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The 10 Most Dangerous Toys of All Time

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the watch-your-hands dept.

Toys 404

Ant writes "An article at the Radar lists the ten most dangerous toys of all time, those treasured playthings that drew blood, chewed digits, took out eyes, and, in one case, actually irradiated. To keep things interesting, the editors excluded BB guns, slingshots, throwing stars, and anything else actually intended to inflict harm." My favorite: 'Feed Me!' begged the packaging for 1996's Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kid. And much like the carnivorous Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors, the adorable lineup of Cabbage Patch snack-dolls appeared at first to be harmless. They merely wanted a nibble--a carrot perhaps, or maybe some yummy pudding. They would stop chewing when snack time was done -- they promised. Then they chomped your child's finger off."

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whats up tonight (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17266700)

cocaine is a hell of a drug

ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (0, Troll)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266716)

they actually made a radioactive energy kit FOR KIDS?! Why don't they just put "For ages 8 and up, especially terrorists" on it? They could build a dirty pipe bomb (radiation spreading) using just a couple of those kits probably. Btw I've injured myself with airsoft guns many times and I'm pretty careful and since you're actually shooting at other people with them unlike BB guns, airsoft guns should definitely be there instead.

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (5, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266794)

Oh, honestly. It's people like you that make it so that we can't have cool toys anymore.

Have you looked in a chemistry set lately? They've taken all the fun stuff out. What fun is a chemistry set supposed to be when you don't even have any potassium nitrate? Lame.

Now, you can't even get an alarm clock with radium dials on it anymore, because "oh noes, the terrorists will get it!" Well, let me tell you: if a kid can't play with radioactive materials in the privacy of his parents home anymore, the terrorists have already won.

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (1)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266814)

You are so right! I remember when I had a chemistry set when I was younger it came with everything BUT chemicals. Yet it had all the directions on how to use the nasty stuff. WTF!?!?!? Least I had cool rents that generally got me what I wanted. Just had to promise not to burn the rug. Kids now don't even get that much. Dumb-ass gummy science kits are the rage. Stupidity abounds.

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (4, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266820)

Do you realize that smoke detectors contain americium-241, which is radioactive? I doubt the minute radioactivity in the kit would have been more dangerous than, say, a dental X-ray. While some other toys on the list were genuine death (or finger-)traps, I think the inclusion of the inclusion of kit on the list is merely a result of confused paranoia.

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (3, Insightful)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267038)

But have a dental x-ray running in your room for a couple years and you might have a problem.

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17266860)

OH MY GOD! A kit with a tiny amount of... almost completely fucking inert U-238. As long as you don't, I don't know, lick your hands afterwards, it's even perfectly safe to handle with your bare hands.

Are you completely ignorant about radiation or just retarded?

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (5, Funny)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266902)

Bleah... Americanised list. Softy toys for softy boys all of them (except the darts)

As far ast the U238 set, I would say that it was a safe toy compared to my "Junior Chemist" chemistry set which I got when I was 8. The thing had the lot - KMnO4, NaOH, NH3 solution, S, HCl and many other wonderfull things. In reasonable quantities and concentrations (where in solution). The floor of my room kept the scars from some successfull experiments for years to come.

Same for the cannon - it is a joke compared to my neighbout T34 remote controlled battle tank (my parents bluntly refused to buy me one). That thing could shoot plastic rounds circa 5 mm in diameter and move. Both on remote control. Ideal toy for an eight year old and a six year old to chase the family cat. The only advantage the cat had was that the tank while remotely controlled had a manual reload so we had to fetch it after every shell to pull the reload lever. The fun continued until the cat found out that he should attack the person with the remote, not the tank. After that we called a truce.

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (4, Funny)

raphae (754310) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267362)

Two of my favorite all-time toys were M80's and H100's (quarter stick of dynamite). Me and my friend would spend a whole day trying to see how high we could blast a coffee can into the air. At the time it seemed normal and fun. Now I look back and think about how no one in our suburban neighborhood seemed to care that we were methodically blowing stuff up all day long in various places.

Another "toy" that was a fad: burning plastic. Yes, just the simple fun of watching pieces of plastic combust and form sizzling, bubbling, congealed masses dangling from the end of a stick. I remember my friend moronically started whizzing the stick around with the sizzling plastic dangling and some flew on his hand causing a blister.

Buy maybe our ultimate crazy passtime required no toy whatsoever: one summer it was all the craze with the kids on our block to hyperventilate. All it took was one kid knowing how to do it and very quickly the "technique" was transmitted among all us kids as though it were some kind of esoteric rite, and we were all doing it. How fun to breathe heavily and then hold your breath and then suddenly wake up moments later after having lost consciousness.

Oh yeah, I also remember the time in gradeschool when I "discovered" this really cool powder in a cabinet - if you left it on your skin it would cause it to become dark for a really long time (like a few days). It was silver nitrate.

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (3, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266922)

I've injured myself with airsoft guns many times and I'm pretty careful and since you're actually shooting at other people with them unlike BB guns

Pussy.

KFG

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (1)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267208)

I've injured myself with airsoft guns many times and I'm pretty careful and since you're actually shooting at other people with them unlike BB guns

Pussy.
No kidding. Airsoft == weak! In high school my friends and I would shoot each other with my blowgun. That was fun stuff, especially when we would try to find the most painful bodily regions to fire at.

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267336)

I can't tell you how many times I've been shot, intentionally, with a BB gun. No, literally, I can't.

