We may look back on the past and remember it as a simpler time, but the fact is, we know a lot more now that we did then. That includes knowledge about children’s safety, and specifically, children’s toys. You wouldn’t believe what could once be found on the toy store shelves.
These are some of the most dangerous banned toys of all time.
Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kid
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.
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.
The CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit
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.
Aqua-Leisure Inflatable Baby Boats
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.
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: If you were a ’90s kid, you’ll remember this trend.
Snap Bracelet knock-offs
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.
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: Some children vomited and even went into comas after coming into contact with these toys.
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: These rockets were too unpredictable.
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: A gun with gas-powered combustion? What could go wrong?
The Austin Magic Pistol
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: This card game was incredibly toxic.
Hannah Montana Pop Star Card Game
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: This classic toy had some serious malfunctions.
Easy Bake Ovens
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: We’re really not sure how children from the ’50s and ’60s even survived.
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.
Atomic Energy Laboratory
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 …
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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