re talking about after all.
However, the Powermite Circular Saw goes beyond just teaching kids how to play with their first-ever toolset. The saw comes with a real blade.
Maybe you wouldn’t be able to actually cut off a finger with the blade but the idea is still unsettling.
Who came up with the ideas for toys back in the day? Although the toys on our list seem like fun, they are so potentially dangerous that it’s amazing they got past the drawing board with these ideas.
Lawn darts, also known as Jarts, were fun as long as you weren’t impaled by them. These gigantic darts were thrown in the air with the hope of getting them to stick to the ground.
Of course, it didn’t take long for children to get hurt with these things and the darts were banned. However, they were brought back in the 70s. We can’t help but wonder who approved that idea.
In 1998, Jarts were permanently banned after more than 6 000 emergency room visits from kids who got hurt. Sadly, a girl (7) lost her life to these toys.
6. Austin Magic Pistol
This fun little hazard must have been very popular with boys and aspiring arsonists. The Austin Magic Pistol wasn’t very accurate for hitting your targets but had the added fun of fire.
With flames shooting out of the toy gun’s barrel, how could parents not worry? The gun used ‘magic crystals’ that was nothing more than calcium carbide, which is a hazardous material.
This toy conjures up images of painful fingers and bruised body parts just by looking at it. Dating from the 70s, these hard plastic toys were a danger to society, or at least society’s kids eager to play with them.
Fortunately, the toy was continued after it was realized that smashing the hard plastic balls together would cause shards of sharp debris to fly everywhere.
8. Aqua Dots
This toy seems innocent enough. It was made for children four and older and allowed them to arrange colored beads in patterns. These could then be made into permanent art when sprayed with water and sealed.
Although the box warned parents about choking hazards, they mentioned no chemicals, which they should have.
It turns out the craft kit contained a very dangerous chemical – the drug GHB, which is better known as a date rape drug. Several children were hospitalized one even went into a coma, suffering brain damage.
Despite winning the Toy of The Year Award in Australia back in 2007, we wouldn’t suggest buying this one.
There are millions of toys that risk children poking their eyes out and this one is at the top. However appealing having a sixth finger might be, this toy makes us think twice.
It shoots secret bullets, fragmentation bombs, and message missiles – a recipe for disaster. One wrong move and you’re heading straight to the emergency room.
10. Creepy Crawlers
Many children love creepy crawlies and that’s probably why this 60s toy exists. However, there’s more here than meets the eye.
To make their own little creepy bugs (or bug-like mini-monsters) kids would pour an ingredient called plastigoop into bug molds. The molds were heated to about 390 degrees on an electric oven. It doesn’t take a genius to see why this is a bad idea.
Children, toys and hot oven plates should never mix.