Dangerous Toys (Part 2)

Ready for more dangerous toys?  Most of these seem like innocent fun, but as we saw before, they are sneaky dangerous.  Here are a few more…


The picture above shows just one of the dangers of this seemingly innocent toy.  Obviously, you want to keep kites away from power lines and refrain from flying them in lightning storms (thank you Ben Franklin!), but those are just the most obvious dangers.  I have never actually heard of this happening, but what I am most paranoid about is the kite string getting wrapped around someone’s neck and choking or decapitating them.  Throw in the chance of being hoisted up into the air by a strong gust of wind and the kite nosediving into your eye and this is one toy that has the potential to destroy many lives.


While I’m sure we can all agree that it’s hilarious to get people all dizzied up and watch them stumble about, it seems as though this toy should include at least a helmet and at most full-body armor.  This seems like it would be better suited as a party game for adults than a toy for small children.  Kids dizzily stumbling around is bad enough, but that is only dangerous for those who are lucky enough to hold on until the spinner stops spinning.  If your child has sweaty palms or a weak grip I would suggest not letting him anywhere near this toy unless you want to look up and see your child flying helplessly across the room.


Hey, I know!  Let’s get a long piece of plastic, set it on a downward slope, slick it up, give kids a running start at it, and put a small puddle at the end of the slide to catch them.  That sounds like a fantastic idea!  I cannot possibly imagine this ever turning out poorly.  In fact, the steeper the hill you let them slide down, the better!  That three inch deep puddle of water at the end will gently stop anybody flying down the slide.  Yeah…


The majority of this game is quite harmless.  The only danger in sliding a triangular piece of paper back and forth across the table is the freakishly rare papercut.  Really though, that’s just bad luck more than it is dangerous.  I enjoy a good game of paper football as much as the next guy (if the next guy LOVES paper football!), but there is one part of the game that just seems moronic.  That part would, of course, be kicking field goals and extra points.  In this part of the game, you basically have two options.  The first option is to place your finger uprights directly in front of you, so that you can use your body to block the football and keep it from getting away.  The problem with this is fairly obvious – if your opponent successfully converts the kick, you are almost guaranteed to get hit in the face or neck and possibly lose an eye or nostril.  The second option is to place the finger uprights off to the side of your body.  The biggest problem with this is that if there is someone sitting behind you, you can bet that football is going to either land in their food/drinks or it’s going to hit them in the head and cause them to want to beat the tar out of you.  Pick your poison.


So I realize that these were only popular for a few months sometime in the early/mid 1990’s, but I was really into them at the time.  I actually still have mine if you are ever in the neighborhood and pining to pog it up.  On the surface the game seems harmless enough.  That is until you consider that the game consists of stacking up little pieces of cardboard and giving kids a solid metal disc to throw onto/at the stack of cardboard in order to flip over as many pogs as possible.  I’m sure that no adolescent boy would ever realize just how perfectly that solid metal disc fits in his fingers, giving him the perfect projectile to throw as hard and fast as possible.

That’s all the dangerous toys for now, but stay tuned for more in the near future.  In the meantime, try not to fall victim to the sneaky danger of any of the toys listed here or here.


Dangerous Toys (Part 1)

Have you ever noticed how dangerous some of the toys we grew up playing with really are?  Sure, there are some that are gentle, plush, and cuddly, but for every one of those there seems to also be one that is sneaky dangerous.  By “sneaky dangerous” I mean that at first glance the toy seems safe and harmless, but if you look close and give it any thought at all, you realize that it’s just an accident waiting to happen.  What toys qualify as “sneaky dangerous”?  I’m glad you asked!


I’ve said it before, but felt it was worth mentioning again.  As uncoordinated as most children are, who thought this would be a good idea?  First you make them feel bad because they can’t draw anything other than snakes, worms, and the letter ‘L’.  Then you make them shake the Etch-A-Sketch violently in order to erase what they just created and so proudly showed off to everyone who would look.  If I had to guess, I would say that this toy is responsible for more self-inflicted black eyes, busted teeth and lips, and bloody noses than nearly any other drawing toy out there.  For a safer alternative, stick with the MagnaDoodle.


I’m not sure who came up with this game, but something about it just doesn’t seem safe.  “Sure kids, bounce that little rubber ball and see how many of these little spiky metal things you can pick up before the ball lands.”  I’m convinced that whoever came up with this idea was just trying to find something that would keep their kids occupied.  It just seems like one of those homemade games where you grab a couple random objects that you have laying around the house and see what kind of a game you can come up with.


Another one of those games, like Jacks, that was likely invented by a parent somewhere that just wanted some peace and quiet.  How else do you explain giving young kids a bunch of nostril sized pieces of glass?  Not to mention the fact that a lot of kids are not coordinated enough to balance an oversize marble on their index finger and flick it with their thumb without it flying across the room and either breaking something or cracking someone in the skull.


One thing that the yo-yo has going for it that Jacks and Marbles don’t is that it’s on a string and is less likely to end up as a dangerous projectile – until the string unrolls and the little boy playing with it realizes that the faster he swings it around, the farther and faster it will fly.  Not that I would have ever done anything like that.


Another stringed toy – this one is guaranteed to put out the eye of either the person playing with it or any person who comes within a three foot radius.  Who this toy is most dangerous for depends on whether the paddler is using the overhand or underhand technique.  Of course if the paddler is like me, he will eventually get frustrated with the fact that he can’t keep it going and just rip the ball off the paddle and see how high he can hit it.  Or the string gets tangled up four minutes into it, rendering the toy useless.

Stay tuned – more dangerous toys still to come…

Strange Toys

Just a few pictures of some strange toys I’ve seen lately…

Does anything about this toy seem strange?  Perhaps the fact that Goliath is one of the characters in a series labeled “Almighty Heroes”?  I guess the way that I’ve always heard and read the story was wrong.  Apparently Goliath was the hero of the story.  Maybe the strangest part of this is that David is not included in this line of toys.  Among those who did make the cut along with Goliath…the lions that didn’t eat Daniel, Samson, and the “whale” that swallowed Jonah.  Yup, that makes perfect sense.

If you haven’t had any awkward conversations with your children lately, I would suggest picking up this fine piece from your local Target store.  As if the horse feeding isn’t strange enough, then they went and put the dog in there for some reason.  It’s like when you are stuck in a small area and realize that someone is breastfeeding just a few feet away.  Suddenly you look for anything else to focus on and when you finally find something, there is nothing that will break your focus.  Those interactive Dinosaur Train toys across the aisle just became the most amazing thing that dog has ever seen.

I present to you the Football Kicker Licker.  This toy from the Dollar Tree isn’t all that strange.  The name, however, could use some work.  I’m thinking they assigned the naming of this one to the new guy who was just happy to come up with a catchy, rhyming name.  Someone didn’t really think this one through.

These are some of the weird toys that I have come across lately.  I’m sure that with Christmas right around the corner, there will be plenty more to choose from.

What am I missing?  What toys have you seen that are strangely named or just plain weird?