It's rather more than one, something less than a gross. Stings right good. Might even leave a mark. For a long time if you were one of the Indians (no shirt, that's how you could tell the Indians. We didn't have Native Americans. We had Apaches and Comanches; and one weirdo who thought it was cool to be a Blackfoot).

Teaches you the first lesson of not being seen right quick.

KFG

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (1)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267370)

It's rather more than one, something less than a gross. Stings right good. Might even leave a mark.
Might? Obviously BB guns are inferior. If you got hit by a blunt blowgun dart (the practice kind) you would enjoy a welt for days.

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17266926)

If you're wearing eye-protection the chances of anything more than trivial injuries from Airsoft guns is practically zero.

At close range on bare flesh you can break the top layer of skin, but the damage under such circumstances from, say, a paintball impact is even worse.

When I was a kid my friends and I use to use air-rifles the way kids now use Airsoft "weapons". Not a game went by without one of us having to have pellets extracted from subdermal layers!

By comparison Airsoft is way safer. Unless you point one at a cop. Then all bets are off...

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266956)

You greatly overestimate the radiation levels.

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (5, Insightful)

Sibko (1036168) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267002)

they actually made a radioactive energy kit FOR KIDS?! Why don't they just put "For ages 8 and up, especially terrorists" on it? They could build a dirty pipe bomb (radiation spreading) using just a couple of those kits probably.

You've got to be kidding me. I think your brain shut off the second you heard nuclear and radiation. I am astounded that the first thing you think of when you see this isn't, "children might swallow the slightly radioactive material, and get sick from heavy metal poisoning." but, "terrorists are going to buy a whole bunch of these kits, and then use the marginally radioactive material to slightly irradiate people with a small pipe bomb! ZOMG!!11 TERRORIRST!!"

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (4, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267180)

Excuse me, but each of these samples was likely far less irradiating than an average depleted uranium bullet. All the terrorists have to do is to pick american bullets shot all over their country, grind them to a powder and voila, a dirty-bomb irradiation material, many tons of it, for free. As opposed to 3 small samples which would likely have to be placed directly in contact with your skin for 5 years to increase risk of cancer, and totally useless for a dirty bomb, because the explosion would spread it so thinly that they wouldn't be stronger than background radiation.

Re:ohhhhhhh myyyyy Goddddd! (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267212)

The interesting thing about your post is that you probably ment it funny, but it's hard to be sure about it. Really sad that there are many people that are conditioned to think about it like this. Damnit people, that kit was from the cold war era, wasn't it? Why was no one afraid of communists buying those kits that time? Or did we get even more stupid since then.

Furthermore, as a chemist I can tell you that everything is a potential danger, when applied in a certain way. Just mix all the stuff from your cleaning cabinet together. Or

Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17266720)

"It's unclear what effects the Uranium-bearing ores might have had on those few lucky children who received the set"

Exactly. It has the N-word in it so it must be dangerous, right? I highly doubt kids who played with this would have even got a fraction of the dose that they normally get from naturally occurring radon. But any risk is too great, right?

Part of the reason the world is so anti-nuclear is that simple science educating toys like this are banned and exaggerated anti-nuclear views (like that of the author) remain unchallenged. Perhaps my generation was the last one where parents normally bought their children electronics and chemistry sets. Today we would fear that the child would be shocked or chemically burned (regardless of the probability).

Re:Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab (1)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267234)

Part of the reason the world is so anti-nuclear is that simple science educating toys like this are banned and exaggerated anti-nuclear views (like that of the author) remain unchallenged. Perhaps my generation was the last one where parents normally bought their children electronics and chemistry sets. Today we would fear that the child would be shocked or chemically burned (regardless of the probability).
You might be right. I thought it would be a cool idea to buy uranium glass trinkets for my parents for Christmas; it's fun _and_ educational! I personally think uranium glass is pretty awesome, and I intend to buy a shot glass set for myself. But, I figured this was a bad gift idea considering that my dad's wife is having surgery soon for colon cancer and my mom's husband had prostate cancer. Despite the fact that the irradiation that results from uranium glass is not significantly higher than that of background radiation, it probably wouldn't go over well in households that have struggled with cancer.

Re:Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab (0, Offtopic)

Miseph (979059) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267360)

exposure to the same isotope--U-238--has been linked to Gulf War syndrome, cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma, among other serious ailments


RTFA, the only people saying anything about nuclear weapons are posters here.

Warning (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17266736)

Do not reach into Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kid with remaining fingers.

Great List (1, Insightful)

rblancarte (213492) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266738)

I actually had #9 the Battlestar Galactica Missle Launcher. I remember from the Viper Pilot figure in the picture.

Of course, the discontinueing of these toys wouldn't be needed if people would use their common sense. Then again, I guess that is too hard to expect from the average American.

RonB

Re:Great List (4, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266790)

Of course, the discontinueing of these toys wouldn't be needed if people would use their common sense. Then again, I guess that is too hard to expect from the average American.

Talk about someone with a grudge against Americans. Sure, make fun of them when they earn it (which is often, I will concede), but this is a bit much. Considering the target market is between 4 and 10 years of age, I think expecting a constant level of common sense IS a bit much to ask. That's why children are treated like children.

You're right... (1)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266896)

...but we were talking about the parents here I think ?

Re:Great List (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266914)

Did you WATCH the average episode of Battlestar Galactica?! (sure, you were probably not even born then, I understand...) If a 4 year old could spend more than 30 seconds watching Lorne Greene then I will give him/her my 25 year old Cylon Raider (ok I lie, I haven't seen it since I was 11). But anyway, calling the target market 4-10 is just wrong, I think it's more like 8-12, and if you can't learn not to swallow a red plastic missile in SECOND GRADE - well, Ralph Wiggum has sage advice to teach you.

