Toys are designed for children and families to have a good time and expand their imagination. Years later people can look back on the experiences they shared with their toys as nostalgic and sentimental. Unfortunately, there are a number of toys that were later deemed dangerous and banned due to a great deal of harm they brought upon their owners.
Some Barbie dolls, drawing tools, card games, and more were eventually recalled because of children being exposed to negative side effects like poison, choking hazards, and sharp objects. Make sure these hazardous toys are far away from you and your loved ones!
No One Is Safe Around A Sky Dancers Barbie
After being around for decades Mattel is constantly thinking of new versions for their famed Barbie doll. In the mid-1990s they created the Sky Dancers Barbie that had a pull-string base connected to a doll with foam wings. After the doll was inserted and the string was pulled it would launch in the air and spin around.
Only about six years after its release it ended up getting recalled. Over 100 people reported that they were injured by the doll for reasons such as it flying rapidly in unpredictable directions and that it hit both adults and children.
Cover Your Eyes When Using Clackers
The one purpose of clackers is to try and knock two acrylic balls together to make a loud sound. This 1970’s novelty toy might’ve seemed harmless at first, but just a decade after its release consumers realized it was a major safety hazard.
When the balls would hit each other it would often times lead to them cracking or shattering, leaving many tiny shards. The users who reported their injuries said they were either cut with the shards or they would fly into their face. Clackers were finally banned in 1985, but similar models were made in its place.
The Snacktime Kid Cabbage Patch Doll Will Bite Your Finger
There’s a doll for practically anything now, so Mattel needed to give their Cabbage Patch Dolls an edge. They came up with a Snacktime version that would chew plastic food when it was placed in their mouths. It was engineered with a mechanic jaw, so practically anything would get crushed when put inside.
When children are near anything sharp it doesn’t likely end well. These dolls ended up being so dangerous that they were completely banned in 1997 when kids started getting their fingers, hair, and other body parts caught in the dolls’ mouths.
The Atomic Energy Lab Included Radioactive Materials
Following the “Space Race” of the 1950s, many children’s toys started to be more geared toward science. A.C. Gilbert, the inventor of the ERECTOR metal toy set, released a chemistry set called the U-238 Atomic Energy Lab. The purpose of the set was for children to observe real nuclear fission in the comfort of their own homes.
Since the set included uranium ore samples it was deadly from the get-go. Uranium is one of the key ingredients in concocting a nuclear bomb and also releases alarming amounts of radiation. After around 5,000 of them were sold they were quietly taken off the shelves.
Yo-Yo Water Balls Come With More Risk Than They’re Worth
Objects that are soft and squishy have proven to be a favorite among kids for decades, but even some of those have negative consequences. Yo-Yo water balls are meant to be worn around a finger, so that when they’re thrown they’ll return to the hand. They are usually soft and made from a synthetic material that’s filled with some sort of liquid to keep them bouncy.
A few places around the world have either discontinued or banned the Yo-Yo water balls due to the harmful liquid that’s placed inside. There were reports of flammable diesel hydrocarbons found, where it would either light things on fire or accidentally swallowed. Also, kids were getting the string attached to the ball wrapped around their necks.
Stay Away From Aqua Dots
There are toys for all types of subjects kids may be interested in. It’s encouraged for kids to build and create because it utilizes many of their physical and mental skills. On the art side of toys are Aqua Dots from China’s Wangqi Product Factory where people take small colored plastic beads and arrange them in various designs of their choosing.
First, this product was recalled in Australia and later North America and Europe after children experienced seizures, comas, and other serious illnesses after ingesting large numbers of the beads. All of the beads were coated with the compound gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, also known as a common date rape drug.
Don’t Eat The Buckyballs
Buckyballs weren’t originally marketed towards kids, they ended up in their hands anyway. Users are encouraged to take the tiny rare earth magnets and construct them into fun shapes and models. Kids playing with something that can easily be swallowed is clearly not the best idea.
About three years after Buckyballs’ release the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the toy after reports of children swallowing the magnets with a few getting gastrointestinal distress. ZenMagnets, the makers of the toy, is now bringing a new version to stores with the intent of it not being a toy and only being used for educational purposes.
Hoverboards Are Too Hot To Handle
The 21st century has seen some of the largest technological advances in history. Just like phones and computers, toys are also getting a major futuristic upgrade. In 2013 the world was introduced to the hoverboard, a self-balancing scooter where the rider controls the speed and direction with their feet.
These boards weren’t anything like motorized vehicles of the past. They were in such high demand that China was manufacturing as many as humanly possible. Almost a year later people reported that their boards were catching on fire due to the lithium-ion battery packs overheating. They were later banned in places like airports and theme parks.
Put Those Lawn Darts Away
Outdoor-themed toy options are practically endless. During the 1980s lawn darts took the world by storm. Each player would take heavy metal darts with a large spike and toss them into rings on the grass. The plastic fins on the sides gave them extra wind resistance, so they would fly unbelievably fast.
There’s a reason these darts aren’t marketed as toys anymore. In April of 1987, a seven-year-old was killed by one of the darts after it struck through her skull. Researchers estimated that there were about 23,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. Soon after her father, David Snow advocated for a strict ban.
Magnetix Are Not Edible
One of the most wanted toy building sets of the 2000s was Magnetix, a combination of colorful plastic pieces, steel balls, and neodymium magnets. These pieces were used to craft various geometric structures that would interlock at both ends.
