Slip and die
These days kids have it easy. In this politically correct world gone mad, the only danger a kid faces is getting smacked in the face with a wiimote from a overzealous friend playing wii sports. The wimps. Here, then is a nostalgic look back at the days before health and safety was invented - a rundown of the Top Ten Toys That Maimed.
Couldn't be simpler. Throw a plastic ring onto the lawn and throw these metal tipped darts into the target. My friend had these and the best part of the game was the bonus round. Simply retrieve your Jart without being stabbed in the hand by the next player for an extra 50 points.
9. Slip and slide
Hmmm, the clue was in the title really. Or in my sister's case, it should have been titled Slip and Put your hip out. Check out the video to see this kid take a tumble. You can't help but laugh, but breaking your fall with your face is never a good idea.
In the early 70s all you could hear in playgrounds up and down the country was the clack clack clack of young girls as they competed to get their clackers whirring into a blur. Us boys would find these female rhythmic up and down wrist movements fascinating, but were too young to fully understand why. Clackers were effectively an aboriginal bola throwing weapon given to children and once we realised this, it became easy to bring down a first year kid at 100 yards.
7. Sit and Spin
This one is brilliant because it's so inherently dangerous. The actual point of it is to make your toddler too dizzy to stand up. Children are basically upchuck machines anyway, do they need helping along? A one way ticket to A&E followed by social services, try explaining those bruises away. Addictive for kids, it's also deeply thrilling for drunk adults. Still, check out this kid to see how it should be done - I bet you all want one now...
6. Space Attack
As a child, all I wanted to do was play air hockey. 1n 1982 MB games brought out their own version which, without electricity, used a gyroscopic lump of metal as the puck. You placed the puck on the rotor and turned the overclocked crank handle until it reached the speed of light, then released it into the playing arena. A double whammy, it would both bruise your knuckles when you defended your goal and take the top 3 layers of skin off you fingers as you tried to slow it down after losing a point.
5. Ideal Table Saw
A rotary finger slicer with batteries, this circular saw was proclaimed 'safe for little hands' on the box. Erm, it still cuts through wood, numbnuts, so i'd imagine my little pinkies would come out worst in a fight. or come off, at least.
4. Kite Tube
As if being dragged behind a speedboat isn't dangerous enough, the kite tube alowed the unlucky recipient to be flown forty feet into the air before twisting upside down and being slam dunked into the sea. Look at me, ma. I'm flying! Look at me, ma, now I'm in a hospital bed with all my limbs in traction and eating pureed chicken through a straw. So good, it's no longer available owing to a full product recall. Oh yes.
3. The Air Blaster
Hey Kids, have you seen this?! It's a gun that fires air! Blow things away from you by magic! Woo! Or alternatively, jump up behind your friend Jimmy and pop one in his ear. Yeah, bwoy, take that, pow pow pow! Erm, why's he holding his head? Jimmy? Jimmy? Are you okay? OI, JIMMY! tut, he's obviously not listening... In effect a giant eardrum in reverse, it was a shame you couldn't use it as an artifical one when yours got perforated.
2. Ricochet Racers
Toy developers never really work their way through the potential pitfalls of their products. Take Ricochet Racers. You used a spring loaded rifle to fire bullet shaped cars along pieces of plastic track at impressive speeds. That assumed kids will fire the cars from the ground. Kids actually used the rifle at shoulder height to fire large lumps of metal at their friends heads. It even had a sight to line up your target, for christ's sake. Extra points for an eye!
1. Easy Bake Oven
Oooh yum, is that bacon cooking? No, it's your little sister's sizzling flesh as she touches the 400 degree pink 'play' oven. Popular since the 1960s, this little contraption had an oven accessed via shelves at the sides that are perfect for trapping a childs limbs in. No other toy comes close - despite winning the 2003 Toy of the year by Parenting magazine (what were they thinking?), the updated front loading design caused Hasbro to recall 985,000 units after reports that childrens hands and fingers got caught in the opening. They introduced a free 'safety kit' to stop this from happening, but in 2004 reported a further 249 cases, including 16 of second or third degree burns and even finger amputations, meaning that even those with the safety add-on had to be sent back. Think of it as a SAW style torture trap that makes muffins, mmm.
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