Re:Great List (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266970)

Considering the target market is between 4 and 10 years of age, I think expecting a constant level of common sense IS a bit much to ask. That's why children are treated like children.

i.e. the supid ones need to be weeded out early. It's not like we don't have fun making more of the little bastards. Wanna put some common sense into little Johnny's head, assuming his head is capable of holding such?

Just look him right in the eye and say, "Go right ahead. It's not like you're my only one."

Knowing that mommy and daddy not only will not always be able to protect you, but knowing that they won't even necessarily try teaches you to bloody well look out for yourself.

Maybe we were just funny that way, but back in the day we thought that being able and willing to take care of yourself was something of a survival trait.

But what did we know.

KFG

Re:Great List (1)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267276)

Maybe we were just funny that way, but back in the day we thought that being able and willing to take care of yourself was something of a survival trait.
While you have a point, I may have an insightful question for you. When your mother laid your egg, did she leave you to fend for yourself completely?

No? You mean she didn't even lay an egg and gave live birth to you? Goodness! Perhaps it is natural for human children to be born defenseless and to learn important survival skills from their parents.

I'm a proponent of personal responsibility, but before a certain age, you have to give the babies a break. Society obviously has no interest in imparting survival skills upon the young, so if the parent doesn't do it, who will?

Parents should probably do a little thinking. Even if the packaging says 3-30 years old, if your kid likes to stick small objects down his/her throat, don't give small objects to him/her. Duh?

Re:Great List (5, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267310)

While you have a point. . .

Exactly.

When your mother laid your egg, did she leave you to fend for yourself completely?

Leaving my egg on a mountaintop taught me to fight off the wolf cubs for best tit and made me the man I am today. A flea bitten cur.

KFG

Mod parent up please (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17267334)

Which is exactly what the US government and corporations don't want to happen. Look at the laws being enacted, the charges and/or suits being filed and the way our school system is run. Sure wouldn't have wanted people with these attitudes today back when me and my friends played chicken in the park with our ever present pocket knifes. Never even heard of anyone actually getting hurt while playing chicken, but then we usually didn't play chicken with someone whose knife throwing we didn't trust. Now we had a few make some awful faces while playing stretch with them, grab their groin and sit down for a while. We wandered the towns and countrysides with our pocket knives and either a bb gun, slingshot or a bow often. Every once in a while some property got damaged but was extremely rare that anyone got hurt to any degree worth complaining about. Often the slingshots and bows we made ourselves. Heck, we even used to make cannons with pipes and firecrackers or even some gunpowder some kid had made.

Frankly we have been going downhill for years. I think we were more responsible as kids and our parents even more so when they were kids. Until our kids can roam around freely again and learn from exposure to things and doing they will never be as capable of taking care of themselves or feel as responsible to being a good citizen. If we keep crowding the kids into the cages of the public school system and locked into large group stuff after school we shouldn't be suprised when they start behaving the way rats do in overcrowded pens at the pet store. Same goes for adults!

Re:Mod parent up please (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267372)

Look at the laws being enacted, the charges and/or suits being filed and the way our school system is run.

http://www.thememoryhole.org/edu/school-mission.ht m [thememoryhole.org]

Sure wouldn't have wanted people with these attitudes today back when me and my friends played chicken in the park with our ever present pocket knifes.

I used to carry mine to school. Not only was I not considered armed and dangerous, but I was considered one of the "good little boys," who didn't stir up any trouble; unless a grownup did something downright stupid. Then they were in trouble. I homed right in on stupid.

Frankly we have been going downhill for years.

Ya wanna know how the terrorists are going to win? Well, oddly enough, I'm willing to tell you how they're going to win.

No dirty nukes, no poisoning the water supply.

They're just going to sneak into all of our homes and place a pea under each mattress; after which we will simply whine ourselves to fucking death.

Why yes, I did take an extra spoonful of curmudgeon this morning. Why do you ask?

KFG

Asshole (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17267012)

It is assholes like you who replaced those awesome wood playgrounds of the 80s with that plastic shit so kids can't get splinters. It is assholes like you who replaced gravel with that shitty rubber matting that they put on playgrounds now-a-days.

Nobody wants kids to exercise common sence, they are asking parents to supervise their own fucking children.

Childhood, like life, is not risk free. If you make it risk free it fucking sucks.

Oh, and by the way, in case you didn't get it, Fuck You.

Re:Asshole (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17267090)

Actually, most of the playgrounds I see today are made out of metal coated with rubber, which is much more durable than wood. The only plastic parts are slides, roofs, and some of the toys (beanbag toss, slats in log bridges, etc.)

And I have to say the metal playgrounds are miles better than the "awesome wood playgrounds" they replaced. Wood playgrounds were shitty--they were built small, often very unimiganitive design-wise, they splintered terribly, and they were never maintained.

As for gravel--that's the second worst to use on a playground* and I've never understood why people would choose it. Sand is much better, and I see sand a lot more often than I see rubber mats (which are actually quite hard) or shredded rubber.

Of course, my experience with playgrounds may not be representative, since I live in a pretty affluent area and thus we can probably afford more expensive gear.

I'm not entirely sure why you're so hostile about it. It's a playground. Get over it.

*The first worst is woodchips. Yes, I've seen it once. It didn't last long because the kids kept scraping the shit out of themselves.

