Now there’s no denying that children can injure themselves in any number of unforeseeable ways. And while some of these toys seem pretty darn obvious (giant darts?!), there are a few that you might be surprised made the list.
1. Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kid
Biggest issue: The “snacktime” to which their name refers included children’s hair and fingers.
The blood-thirsty doll was released by Mattel in 1996 and came equipped with a motorized mouth for “real chewing action” so that kids could feed it cookies and French fries made of plastic. What fun!
Unfortunately, the toy company did not foresee the doll developing an insatiable appetite for children’s hair and fingers until it was too late. As a result of the numerous complaints, the toy was taken off store shelves in 1997 and a $40 refund was issued.
2. Atomic Energy Laboratory
Biggest issue: Contained real radioactive materials to play with.
Six years after the first atom bomb killed 80,000 Japanese people instantly, the U-238 Atomic Energy Lab was released.
The “children’s toy” included a Geiger counter, electroscope, and Uranium-bearing ore samples among other real radioactive materials. Unsurprisingly, parents didn’t want their children playing with a radioactive toy and it was discontinued a year after its release.
3. Hannah Montana Pop Star Card Game
Biggest issue: Lead, lead, and more lead.
Hannah Montana was the hottest thing since sunburn in the mid-2000s, so of course a large number of toys and games were designed in her honor. One of these was the Hannah Montana Pop Star Card game. Wondering how on Earth a card game could be harmful? The answer isn’t paper cuts…
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that no toy contain more than 40 parts per million (ppm) of lead. The Hannah Montana cards had a stunning 3,000 parts per million. That’s 75 times as much. And the card game wasn’t Hannah’s only offending toy. The two hearts graphic necklace sold by the brand contained an unbelievable 406,510 ppm of lead.
4. Sky Dancers
Biggest issue: The “dance” turned into more of an air assault.
In the mid-90s, Sky Dancers were popular handheld toys that launched fairy princesses with propeller wings into the heavens with the help of a pull-string base.
A few months after the toy’s release, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was flooded with complaints. The fairy’s flight pattern was often unpredictable and over 170 complaints were filed detailing injuries including “temporary blindness, broken teeth, a mild concussion, a broken rib, and facial lacerations that required stitches.” Not so magical after all.
5. CSI: Fingerprint Examination Kit and CSI: Investigation Forensics Lab Kit
Biggest issue: The powder used to investigate fingerprints was chock-full of asbestos.
Let’s be honest, a crime scene investigation kit seems like a bit of an oddity for a children’s toy to begin with. But hey, TV is big. Unfortunately, and to everyone’s surprise, an environmental group found the finger print dust in the kit contained a large amount of the most dangerous form of asbestos (7 percent in fact).
You don’t need a spy kit to figure out why the CSI: Investigation Forensics Lab Kit was pulled from store shelves at a blistering speed.
6. Aqua Dots
Biggest issue: Aqua Dots were coated with the toxic substance GHB, also known as the “date rape” drug.
These colorful arts and craft beads would stick together when wet to create various designs. Unfortunately, they also caused vomiting, seizures, and comas due to the toxic chemicals they were covered in. The dots were pulled in 2007 after being named one of Wal-Mart’s top 12 Christmas toys. Whoops.
7. Moon Shoes
Biggest issue: Kids were wearing mini-trampolines on their feet.
What could go wrong with a child sporting spring-loaded shoes? Apparently quite a lot. A broken ankle is basically the best-case scenario for any child wearing them.
In the 1970s, Moon Shoes were made with dozens of pieces of sharp metal making them one of the most dangerous toys to ever hit the market. But there are still quite a few pairs available on eBay if you don’t believe us.
8. Easy-Bake Oven
Biggest issue: The light bulb could reach 350 degrees Fahrenheit!
In 2007, almost a million Easy-Bake Ovens were recalled after the CPSC realized children can “insert their hands into the oven’s opening and get their hands or fingers caught, posing an entrapment and burn hazard.”
After the news broke, the Easy-Bake Oven was temporarily toast. It did make a major comeback following the release of a gender-neutral oven allowing both boys and girls to burn their bodies equally!
9. Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper
Biggest issue: It was the first toy to choke a child to death.
Mattel’s Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper is the toy responsible for the choking hazard labels you see on nearly every toy.
Unfortunately, a 4-year-old shot the Viper’s missile into his mouth causing him to fatally choke back in 1978. Needless to say, the toy is no longer sold.
Biggest issue: The Clackers frequently broke sending shards of shrapnel flying in all directions.
Knockers, Click Clacks, or Clackers, as they were known, were a hot commodity in the ’60s and ’70s. That is until they were banned in 1985.
The heavy acrylic balls were attached to a string and “clacked” together as fast as possible, which lead to reports of numerous injuries after the balls shattered from heavy use.
Biggest issue: They’re massive darts thrown across the yard.
On paper, it must have sounded like a good idea. Taking the game of darts outside, similar to cornhole bags, with two teams trying to hit each other’s bull’s eye.
After the its release, the injuries started to pile up—fast. With over 7,000 injuries, the toy was quickly banned by the CPSC in 1988 before it killed someone.
12. Creepy Crawlers
Biggest issue: Scalding hot liquid, toxic chemicals, you name it.
The Creepy Crawlers oven is a more dangerous version of the Easy-Bake Oven. It peaks at a higher temperature and its purpose is to bake toxic liquids into interesting shapes and sizes.
Adding insult to (many) injuries, all kids had to show for this dangerous toy were some disgusting looking bugs you couldn’t even eat. What was even the point?