Monday, September 24, 2007

Toys You Had As a Kid That Would Be Outlawed Today

Jarts! a.k.a. "Lawn Darts." I'm not sure how many thousands of punctured limbs these things were responsible for, but the class-action lawyers must have cleaned up.

Tonka Dump Trucks: fabricated entirely from Ginsu knives by Tonka. They could slice fingers off if slightly mishandled.

Stretch Armstrong: the kind filled with jelly. If these were sold today, a hypo-allergenic, ADD nutcase would swallow the jelly, get sick, and his parents would sue the Chinese manufacturer. The entire episode would form a 20/20 special hosted by John Stossel; Nancy Grace would devote a week of shows to the injustice.

Bow and arrows: remove the suction-cups from the ends of the arrows and -- whhoooooeeee -- you really could put an eye out; and I'm sure some kids did.

Bangsite!: evil-smelling, granular crap that came in an industrial-strength toothpaste tube -- it may have been calcium carbide. Mixing Bangsite with water made an explosive gas. Some kids had Bangsite cannons, heavy cast iron things that were relatively safe to use. Normal kids took a metal baking soda can and punched a nail hole through the bottom. This turned the can into a three-man, crew-served weapon. One kid tipped some Bangsite into the can, spat on it, jammed the lid on, and placed the can on the edge of the curb. Second kid put his foot on the can to brace it. Third kid applied the match to the nail hole. KAF---INGBOOM!!! -- with a burst of flame, the lid goes flying clear across the street. I still cannot believe that my parents knew I was doing this, and let me.

Airplane and ship models: yep, we spent hours in our rooms with model glue... and our parents didn't care a bit. These days, a SWAT team might get called in.

Flexy Racers: a sled on wheels that was missing only one thing: brakes. These mysteriously disappeared from the market after -- I'm guessing here -- some kid slid into an Interstate and got pancaked by an 18-wheeler.

Wrist Rockets: basically a weapons-grade slingshot that fit around your wrist and used massive rubber tubes as the bands. The ammo was indistinguishable from a heavy ball bearing. Slightly less powerful than a .357 Magnum, and slightly more powerful than a .38.

All-aluminum snow sleds: on a decent hill, you could hit 70 MPH and some kids did, may they rest in peace.

Water-air rockets: I don't remember the brand, but this was a rocket that you filled with water and then pumped full of air. Let's just say that after a couple of hundred concussions and numerous missing teeth, it was removed from the market.

Adapted from a 2004 post

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