Re:Asshole (1)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267296)

And I have to say the metal playgrounds are miles better than the "awesome wood playgrounds" they replaced. Wood playgrounds were shitty--they were built small, often very unimiganitive design-wise, they splintered terribly, and they were never maintained.
I began my schooling at an elementary school with a wooden playground. It totally rocked. You want imagination? There was a (freaking small) house on our playground. The girls used to sit in it and do girl stuff, so it was basically the cootie house. This small house encouraged imagination. A few years (and a few splinters) into my public school career, our wooden playground was replaced with a metal/plastic playground. Instead of a cootie house, it had a stupid plastic tic-tac-toe thing. That's not imaginative, and it was, understandably, completely ignored.

I'm not entirely sure why you're so hostile about it. It's a playground. Get over it.
Because the playground was our only escape from the prison that is American public school?

Re:Great List (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17267196)

Children are only children if you treat em as such. Treat them like adults, and you'll be amazed how smart they really are. Too bad our Western culture has injected this stage into our lives.

And if they still stuck it in their mouths, they're just dumb people and nothing is lost.

Re:Great List (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17266840)

I guess you were never a kid or you would know better than to say that.

Re:Great List (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17266940)

One: Toys are directed towards children, who aren't exactly known for their common sense.

Two: As a parent, do you honestly look closely at every single toy you buy for your kids? I have no doubt that every parent has, at least once, just grabbed a toy off the shelf without more than a glance at the packaging. And there's nothing wrong with that--we buy toys based on the assumption that they're safe because they SHOULD be safe. See point one--they're made for people with very little common sense.

Three: Some of those toys are ridiculously poorly designed and dangerous--it's not the parents' fault (or the kid's) that mattel designed a doll that could literally chew your fingers off. There's no way any parent would expect that kind of behavior from a doll made by one of America's biggest toy companies.

Four: Even if you're a perfect parent and only buy safe toys, it's not only your child's toys that are dangerous--some out of control brat with a lawn dart can still put their damned eye out. Or your kid will stick his finger's in Johnny's doll's mouth and get it bitten off.

I honestly don't see the big deal with any of those toys being banned--an exposed hotplate that reaches 300 degrees? That's not a monster factory, that's a maiming factory. Radiation play sets? Lil' strangler hammocks? Please.

Stupidity In America (and I'm sure everywhere) (5, Funny)

PixieDust (971386) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266742)

This article seems to think along these lines as well. To steal a quote from a friend of mine (and where he got it I've no idea)...

The problem with (America) is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be capital punishment for stupidity, let's just remove the warning labels from products and let the problem solve itself.

And yea, after reading the article, hehe. Wow. I wish I'd had the Atomic lab. Oh the fun I'd have had with that! Those bastards that snapped my bra in high school would have MAJOR issues now...

*Maniacle laughter followed immediately by a chase scene involving a bunch of men in white coats*

Re:Stupidity In America (and I'm sure everywhere) (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17266834)

I'm not saying there should be capital punishment for stupidity


It's called Darwinism [darwinawards.com] .

Re:Stupidity In America (and I'm sure everywhere) (3, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266874)

Well, you mentioned your bra being snapped on slashdot, so while you might not get chased by a bunch of men in white coats, you might just get chased by a bunch of men with yellow "cheetos fingers".....

Re:Stupidity In America (and I'm sure everywhere) (5, Funny)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266950)

Is your friend's name by any chance bash.org?

Re:Stupidity In America (and I'm sure everywhere) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17267052)

I heard a french guy say 'The americans only managed to put a man on the moon as they were too stupid to realise it was impossible''

CD

Re:Stupidity In America (and I'm sure everywhere) (1)

romland (192158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267152)

Hell, these days most toys are fooken deadly due to the bloody wrapping they come in.

Re:Stupidity In America (and I'm sure everywhere) (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267280)

The problem with (America) is stupidity.

America does not have a disproportionate percentage of stupids, it's just that every possible stupid thing done by an American gets videotaped and broadcast to the rest of the world.

Don't ask me to explain reality TV or professional wrestling though.

Cabbage Patch Finger Food (1)

vG_NeSS_Vg (965577) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266756)

And just how and why did they make a doll that had a motor type thing that could chomp 35 fingers off cumulatively?

Re:Cabbage Patch Finger Food (2, Insightful)

FunkSoulBrother (140893) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266802)

I'm wondering if it really chomped the fingers OFF, or if they just got caught. The article doesn't really seem to say. I have a hard time thinking they'd design a mechanism powerful enough to sever a finger.

Re:Cabbage Patch Finger Food (3, Informative)

Digital Pizza (855175) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266998)

According to this [kidsource.com] , "no serious injuries have been reported".

Re:Cabbage Patch Finger Food (1)

_tognus (903491) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267238)

Oh shit, a Cabbage Patch dissenter! Run and hide man they'll be coming for you, chomp chomp chomp gulp and no FunkSoulBrother no more.

Wait a second, someone's knocking.

I can't believe they forgot... (5, Funny)

FunWithKnives (775464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266774)

Happy FUN BALL!

-only $14.95-

* Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to Happy Fun Ball.
* Caution: Happy Fun Ball may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds.
* Happy Fun Ball Contains a liquid core, which, if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at.
* Do not use Happy Fun Ball on concrete.

Discontinue use of Happy Fun Ball if any of the following occurs:

* Itching
* Vertigo
* Dizziness
* Tingling in extremities
* Loss of balance or coordination
* Slurred speech
* Temporary blindness
* Profuse sweating
* Heart palpitations

If Happy Fun Ball begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.

