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31 Dangerous Toys You Got as a Kid

CSI Fingerprint Examination Kits

Science kits can be great learning tools, but this one sucks for one huge reason: asbestos. These contained up to 7% asbestos in the fingerprinting powder, and just one exposure to this toxic substance can lead to lung cancer years down the road.

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Lawn Darts

Lawn Darts have to be on the list. These things were so dangerous that they hurt several children and even caused the death of some! One girl died when the dart was thrown too high and penetrated her skull. It’s no wonder these weren’t declared a weapon.

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Monster Science Water Balls

Monster Science Water Balls were little marbles that expanded into huge orbs when submerged into water. The only issue with this is that kids were eating them. They would then cause life-threatening vomiting and dehydration. The toy couldn’t be X-rayed and always required surgery to be removed.

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Battle Star Galactica Colonial Viper

Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper is the toy that started the choking hazard warning on all toys with small parts. In 1978, a boy had the toy in his mouth when the projectile missile was launched. It caused him to choke and die. Eleven days later, the toy was recalled, and now we all see a “choking hazard” warning on almost every toy you can buy.

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Easy-Bake Oven

Easy-Bake Ovens introduced children to baking at a young age. The original toy was known for trapping fingers, which was an issue because it could reach 400 degrees Fahrenheit. There were over 250 reports of burns, 16 of which were second- and third-degree burns. One kid even had a finger amputation.

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Buckyballs

Buckyballs were little magnetic balls that stuck together. They were used to construct whatever the kid had in mind. Like many toys, children could easily swallow them, and that’s where the issues began. One wasn’t an issue, but multiple swallowed Buckyballs would clamp together through the intestinal walls. This would cause tears in organs, blood poisoning and bowel blockages.

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Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kids

The makers of this doll certainly thought snack-eating dolls would be a big hit, but they didn’t think that small children’s hair and fingers may get caught in the vicious doll’s mouths along with the plastic “food.” They didn’t even have an off switch, and one child was even scalped due to this toy.

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Moon Shoes

Lashing miniature trampolines to clumsy children’s feet would still be fun for them and would save you from having to buy a full-scale trampoline! The countless faceplants and broken ankles might be a bummer, though.

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Creepy Crawlers

Kids, especially boys, love playing with bugs, so why not provide them with plastic granules they can bake into fake bugs? For one, kids baking anything is a bad idea since their fine motor skills aren’t quite up to par yet. Plus, you can always just buy some plastic bugs for less.

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Slip 'N Slide

Homemade versions of these are still pretty popular today but allowing children to play on them is a recipe for disaster. Don’t we usually try to make things as un-slippery as possible for kids instead of making a toy out of it?

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Skip-It

The idea is great: give kids something fun to do that also provides exercise. But maybe skip toys that have heavy weights on the end that will inevitably smack into their fragile ankles.

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Pogo Balls

Not pogo sticks. Pogo balls. Where you literally try to balance yourself on a ball and jump around. These actually caught on for a while before the casualty list started growing exponentially.

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Sky Dancers

Broken vases, poked eyes...the hit list goes on and on for these little devils. Even if kids only played outside with these toys, there was still a pretty good chance of getting swatted in the face by the wings.

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Slap Bracelets

These little bracelets were addicting for some unknown reason, and if the covering never came off, you weren’t likely to become seriously injured. Yet, if the metal underneath was exposed, you could end up with some serious gashes.

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Socker Boppers

Socker Boppers aimed to teach children violence from a young age with oversized punching gloves. Their slogan was “More Fun than a Pillow Fight,” but at least pillows were soft. And free.

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CSI Fingerprint Examination Kits

Science kits can be great learning tools, but this one sucks for one huge reason: asbestos. These contained up to 7% asbestos in the fingerprinting powder, and just one exposure to this toxic substance can lead to lung cancer years down the road.

(Image via Pinterest)
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Aqua Dots

Aqua Dots are toy beads that can be arranged and dampened to fuse into one another, so, they’re sort of a cross between a kid’s toy and a craft. However, in 2007, there was a major recall after several children ingested beads and fell into a deep coma. It was later discovered that the beads accidentally contained a chemical, that when metabolized by the body, turns into the dangerous and illegal sedative GHB. 

