If you ever need 20 minutes of useless rambling from me, it’s best to get me started on strong opinions about trivial things. The most sure fire way to get Rebecca started on this never-ending monologue that would rival Syndrome from the Incredibles is bringing up bad engineering design of any sort. This episode is one of those times.


So… some things that didn’t make the list but needed to be mentioned… Remember those sub things you used to throw underwater in the pool? Used to be called toy pedos. They also looked phallic. Parents complained, marketing rehauled the toy.

  1. CSI: Forensic Lab

A toy that came along with the popularity (along bad sunglasses and puns) of CSI from CBS, came this hit toy in 2007.

This toy allowed kids to dust for real fingerprints!

Only problem is the dust contained up to 7% tremolite… a form of asbestos (some reports indicate one of the most fatal kinds). Exposure to this chemical has been linked to developing lung disease and mesothelioma later in life.

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization found these levels of asbestos in 6 out of 8 samples taken from kits. Meanwhile the company that manufactured these kits claimed there was no asbestos found when they tested their kits.

So yeah… to prevent cancer from forming later in life these kits were removed from the shelves.

2. Aqua Dots

Debuting in 2007, these little guys were the 2000’s equivalent to the perler beads that everyone ironed together then didn’t know what to do with. But I’m certain your grandparents appreciated their 100th coaster that resembled an amoeba at a rave.

These tiny plastic dots could be arranged into a pattern before being fused together using water. Cool right? Ok well, when tiny plastic dots mimic a child’s favorite source of cardboard and sugar in the morning, they’re gonna end up as the sprinkles on top of a feces soft serve.

After ingesting the beads, children started vomiting, shortly after which they would lapse into comas.

So… black chemistry magic happened and scientists determined that the colored dots up to 14% of extractable 1,4 Butanediol. 1,4 BD (for short) is less commonly known is less commonly known as a nervous system depressant and more commonly known as a date rate drug.

The toy was voluntarily recalled quickly.

3. Sky Dancers

So we’re gonna gloss over the fact that these shows were Rebecca’s absolute favorite to rent on VHS from the local video rental store as a kid and talk about how dangerous these toys are.

What are they? They’re basically a doll with collapsible wings that fit to a base. The base has a pull cord that, when pulled with enough acceleration, causes the Sky Dancer to spin and shoot up into the sky.

Which is super cool until a rogue skydancer takes out your kid sister’s eye. (JK swear that didn’t actually happen we can ask my mom but not now).

After the release of this toy emergency rooms say people come in with a variation of injuries from this kids toy, ranging from scratched corneas to cuts.

4. Creepy Crawlers Thingmaker

What is it? Think Easy-Bake-Oven (which has its own history of recalls) for plastic bug toys. Originally debuting in the 1960s, this toy allowed kids to melt colored plastic into the shape of bugs. What could possibly go wrong with kids melting plastic into bug shapes?

So Easy-Bake-Ovens could get quite hot for a kid’s toy (think 350F hot) and the Creepy Crawlies are melted plastic… that also happened to be quite toxic. SO… not only are kids playing with molten, burn your fingerprints off, goo, but this damn thing was designed with no safety whatsoever.

It’s an open tray over a heat source, preventing absolutely no one from sticking their fingers into the brightly covered but roughly-the-temperature-of-the-sun molten plastic. Who designed this? Did safety exist in the 60s? Whatever. Next horribly dangerous toy.

5. Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kid

Everyone loves Cabbage Patch Kids, right? (Except Rebecca who thinks they’re creepy as hell even after she visited the BabyLand General Hospital in Cleveland, Georgia and probably had one of those monstrosities named after her but that’s not what we’re talking about today)

What could make these dolls more terrifying even better? An electric motor that allowed you to feed the thing!

In 1996, Mattel released the Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kid. The toy had a motorized mouth that allowed children to place food into the toy. The toy would then chew and “eat” the food, before depositing the food into the toy’s backpack. Because that makes sense.

However, this toy had no failsafe, meaning this demon spawn doll could not tell the difference between a plastic toy and a child’s finger. And had no cutoff switch. 

The toy was recalled in 1997.

6. Lawn Darts

Also known as “Jarts”. (pause for inappropriate Tiffany laughter)

Basically… these are the darts you see in bars enhanced to roughly 8 inches long. They were dangerous. Got banned. And now they’re golden goodwill finds.

Reportedly 3 children died because of this game.

Bonus interview I found with John Krasinksi and Lawn Darts

9. Six Finger

So this toy looked like a sixth finger and could:

  1. Shoot Caps
  2. Write with a ballpoint pen
  3. Shoot secret messages
  4. Click so you could signal in code
  5. Various other projectiles

So, besides the fact this stupid toy looked oddly [very] phallic, the projectiles were strong enough to injure a child’s eye.

8. Gilbert  U-238 Atomic Energy Lab

The Gilbert Atomic Energy Lab, sold in the early 1950s, was described as as “the most elaborate Atomic Energy educational set ever produced” 

And it also included uranium. Do I need to explain more? No? Let’s move on.

9. Super Blast Balls

Yes, Tiffany, I included these just for you.

From the Consumer Product Safety Commision:

“The recalled toys are packaged as “Super Bang…Blast Balls”. The balls are sold two in a pack, in a variety of colors.”

They’re exactly like they sound. The toy is two balls that you hold in your hands. You smack them together. There’s a bang. Sometimes sparks. Injuries include minor burns.

So… No, governing authorities did not think children should play with explosives if you wanted the TLDR. So they got recalled.










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