Happy Fun Ball may stick to certain types of skin.

When not in use, Happy Fun Ball should be returned to its special container and kept under refrigeration...

Failure to do so relieves the makers of Happy Fun Ball, Wacky Products Incorporated, and its parent company Global Chemical Unlimited, of any and all liability.

Ingredients of Happy Fun Ball include an unknown glowing substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space.

Happy Fun Ball has been shipped to our troops in Saudi Arabia and is also being dropped by our warplanes on Iraq.

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

Happy Fun Ball comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Happy Fun Ball

ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES!

Re:I can't believe they forgot... (2, Funny)

SnprBoB86 (576143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267000)

I prefer Wild Wacky Action Bike: http://mrbucket33.tripod.com/ [tripod.com]

No Invisible Pedestrian Costume? (1, Informative)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266784)

It's the all black costume that makes you look like an Invisible Pedestrian. None of the drivers will be able to see you- carry out clandestine missions at night in the middle of the road without getting spotted. I didn't see the Invisible Pedestrian Costume listed here so they must have liked it.

I don't see the Bag-O-Glass listed either. Another stimulating, wholesome toy.

Re:No Invisible Pedestrian Costume? (1)

niktemadur (793971) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267092)

Invisible Pedestrian Costume??? LOL!!!
Who cooked that one up and where can I get it?
I know a couple of brats that deserve a kewl Christmas gift.

Seriously now, wasn't that just an SNL sketch?

Battlestar Galactica toy doesnt belong on there (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266788)

The Battlestar Galactica one seems a little silly. It was recalled because some kid put it in his mouth and shot a missle down his throat? Well no shit pieces of plastic are dengerous if you swallow them. Chess pieces are dangerous under that definition. What makes them any different from the 100000 other toys that shoot plastic missles of some kind? A little unfair to add them to that list imho.

Re:Battlestar Galactica toy doesnt belong on there (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266894)

I think it is on there because there was a recall on the product that was very big in the news at the time.

I had one of these. One thing I liked about it was that it would shoot that missle really far. (Which is probably why it was so effective at shooting it down the kid's throat.)

Jarts is #1! (5, Insightful)

EvilOpie (534946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266818)

It's sad, before even opening the article I knew that lawn darts would rank #1 on the list. I guess it mildly annoys me because they aren't that dangerous if you know how to use them properly. Just make sure that there's nobody down range, and don't do anything stupid with them (like throw them straight up over your head) and no one gets hurt.

I remember playing with Jarts as a kid (<10 years old) many times over. No one ever got hurt from it. There was enough common sense to keep people behind the shooter when playing the game. I guess it seems silly to me that people keep picking on Jarts because there are so many other "dangerous" things out there as well. Jarts is in a small way, a slow form of archery (sharp objects propelled at a target down range), and know that it can be made relatively safe if the proper precautions are taken. I suppose that even something as innocent as playing horseshoes could be dangerous too, should someone take a blow from a heavy chunk of metal to their head. But it's always Jarts that gets picked on. According to a wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] the incident that led to the banning of lawn darts was mostly a result of the combination of lawn darts and beer. That's frequently a bad combination of anything.

Of course without lawn darts, we wouldn't have neat T-shirts about them [ebay.com] . The rest of the list is interesting too. I'm surprised at how many kids that mini-hammock (ranked #3) has managed to strangle over the years.

Re:Jarts is #1! (4, Insightful)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266846)

Under your logic sniper rifles would be great toys for kids. Just make sure that there's nobody down range, and don't do anything stupid with them (like shoot them at your head) and no one gets hurt. : )

Re:Jarts is #1! (1)

EvilOpie (534946) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266904)

Basically, yes.

Re:Jarts is #1! (5, Insightful)

robbiedo (553308) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266852)

Common sense is a rare and precious commodity, especially in young boys. I nearly set my parent's house on fire with my little chemistry experiments when I was 8.

Re:Jarts is #1! (2, Interesting)

Teddy Beartuzzi (727169) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267080)

Didn't used to be. I knew dozens of kids including myself, all of us played responsibly with lawn darts, the thingmaker, klackers.

And if today's kids were allowed out of their little insular plastic bubble they're kept in from birth to adulthood, they'd be just fine.

Re:Jarts is #1! (5, Interesting)

niktemadur (793971) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267250)

Common sense is a rare and precious commodity, especially in young boys.

You ain't kidding there, jimbo, but I wouldn't just emphasize young boys, how about twentysomethings? Years ago, an acquaintance had a kick-ass crossbow with pulleys and stuff, and on three separate ocassions that I knew of, he and his friends formed a circle while the guy shot an arrow straight into the sky. That thing was so powerful that the arrow disappeared from view for about a minute, then a buzzing sound grew louder and louder until the damn thing inserted itself several inches into the ground. Talk about stupid.

Once I intercepted these guys at a ranch when they were out night-hunting on a Saturday. I'm not a hunting man myself, so I got there late with a couple of friends, we popped open some beers and waited while staring at the Milky Way and getting a little philosophical. When the hunting expedition returned, my jaw dropped open in disbelief: a compact pickup truck sped towards us, bumping and lurching in the bad dirt road. Three guys were sitting in the front while three guys were standing in the back and leaning forward into the truck's roof. All of them had rifles, except the center guy inside the cabin. The driver had one hand on the steering wheel and another on his rifle, which was resting on the rear-view mirror! Guns were pointing in four or five different directions.
Beer was flowing freely, while a seventh guy was seated on the icebox in the back of the truck, stoned out of his mind and finishing off a full joint all by himself, while holding his upright rifle between his knees. It was un-fucking-believable. Finally, a bizarre little twist - one of the guys was on vacation from studying to become a catholic priest!!!
However, I must admit that the grilled rabbit was quite excellent, and next morning three of the guys woke up early, grabbed some fishing poles, walked down a canyon leading to the ocean, and returned with fish for breakfast. Call them what you may, but they knew how to get food and cook a great meal.