By 2006 the Consumer Product Safety Commission had to recall Magnetix after a small child died and four others were seriously injured after swallowing the pieces. The next year a total of four million sets were taken off the shelves after 1,500 incidents of loose magnets were reported. This recall was a precaution to prevent more kids from accidentally swallowing the pieces.
Don’t Shoot Your Eye Out With A Slingshot
Charles Goodyear, manufacturing engineer and the inspiration for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, invented and patented the vulcanized rubber, later known as a slingshot in the mid-1800s. When they first came out they were most associated with trouble-maker children, but later became one of the most popular toys in existence.
Their purpose was to fire projectiles, such as steel BBs and pellets into the air. Even with their long history, some toy slingshots have been recalled as recent as 2006. One hundred thousand of them were banned after people issued reports of going blind or breaking teeth when hit with projectiles.
Jumping on the Trampoline Is Now an Extreme Sport
Trampolines aren’t just for gymnastics and stunts, but people all over the globe use trampolines for both exercise and fun. The first record of trampolining was made by the Inuit who would stretch walrus skin and have dancers tossed in the air during their spring whale harvest celebration.
Using a trampoline can be dangerous though. Before jumping it’s recommended to have foam pads placed along the trampoline with a safety net that encircles it. People have fallen off and broken bones, collided into each other, and landed on their neck or head.
Fidget Spinners Used To Treat Neurological Disorders
A more recent addition to the toy industry is the fidget spinner. It’s only been on the market since 2017, but similar devices were around as early as 1993. Its true intention was to help people with neurological disorders like anxiety, ADHD, and autism relieve nervous energy.
Fidget spinners are designed to spin with little effort while someone balances it with their fingers. After its release experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute discovered that if the pieces were broken off they could harm children under three if they were swallowed.
Why Easy-Bake Ovens Ditched The Light Bulb
Just like Barbie dolls, Easy-Bake Ovens have revolutionized over the past five decades. This working toy oven was first introduced in 1963 and used a light bulb to bake cakes made from a mix and water. Most recently there have been over 23 million ovens sold around the world.
One of their newer models from 2006 created a lot of controversy after children got their hands and fingers caught in the front-loading door causing them to get second- or third-degree burns. One girl was burned so badly that she had to get part of her finger amputated.
Step Away From Splash Blast Water Rockets
While some versions of these are still sold, the particular Spin Master Toys Splash Blast Water Rockets were recalled in 2001. These rockets relied on water pressure from a hose to give them the momentum to launch into the air. If the pressure of the hose wasn’t just right, it was common for harm to ensue.
This small water rocket left some people burned or lacerated on their hands and face. Other times the rocket would break apart when it was in the air or fly in haphazard directions.
Hannah Montana Pop Star Card Game Contains Nasty Toxins
It makes sense for toys with sharp or small pieces to be considered dangerous, but even card games can cause harm. Hannah Montana was a Disney Channel show where Miley Cyrus acted like a typical teenager with a hidden pop star alter-ego.
A card game based off the hit sitcom was enough to get fans interested. When the cards were sent to a lab, test results revealed that there was 75 times the legal amount of lead in the card material. Even though lead is the second most deadly household toxin after arsenic, it stayed on shelves because it was found in the game’s vinyl instead of the paint.
Check What’s In Your Chalk
It’s now becoming more common for toys to be made from non-toxic materials, so they won’t harm kids if accidentally ingested. Sidewalk chalk is a popular outdoor activity for children and some schools still use chalkboards in the classroom.
Most kinds of chalk contain horrible chemicals that are not good for consumption. Taste is an important sense for children, so it’s common for them to put things in their mouths even if they know it isn’t food. In classrooms the chalk dust will float in the air and can cause respiratory issues.
Sparks Fly With Rollerblade Barbie
After hundreds of different Barbie dolls, there’s a few that didn’t gain much success. In 1991 Mattel launched the production of the Rollerblade Barbie. This doll had skates with working wheels that would light up as they glided across a flat surface.
Not only would these rollerblades light up, but they would also fire out sparks when the Barbie skated. There was a flint at the bottom that looked very similar to a lighter. Concerned parents stated that this particular Barbie was lighting things on fire and children were getting burned.
The CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit Can Cause Disease
The popular crime show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation inspired its very own toy where kids could experiment and investigate what was around them. In the CSI Fingerprint Kit children would use a special powder and brush off the excess to pretend they’re finding fingerprints.
Unfortunately, there was something quite toxic in the powder. It turned out to contain about five percent asbestos. If people are exposed to asbestos it can cause diseases like mesothelioma and cancer. When the makers of the toy found out about the asbestos they still kept it in stores until the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization filed a civil action lawsuit.
Choking Hazards In Quik Clik Polly Pocket
Polly Pocket dolls were one of the hottest toy items in the 1990s. These tiny dolls were sold with many fashionable clothes and accessories that kids could mix and match when they dressed them up. Usually, they had clothes made from rubber, but in 2004 they created a line with all plastic clothes that would attach with magnets called “Quik Clik.”
A couple of years after Polly Pocket Quik Cliks were on the market, Mattel needed to recall almost five million of the sets. The magnets on the dolls ended up coming loose and some children ended up swallowing them.