The Most Dangerous Banned Children’s Toys of All Time

We may fondly recall the past as a simpler time, but we do know a lot more now than we did then. This includes knowledge about children’s safety, and specifically, kids’ toys. You wouldn’t believe what could once be found on the toy-store shelves. One must-have card game even contained lead at 75 times the legal level (page 10).

1. Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kid

A Cabbage Patch Kid doll being fed.
These dolls were cute, but very unsafe. | Giphy

This Cabbage Patch Kid doll had the ability to chew, and apparently some of the dolls took it too far. Kids were getting their fingers and hair caught in the dolls’ mouths, so Mattel banned them in 1997.

Next: Getting impaled wasn’t supposed to be part of this game.

2. Jarts

JARTS were lawn darts that were so heavy, the metal could have easily impaled someone. After over 7,000 reported injuries, they were finally banned in 1988.

Next: Whoever thought this game was a good idea clearly didn’t have children.

3. The CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit

CSI: DNA Laboratory Kit and set.
This kit caused many injuries to children. | YouTube

The CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit, a toy based on the CBS show CSI, provided special powder and brushes so children could look for fingerprints. But the powder was found to contain 5% asbestos, prompting the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization to file a civil action to stop sales of the kit.

Next: These toys almost drowned babies.

4. Aqua-Leisure Inflatable Baby Boats

A mother seen with her child on a toy float.
These were not safe enough to support babies on water. | YouTube

The Inflatable Baby Boats seemed like a fun way for babies and toddlers to enjoy a little pool time. But the boats’ leg straps were prone to tear, causing the baby or toddler to slip through. After more than 30 infants nearly drowned, the Consumer Product Safety Commission fined the company $650,000 and banned the toys.

Next: This toy clacked its way into oblivion.

5. Clackers

Clackers, which were also known as Click Clacks and Knockers, had one purpose: To be knocked together as quickly and as hard as possible. Needless to say, they shattered a lot of things (and probably body parts) before they were banned in 1985.

Next: This classic toy had some serious malfunctions. 

6. Easy Bake Ovens

Easy Bake Oven being used to make a dessert.
This sleepover favorite wasn’t as safe as parents thought. | Giphy

Easy Bake Ovens have always been popular, even earning a spot in the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2006. But Hasbro was once forced to recall over one million of their plastic models after a design flaw allowed the oven to trap and severely burn children’s fingers. One poor five-year-old girl had to undergo a partial finger amputation.

Next: If you were a ’90s kid, you’ll remember this trend.

7. Snap Bracelet knock-offs

A person slapping on a bracket on their wrist.
You won’t see kids “slapping” these on anymore. | Giphy

Snap bracelets were a popular trend in the 90s. The spring-loaded bracelets were covered in plastic or cloth and “snapped” to curl around the wearers’ wrists. But some of the knock-off brands were so cheaply made that they’d slice right into children’s wrists, causing the knock-off brands to be recalled.

Next: These tiny dancers injured over 100 people.

8. Sky Dancers

These popular flying toys were recalled just six years after their mid-90s debut. It seems that the reports of 100 injuries were enough to get them banned.

Next: These rockets were too unpredictable.

9. Splash Off Water Rockets

These rockets used water pressure from a hose to build up energy and blast off into the air. Sadly they also burned users, broke apart in mid-air, exploded, or flew off into unpredictable directions. 37 cases of hand and face lacerations were reported.

Next: This card game was incredibly toxic.

10. Hannah Montana Pop Star Card Game

A Hannah Montana Pop Star Card Game.
This portable toy came with a metal case that contained heavy amounts of lead. | Pinterest

The Hannah Montana Pop Star Card Game was released in 2007, but lab tests soon revealed that it contained lead at 75 times the legal level. Second only to arsenic, lead is one of the most deadly household toxins in existence.

Next: Some children vomited and even went into comas after coming into contact with these toys.

11. Aqua Dots

Aqua Dots Banned Toys
The date rape drug resembles this child’s toy. | KillinoFirm via Youtube

Popular in 2007, Aqua Dots were small, colorful beads that were arranged into different designs and permanently set with a sprinkle of water. The water activated a glue in the coating of the beads that fused them together … but unfortunately, that glue contained chemicals that metabolized into gamma-hydroxybutyrate, otherwise known as GHB – the date rape drug. This caused numerous children to get sick and even lapse into comas before the dots were recalled.

Next: A gun with gas-powered combustion? What could go wrong?

12. The Austin Magic Pistol

The Austin Magic Pistol on a white carpet.
The Austin Magic Pistol was incredibly dangerous. | YouTube

In the 1950s, toy guns were all the rage, so they had to be special to stand out. This pistol’s gas-powered combustion made it a popular pick, using “magic crystals” made from calcium carbide (a hazardous material). The crystals would explode when mixed with water and fire plastic balls 70 feet or more. Yikes.

Next: We’re really not sure how children from the ’50s and ’60s even survived.

13. Metal playgrounds

Playground equipment in a park.
The reason why you no longer see metal playgrounds. |

If you’ve visited a playground recently, you may have noticed that all the metal play structures have been replaced with safer rubber ones. This was done for many reasons, mainly because that metal equipment would get scorching hot, and those jungle gyms were one bad fall away from total disaster.

Next: We saved the most dangerous banned toy for last.

14. Atomic Energy Laboratory

An Atomic Energy Lab kit.
This science kit left little to the imagination. | YouTube

In 1951, the U-238 Atomic Energy Lab was released. It contained actual radioactive materials. Unsurprisingly, it was pulled from the shelves in less than a year.

Next: And the runner up goes to …

15. Colored chalk

Colorful chalk on a sidewalk.
Colorful chalk is fun, but can potentially be dangerous. |

Sidewalk chalk definitely isn’t banned — but perhaps it should be. Some of the ingredients in some colored chalks contain chemicals that aren’t good for consumption and can actually be dangerous for children to ingest. Make sure you check the ingredients on the chalk you buy.

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