Re:Jarts is #1! (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267292)

"Nearly" would seem to be the key word here. Why didn't it happen?

Re:Jarts is #1! (1)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266886)

Just make sure that there's nobody down range, and don't do anything stupid with them (like throw them straight up over your head) and no one gets hurt.

You were never a teenager, were you?

Water rockets (1)

ishmalius (153450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266966)

You are probably right, but I think that water rockets for kids under 6 are almost as scary (fun). I had a blast with those. They can be very powerful. One can have a lot of (mass x velocity) by the time it hits and shatters a window.

MIRV's for kids: the Stewie Griffin story (4, Funny)

sporkme (983186) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266976)

I am actually disappointed that the old model rockets did not make it onto the blacklist! Those freaking things really were dangerous. I had a quad-E engine 2-stager that could lift several hands full of nails over 500 feet into the air, and then dump them when the chute was deployed. Don't ask me why I know this... ask the local police. I also used them as "nukes" in bottle rocket fights with the other one-eyed freaks in the neighborhood. Counterbalance a duct taped egg onto one of those babies and gauge the trajectory properly, then you were invincible!

Re:Jarts is #1! (1)

Digital Pizza (855175) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267010)

"the incident that led to the banning of lawn darts was mostly a result of the combination of lawn darts and beer."

I find it kind of annoying that the wikipedia article didn't describe what actually happened; nor did I have any luck googling for the incident, just got repeats of the above quote.

Anybody know what actually happened? I'd like to judge for myself the merit of the ban, rather than just hearing vague hype.

mod 04 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17266824)

= 36400 FreeBS D Been many, not the

Kinda Surprised (4, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266848)

I'm kind of surprised that chemistry sets and wood burning kits failed to make the list. Nothing says child safety like hot sharp iron and alcohol burners.

Pratchett's Hogfather (5, Funny)

Ridcully (121813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266866)

For some reason I'm thinking of the following exchange in "Hogfather":

The mother took a deep breath.
"You can't give her that!" she screamed. "It's not safe!"
IT'S A SWORD, said the Hogfather, IT'S NOT MEANT TO BE SAFE.
"She's a child!" shouted Crumley.
IT'S EDUCATIONAL.
"What if she cuts herself?"
THAT WILL BE AN IMPORTANT LESSON.

Re:Pratchett's Hogfather (1)

toejam316 (1000986) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266898)

I love that book, the god of hangovers XD This list is pretty intresting. I want that science kit. Hey neighbour, press this button when I'm 500 yards away!

Re:Pratchett's Hogfather (2, Informative)

Ridcully (121813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266948)

I always re-read it during the Holidays. That's why it's presently fresh in my mind. :)

Sky One will be broadcasting a 2 part adaptation of Hogfather on the 17th and 18th of this month. Too bad I'm stuck in the US. I guess if the reviews are good, I'll buy the DVD.

Needs chemistry lesson (4, Informative)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266892)

Uranium-238 generates no alpha-radiation, it generates BETA radiation. You know, same stuff that the Potassium in you generates. U-238 is about as unsafe as lead for the same reasons (being a heavy metal), but radiation is not one.

Re:Needs chemistry lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17266932)

Oops, just realized I confused U-238 with another isotope. Still the idea is the same, the effects would be minimal as far as radiation goes, in fact less then I thought.

Re:Needs chemistry lesson (3, Insightful)

tomjen (839882) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267024)

Until such time you burn it. The problem with the gulf syndrom is that you inhale U-238 dust. An alpha emitter would kill you in enough of the stuff is inhalede (or digested).

Re:Needs chemistry lesson (1)

dasunt (249686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267082)

But is that any more dangerous than a regular chemistry set?

I assume at that time that it was possible to buy chemistry sets that offered dangerous chemical combinations. How much worse is a weak radiation source?

Re:Needs chemistry lesson (5, Funny)

gijoel (628142) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267340)

Hey kids!

Sick of being bullied.

Too many enemies saying nasty stuff about you.

Then you need the Russian Mafia Chemistry kit. Now with Polonium 210!!

Some observations (4, Interesting)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266928)

One thing that was somewhat surprising was that a few girl toys made the list (cabbage patch and sky dancers).

Also, the motorcycle one that jams the throttle sounds really dangerous. The kids didn't do anything wrong - it was just defective.

I'm surprised the Honda Kick and Go didn't make the list. I remember that I got one of those as a kid just before they were pulled off the market because they were dangerous (I'm not sure exactly why they were dangerous.)

My parents still have mine, I think. The last time I was at their house, they had my daughter riding it and I was like "no way - those things were recalled" and they were like "you rode it and you are still alive" and I was all like "yeah, and you guys kept a vicious dog that mauled children and I have scars on my face to prove it, so I'm not interested in hearing parenting advice from you".

So, there you go.

Re:Some observations (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266968)

As dangerous as the motorcycle one is, it was really funny to picture.

Mandatory safety journalism (1)

ishmalius (153450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266930)

A few months ago there was an article at Poynter.org [poynter.org] , about how journalists hate getting assignments for these seasonal safety articles even more than people hate reading them. Christmas, New Years, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, all annual observances that "we all experience together," strike fear and loathing into journalists, who cower under their desks when the editor approaches.

