Being a kid, you generally don’t consider what makes a toy safe. You simply see the toy and want to play with it. The idea of “what’s safe” is left up for the adults to decide. Sometimes, however, these adults aren’t very good at that job and allow some truly questionable playthings into the hands of children. Today, recalls over unsafe toys aren’t all that common thanks to regulations and testing put in place due to previous mishaps. So, let’s look at a few of these mistakes and discover some truly dangerous toys.
Cabbage Patch Snack-time Kids: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Released in time for the holidays, this mechanized doll ate small, plastic food via a set of rollers within the mouth. The snacks would then be deposited into the backpack where they could be retrieved to feed the doll again. Although popular, the line was withdrawn by Mattel due to incidents involving children getting their fingers and hair stuck in the dolls “teeth.” Although no serious injuries were reported, it’s safe to say a few kids got free haircuts in the process.
Rollerblade Barbie: Now with Arson Action
Barbie has been known to have many talents and jobs. But did you know she briefly moonlighted as an arsonist? Rollerblade Barbie featured a pair of skates with flint in the heels, causing sparks to shoot our when rolled. Comparable to cigarette lighters, this innocuous toy could start actual fires if not careful. It’s no wonder Mattel quickly recalled them after parents reported their kids getting burned.
Lawn Darts: Right in Your Bulls-eye
Who would have thought a giant metal dart you throw into the sky could possibly be dangerous? Not the multitude of manufacturers it seems. Originally released sometime during the 1950’s, lawn darts grew in popularity during the 80’s after a ban was lifted in the late 70’s. Tragically, in April of 1987, a seven year old girl was killed when a neighbor accidentally threw one into her backyard. The girl’s father soon lobbied for a new ban and, after thousands more injuries with one leading to a coma, the “toys” were officially banned on December 19, 1988. Today you can purchase soft tipped versions of this game, but they thankfully won’t maim you.
U-238 Atomic Energy Lab: Irradiate Your Whole Family
While people today understand the hazards of radioactive materials, people in the 1950’s weren’t as cautious. The creator of the Erector set, A.C. Gilbert, decided to release a children’s chemistry kit to teach kids about nuclear fission. Although wanting to educate is a noble cause, the execution was deadly. Each set contained actual samples of uranium ore, an unstable element that releases large amounts of radiation. It was quickly recalled, but only after a few thousand were sold. Hopefully no aspiring young scientist accidentally made their own nuclear bomb.
You have to wonder what was going through the heads of the people who signed off on some of these toys. Commonsense would indicate all of these were terrible ideas from the start, but hindsight is 20/20. But let’s hope the kids who owned one of these still has their sight.
Do you have any experience with one of these items or do you know of another? Share and comment below!