Kids’ toys are supposed to bring joy and laughter, not pain and crying. Still, there were many cases throughout history where toys were deemed dangerous. However, when there is a breach in health and safety guidelines, actions are taken. The product may be removed from the shelves, and in some cases the producers even offer compensation. Due to their novelty and limited numbers, many of these banned toys are now considered rare collectibles.
From radioactive atomic laboratory kits to splintery Clackers, our list has it all. Depending on your childhood years, you might have played with one or more of these toys.
1. Atomic Laboratory Kits
Our list is topped by the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab, one of the most famous atomic laboratory kits for children. It was sold for a couple of years at the beginning of the 1950s for about $50. The price and sophistication of the set made it a pretty high-end toy. It was one of the most complex sets on the market, complete with:
- four kinds of uranium ore (autunite, torbernite, uraninite, and carnotite)
- Geiger counter
- Comic book
- Government manual
Today these sets are a highly coveted novelty by museums and private collectors. A Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab can be auctioned at more than 100 times its original price.
2. Aqua Dots
This toy was marketed under many names, Aqua Dots, Aquabeads, Bindeez, Pixos, Beados. The set contained many colorful plastic beads with which to form all kinds of imaginative designs.
However, this colorful and fun toy led to serious health problems in children around the world. Besides representing a choking hazard, the beads were also toxic. Among the reported cases, two children in North America became unconscious after swallowing some plastic balls.
In Australia, several kids were hospitalized with health problems after ingesting parts of the toy. It was a doctor from Sydney, who discovered the release of a toxic compound, once the beads were swallowed.
A subsequent investigation uncovered that a factory in China produced some sets that used a pharmacologically active sedative. This was a cheaper substitute for the safer substance which was supposed to be used. In these cases, the coating contained the compound GHB, which can be dangerous when ingested.
Aqua Dots were recalled from the market in 2007 and were replaced with safer variants.
If you grew up in the US around the 1980s, you probably played with or at least heard of lawn darts. Players would throw the darts aiming at a ring played on the ground. The darts were very heavy and ended in a metal spike. While the end was not particularly sharp, the fact that it was weighed down enabled the darts to reach enough speed to provoke injury upon impact with a person.
As fun as they might seem, they were a disaster waiting to happen. There were over 7,000 reported injuries associated with Jarts. It is not surprising then that they were banned in 1988.
These toys were at the peak of their popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. Hundreds of toymakers got involved in the business and by the early 1970s, millions of clackers were sold. Although based on a simple concept, the toy was highly entertaining. Two heavy balls made from acrylic were attached to a string and swung around.
Yet, about a decade after they hit the market, as they were deemed unsafe. Unfortunately, the balls would often get damaged during the play and splinters would fly into the face.
5. Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kid
Launched in 1995, this version of the Cabbage Patch Kid was gifted with the ability to chew. The problem is that some of The Snacktime Kids got too greedy. Sometimes children suffered injuries to their fingers or would get their hair caught by the doll.
The Snacktime Kid was banned in 1997 after hundreds of complaints have been made to the producers. What is more, a refund of $40 was offered to hundreds of people who have already bought the doll.
Sadly, incidents like this might still occur. The toymakers’ drive to innovate or to bring something new to the market, might result in accidents. If your child, or someone you know, was hurt by a toy, make sure to contact a lawyer. Discuss the case with them and make sure that you get the maximum settlement.
Toys Kids Play with Today
There you have it, five banned popular kids’ toys, which did more harm than good. Unfortunately, dangerous toys are not a thing of the past, although there are continuously better health and safety regulations in place.
Therefore, continue keeping a close eye on your child while playing and if any incidents do occur, contact a lawyer. They will help you take appropriate action to secure your child and other children’s safety