The motorcycle.... (2, Funny)

OfficeSubmarine (1031930) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266980)

Even adults can barely contain their jealousy when the little brat from down the block whizzes by on that shiny plastic hog.

Much like Seinfeld and people who owned a pony as a child, so am I and people who owned these things. My cousins had not one, but two of them. A fact that they never seemed to realize meant that they should give me one. Despite the fact that I told that to them constantly.

Re:The motorcycle.... (1)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267322)

ALL of my friends had power wheels. ALL of them. I didn't. This seems like enough torture for a child, but it gets worse. One Christmas season I got to spend a few hours with my dad assembling some power wheels for one of my dad's friend's kids.

Obviously I have not gotten over this.

YUO FAIL iT?! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17266986)

Posts. Due 7o the and Coders

I loved the hammock (4, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17266992)

I used to have the cheap hammock when I was a kid - is was great, because without a bar you really could wrap it around yourself like a cocoon and then have someone swing you for a full 360 loop. I'm rather surprised they were strong enough to hold...

Re:I loved the hammock (2, Interesting)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267114)

I wish my memories of it were as good. I had one and it was hard to get positioned in it in a way where you didn't feel that one side was being supported more than the other. The open net was great for catching on the pocket corners of jeans. Overall they felt so unstable I was afraid to actually fall asleep in one.

In fact, that was what led to be no longer using it. I was attempting to free my ass from the hammock (where the seams of my jeans had become caught in the net, and I flipped the hammock over and dumped myself face-first on the ground. It was only a two or three foot fall, but I ended up landing on my arm funny and broke my wrist.

Never felt the urge to lay in a hammock again.

Tonka Toy Trucks (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17267028)

Do you remember those steel Tonka Trucks? The ones that were big enough you could bend over as a small kid and 'drive' them around?

When I was a kid, I remember this kid named Don who lived down the street from me. One afternoon he drove his dump truck over to another neighbor's house who happen to be baby sitting me and my siblings. He came running up the sidewalk leaned down with his head tilted up looking at us screaming his head off as he was faking running us down with his truck. He didn't notice an uneven step in the sidewalk and it caught the front tires of the truck and stopped the truck cold. Since he wasn't expecting it, his arms buckled and he fell teeth first onto the back of the truck slicing his lip just under his nose and removing several of his top front teeth.

When he stood up, and it was like slow motion, his upper lip fell down below his lower lip, but still connected on either side. He made a spitting motion and what looked like bleeding cicklets fell on the sidewalk. He looked down and then up and wiped his mouth and when he moved his hand, I could see his tongue exploring the hole where is teeth and lip used to be. And then it was just like a fountain turning on, everything went very bloody and he began to scream. He cupped his mouth with both hands and ran home with a very distinctive trail of blood following him. Later, his mom returned to collect his teeth so they could be reinserted, but the teeth were wrecked. Most of them weren't even connected to the root(?) anymore, but sheared clean off.

Don moved a few years later but I hardly ever saw him again. His face was really disfigured and the wound was obvious. He was self conscious of it and I know he got made fun of.

I just remember how popular those toys were. I had the grader, but it wasn't as good for 'driving' around so I never did. Considering what happened to Don now that I'm grown-up, thank dog.

Re:Tonka Toy Trucks (1)

unfunk (804468) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267164)

I was at Toys R Us for their "Midnight Launch" of the Nintendo Wii the other night (I didn't get mine until 3.25am, but that's another story...), and during the wait in line, I got to peruse through the toys that the line snaked past.
Imagine my horror to find that Tonka Trucks are now made of plastic! How on earth can they live up to the reputation of being "Tonka Tough" if they're made from a soft, somewhat malleable material?

My Tonka Truck lasted me a good five years, and it was a hand-me-down! I seriously doubt that any modern one would last that long...

Re:Tonka Toy Trucks (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267308)

I had some of those when I was younger, and my three-year-old has some of the old metal ones too. I refuse to buy the plastic shit Tonka passes off these days--if I can't swing it around and smash wood planks with it, it isn't a Tonka.

I would submit the harmless looking Big Wheel to this list, if only because I rode one right off the bed of a parked pickup when I was ~6 and chipped an incisor on the pavement (don't ask me why I put it in there in the first place--probably because I was a kid). In my teenage years, various dentists offered to grind it down and cap it, but I refused every time. I wanted a permanent reminder of the importance of not being an idiot. Sometimes it even works.

typical science stupidity (3, Interesting)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267030)

A cloud chamber and a small amount of radioactive isotopes are not dangerous, at least not any more than common household chemicals. And while they may have been "linked to Gulf war syndrome", the US military claims it's harmless and has not trouble using it around civilians in large amounts.

It's a disgrace that this science kit is found among a list of dangerous toys; the journalist should be ashamed of his ignorance.

wego kite tube (1)

werdnapk (706357) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267086)

A more recent candidate for the list... the wego kite tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEgTzSrTDMI [youtube.com]

This thing isn't on the market for obvious reasons. :)

To keep things interesting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17267088)

To keep things interesting, the editors excluded BB guns, slingshots, throwing stars, and anything else actually intended to inflict harm.
Perhaps they didn't include those items in an article about toys because those items are ... not toys.

Huh. (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267108)

I bought a cheap hammock without bars 2 years ago at wal-mart for my dorm. Under the loft, above the futon. Dont pass out drunk in a crappy hammock though, you will wake up with a sore neck. Or completely wrapped up and turned upside down in it as several people found out...

