Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

Do you remember those tiny magnetic beads that you could build huge things with? Those were quickly taken off the market, after kids started making fake lip rings with them and accidentally swallowing them. Literally tore about their intestines. Gross.

There are so many toys with similar stories. It's amazing how many things that are obviously dangerous in childrens' hands that companies just sold anyway. Here are a few examples.

U/Breadsticksamurai asked: Older generations of Reddit: What toys did you have as a child that would be considered too dangerous to be given to a child today?

​So many awful things accidentally eaten by an unbeknownst child, so little space in this article.

Sounds delicious.

Super Elastic Bubble Plastic.


The deliciously toxic polyvinyl fragrance was too much to resist. Once the bubble deflated, leaving what looked like a wad of chewed gum almost always ended up being chewed by my kid self. Play-Doh (salty), Silly Putty (faint/mild tasting), Slime (wet/salty), modeling clay (greasy), and Bubble Plastic (sweet/rubbery). I knew them all, and I'm sure I wasn't alone. Looking back, all of them seem harmless EXCEPT Bubble Plastic. It came out of a metal tube that was probably lead, and it smelled sweet, but toxic.... the way a pile of brand new rubber baby doll heads mixed in with a barrel or two of whatever Monsanto was dumping into the ocean that day. What could go wrong?

When that didn't kill us, there was always the mosquito spray truck we used to chase after on our bikes at night. God only knows what brand of Agent Orange they were dispensing, but we must have inhaled gallons of that, and no one gave it a second thought.


Damn you, Fisher Price.

toy story GIF Giphy

Fisher Price people. They still have them, but they're no longer sized to fit exactly into a small child's pharynx. Everything else had to be scaled to fit the new fat ones: garages with only two levels instead of three, the plane was all wrong, the castle didn't have the oubliette and the swing-out stairs...

And as with any little girl, the curvy blue blonde-ponytailed mom was my ideal for what I'd look like as a grown-up. Except with legs.


Not consumed, but still painful nonetheless.

Slap bracelets. The old ones had a sharp piece of metal inside them and those HURT. And of course we didn't just wear them, that was no fun. We had to have full on playground wars and come in from recess with our arms all torn up. Also I knew two different kids who broke their ankles using a Skip-It. Thank goodness I was an Indoor Kid, those things would have been a disaster for my clumsy a**.


Playgrounds have changed so much since back in the day. Back then, they were basically death traps.​

Metal slides were the worst.

In the late 90s my elementary school had a metal slide about 15ft tall. The ladder to climb up, and the "railing" around the 1ft wide platform at the top were made of skinny metal tubing that got slick af when it was wet. The sides of the slide were about 6 inches tall, super easy to just go over the edge. Several kids fell or were pushed off over the years when I was there. One boy had to be hospitalized not once, not twice, but three times after jumping off it.

Around 2001 the school tore it down and replaced it with an extremely lame plastic slide about 8ft tall, with sides about 1ft tall.

Oh, and I have a children's science textbook from the 1930s that describes all sorts of experiments with electricity kids can do with the power outlets in their home. What could go wrong?


Those are deadly.

happy spin GIF by Great Big Story Giphy

On playgrounds, there's always the spinning gate.

It was a gate on a pole. You stood on the back of it and kick off like a skateboard and just... spin around on it.

Think a merry-go-round, but smaller and crazier.


See? Those slides were awful.

Playground equipment like see-saws, merry go-round, and metal slides. I once burned a layer of skin off my thighs going down a hot metal slide (summer in Georgia) in shorts.


Some things really make me wonder, why were we even allowed access to these things in the first place?

I’m sorry WHAT?

My dentist used to give me Vials of Mercury to bring to school for show and tell. My parents bought me a rock collection at a natural history museum that included a chunk of asbestos from which you could pull fibrous material. We also had metal trucks with extremely sharp edges and lead based paint jobs.


The most intense water guns.

90S Super Soaker GIF Giphy

Super Soakers where getting a little out of control from the mid 90's to the early 2000's.

They held a ton of water and felt like someone was spraying you with a pressure washer; hitting someone in the eyes would temporarily blind them and crying wasn't uncommon.

Slip and slides whew also pretty rough when a rock poked up through the plastic and caught your stomach after a 30 foot head start. So much blood.


Sounds like an accident waiting to happen.

I have a crayon melter that melts crayons and lets you pour it into molds so you could make your own crayons and rings.

Turns out production stopped because of a failure to stop the heater from being turned on if the lid was opened.


This is just terrifying.

I had a large red plastic toy box that looked like a treasure chest in my bedroom closet growing up. When I was around 7, late at night the toy box would start taking to me from the closet, calling my name, Michael, in a low, creaky voice. For weeks, I was terrified to fall asleep because I knew I'd wake up to the voice again, yet every morning when the sun filled my room I'd open the lid to the box and it would just be toys, like it should be.

Finally, I was able to convince my mom that I wasn't making it up, and got her to sleep in my room that night with me, and shortly thereafter she woke me up with "Michael wake up, I hear it".

Long story short, we discovered it was my Talking K.I.T.T. with very low batteries, talking away in slow motion by itself.

I don't know if those should be illegal, but I definitely feel like the experience damaged me.


​It’s honestly a wonder we survived our childhoods.

How did they get away with making those?

fall spinning GIF by America's Funniest Home Videos Giphy

Playground pre-restrictions 1965'ish. Metal rings hanging from chains similar to swinging from monkey bars but a lot more fun.

Update: I lost a front tooth since I was leaning in to give her grief to hurry up (patience has never been a strong suit.) she swung back to launch and connected with my mouth. I did not wait around to learn if it was intentional nor did my parents File a law suit. Ah, those were the unsafe days.


What even.

Jarts! Later in life (as in "the 80s") they redesigned them so they were rounded at the end. The ones we had were cast aluminum with a weighted point and fins.

For those unfamiliar, the intent was to set up two targets, and each player (or team) would stand at opposite ends, with the goal to set the lawn dart in the ground within the circle. Yes, we would throw giant metal darts at each other, playing a game that our parents bought willingly for us.

I still remember overshooting one time and leaving a nice hole in the neighbor's siding!


They didn’t think that through.

We had Thundercats rings that went to the plastic toy models of the characters. The rings (essentially a battery) would connect to the back of the model to make their eyes light up. Too bad the batteries would ground out and melt the plastic on both the toy and the ring.


Ok, these were lowkey really cool.

Bey Turbo GIF by Beyblade Burst Rivals Giphy


Apparently they still exist and host tournaments but they are much smaller than they used to be.

To this day, the most fun toys I remember having.

Not gonna lie, I lowkey would totally get back into them as a hobby as an adult, kinda been there in the back of my mind over the last few years.


Even the kids were reckless in their toy creation.

All the things we made. Bobby pins and a rubber band, lawnmower go-kart, treehouse (ever try to climb a tree with a 8' long 2x6 and a hammer while biting on a mouth full of nails) gotta start somewhere. Wrist rocket shooting 1" steelies.


Personally, I remember back when there were those giant spaceship things you could climb up on old playgrounds. I'm pretty a sure several people died on those things.

It seems like a lot of toys are more safe now, but arguably less cool. At least, kids of that time might say so.

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