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Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab

Science kits have been a popular choice for kids for decades now. However, the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Engergy Lab (released in the 60s) took things way too far. This atomic energy kit was so realistic that it actually contained uranium ore. 

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Clackers

Clackers weren’t the most exciting or revolutionary toy ever invented, but they were fun--assuming you didn’t hurt yourself with them. Certain versions of this toy were eventually recalled because of the danger of the plastic balls cracking and sending shards flying right towards your face. 

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Fidget Spinners

Fidget spinners had a major moment in 2017, and are you really surprised that this tiny toy with tiny parts ended up being dangerous? The spinners posed a choking threat to children because even some “quality” brand fidget spinners easily fell apart into smaller pieces that could then be swallowed by toddlers. 

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Hoverboards

Sometimes people work themselves up into a fake panic over dangerous toys, but the outrage about the hoverboard was not one of those times. In addition to injuries from falling off of one, some hoverboard brands could actually burst into flames--at least one death can be attributed to a fire caused by a faulty hoverboard. 

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Rollerblade Barbie

Rollerblades were a big hit in the '90s, so it’s no surprise that Barbie eventually found herself with a pair strapped to her feet. Unfortunately, Mattel got a little too overzealous when designing the doll. Her blades came with a small device that would produce sparks when you ran Barbie’s blades across a flat surface. Needless to say, this Barbie started to mysteriously disappear from shelves once the fire hazard became apparent. 

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Toothpick Crossbow

It’s amazing that toothpick crossbows ever existed, but I’m sure glad they’re not popular anymore. There are no words I could use to describe the toy that would better illustrate its danger than just opening your eyes and looking at it. If you buy one of these for your kids, you’re just begging for a toothpick to the butt...or worse. 

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Derringer Toy Gun

Toy guns are still around, but they’ve definitely improved in terms of safety. In the 1950s, Mattel released the Derringer Toy Gun that used calcium carbide to eject ping pong balls from the gun. Unfortunately, if calcium carbide comes into contact with water, it produces a highly flammable gas. So, any amount of moisture in the gun was in danger of causing the whole thing to explode. 

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Slingshots

It seems like toy companies are always inventing fancier and fancier ways for kids to hurt themselves with their products. But the slingshot takes things back to basics--it’s a simple toy that poses simple threats your eyes and other body parts. In the past decades, there have been more than 100,000 documented injuries from slingshots. 

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Trampoline

Trampolines might seem like a fun way to get a little exercise in your backyard, but they actually send almost 100,000 people to the hospital every year. The biggest dangers are falling off the trampoline or colliding with someone else using it. 

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Kick Scooter

If you haven’t taken a kick scooter to the shin, then you had a bad childhood. These devices may be fun, but they also managed to singlehandedly increase the rates of injuries from toys between 1990 and 2011. If you’re going to let your kids on one, a helmet is a must! 

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Fisher-Price Hot Wheels

Power Wheels have been around since the '80s, and they continue to be a popular toy among small children. Who doesn’t want their own set of wheels? However, they don’t have a spotless history--in the late '90s, there was a massive recall of over 10 million units because of an undetected fire hazard. 

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Flubber

There have been all sorts of slimy, goopy toys over the years that kids love and parents can’t stand. However, when Hasbro released Flubber in the 1960s, things didn’t go according to plan. The product was recalled when thousands of reports of rashes began to show up. That being said, no one could ever scientifically or definitively tie the Flubber to the outbreak of skin conditions.

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Yo-Yo Water Balls

Poor yo-yo water balls have an undeserved reputation. Despite the fact that the US Product and Consumer Safety Commision refused to recall them, several states banned their sale because of a potential choking hazard and the potential of the ball containing potentially dangerous liquid--heavy emphasis on potential.

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Aqua-Leisure Inflatable Baby Boat

The whole point of a baby boat is to keep them afloat, which was something that the Aqua-Leisure Inflatable Baby Boat was incapable of doing. The product was recalled after reports of children slipping out of the seat and into the water, but even after the first recall, the company continued to make defective boats that would later need to be recalled themselves. 

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