Wham-o (4, Funny)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267120)

Wham-O had at least two products that should be good candidates for the above list, but I didn't see them.

First (and more obvious), the Slip N Slide, and all of its various incarnations and copycats.

Second, was a sort of tetherball variant they sold in ~1985 called "Zing Zang". It featured an adjustable steel pole with a spike on one end (designed to be inserted into the ground), and a wire coil on the other end, onto which a cord with a captive tennis ball was attached. The tennis ball cord would theoretically start in the middle, with each player (holding a hard plastic "raquet") assigned a different direction (clockwise or counterclockwise). The goal was to get to the top or bottom of the coil to win. But most kids I knew would just swing the pole around like a giant two-handed flail, bringing down tennis ball torture on opponents... while trailing a steel spike behind them that would often go forgotten until it lodged in someone else's knees or groin or chest.

Think of the children! (1)

symes (835608) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267156)

I'm all for kids learning through play and as a kid some of the most dangerous things I played with were motorways, tall trees, cigarettes, alcohol and... well you get the idea. This top-ten list is a hoot - and I can sort of see why poisonous plastic things might not make a great present. But you have to wonder when those responsible for controlling what kids have acess to start insisting all apple trees have matresses put under them, just in case. And in so doing, take away all the fun of real world learning - it's one thing being told that something is dangerous but far better and fun to learn first hand that snipping a worm in two doesn't make two worms, only two halves and a bit of goo.

People need to get real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17267166)

This whole 'unsafe toy' argument is a cop out. Last time I check my house had toxic materials, choke, and inhalation hazards all over the place.

What makes the place safe is a parent who uses some common sense and judgement. Parents used to be able to give their 10 year old child a .22 calibre rifle and ammunition without fear of being seen as some kind of nutcase. These days parents with the same are viewed as a threat.

Ultimately the world is a dangerous place - for the careless and ignorant. The point should not be to keep children isolated from these risks, but to raise and educate them to manage to live with them sensibly.

The beatup is typically a combination of small people needing a forum in which they can be important, and protecting manufacturers from circumstances where a good dose of personal liability and contributory negligence on the parent should be considered.

It's not the world, it's not the children - it's the parents who need protecting

Sure but... (2, Funny)

brit74 (831798) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267170)

Sure they may be dangerous, *but you haven't lived* until you've driven your Power Wheels Motorcycle through a barrage of uranium tipped lawn jarts while navigating an obstacle course of hammocks.

Mr. Football! Rah! Rah! Rah! (4, Interesting)

localman (111171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267214)

I remember a toy that I had around 9 years old... it was called Mr. Football (and had a catchy jingle) and it was basically a device that threw football passes. Unlike some modern air gun versions that work only with soft foam footballs [extextoys.com] , Mr. Football was simply a timer and high-powered spring catapult. I begged for it, and my parents got it for me. But they realized it was dangerous and kept it locked up in the shed, only allowing my friends and I to use it while they were around. So of course I had to steal the key.

This took only a day or two, and soon my friends and I had Mr. Football out and operating without any adults around. This was wonderful because we knew well that a football was about the least interesting thing you could load into a catapult. We started with rocks, then open soda cans, and eventually insects. It was extrodinarily fun. Until the accident.

While trying to launch a caterpillar, we were waiting for the catapult to go off, when the little creature managed to get to the edge of Mr. Football's powerful plastic hand. With the timer only a couple seconds from going off, one of my friends went over to make sure the caterpillar didn't escape. I warned him to get away from the thing, but too late -- it went off and smacked him right in the face. He fell to the ground and was crying. We went over to check him out. He had a bright red abrasion on his cheekbone and brow, but he seemed okay at first. Then we noticed that his eye was filling with blood. Specifically the iris; the white was normal save for being a bit bloodshot, but the bottom half of the iris was filled with blood. He said he could see but that it was blurry. We sent him home and told him not to tell his mother or we'd all get in trouble.

Of course we all got in trouble. He had to go and get several surgeries on his eye to correct the damage, and I was told it wouldn't ever be 100% again. He moved away a year later so I don't really know. A lawyer or someone like that came by once later to pick up the device, because I think there was a class action suit, though my family wasn't involved in that. I don't think the item was on store shelves a year later. Not sure how much my friend's injury had to do with that.

Anyways, I was sort of hoping to see it on the list, but no dice.

Cheers.

Why is it... (0, Flamebait)

dgg3565 (963614) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267228)

...that certain articles tend to attract "Americans are dumb" comments like flies to dog poop? For the life of me, I can't think of anything that we do that is particularly more stupid than anything are friends across the pond (or other parts of the world) are capable of. I could certainly make a long enough list of idiotic things I've seen in other parts of the world.

Perhaps one of the dumbest things we humans do is to turn a blind eye to our own stupidity, while pointing it out in others. So, to great extent, that is where common sense starts.

The #1 Most Dangerous Toy (4, Insightful)

localman (111171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267236)

It has to be the bicycle, no? I distinctly remember my friends and I doing head on collisions on purpose on our bicycles. It was a form of jousting without the lances, I think. Man, the things you can get away with when you're under 100 lbs.

Anyways, I think we should ban bicycles.

Just kidding.

Re:The #1 Most Dangerous Toy (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17267304)

Without the lances? Where's the fun in that? One can find brooms, tree branches, and lacrosse sticks all over the average suburban neighborhood.

Course, then my parents took my bike away from me for a month. But that's kinda to be expected.

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