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Top 30 Most DANGEROUS Toys Ever Made

Top 30 Most DANGEROUS Toys Ever Made
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Arianna Wechter
Play with these toys at your own risk! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the toys that have caused injuries amongst users – or had the most potential to. Our countdown of the most dangerous toys ever made includes Darth Maul & Qui-Gon's Lightsabers, Super Blast Balls, Children's Wood Burning Kits, Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kids, Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Laboratory, and more!


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the toys that have caused injuries amongst users – or had the most potential to.

#30: Clackers
Sometimes, the simplest trinkets are the ones most likely to leave a mark. There isn’t much to clackers – they’re two balls on a string, that the user could smash together as slow or fast as they’d like. While they seem like a good time, they quickly get out of hand. They’re hard to control once it gets moving at high speeds, making it easy for someone to hit themselves or others. Taking hard plastic to the face already doesn’t sound like a good time, and the risk of the spheres shattering upon impact made things even more perilous. They picked up such a bad reputation that the U.S government had tens of thousands of them destroyed in the 1970s – forever cementing their infamous legacy.

#29: Splash Off Water Rocket
For years, water based activities have been the go-to on a hot day. What better way to have fun in the sun than to set off an H2O-powered projectile with your friends? What should’ve led to instant memories instead resulted in unwanted stress. To get the Splash Off Water Rocket to work, it first had to be filled using a classic garden hose. However, when liquid was added, the pressure proved to be too much, causing some of them to completely fall apart. This, of course, led to the possibility of people getting hit and injured. Getting splashed is one thing, but no one wants to spend their summer vacation recovering from being hit with a piece of rocket.

#28: Darth Maul & Qui-Gon’s Lightsabers
The “Star Wars” franchise has spawned several lines of toys over the decades, allowing kids to play as their favorite heroes and villains from the series. Some of the most popular were the lightsabers, modeled after the ones used by the characters. While many appeared to be innocent, some had more danger lurking beneath the surface. The Darth Maul and Qui-Gon versions seemed to be an instant hit – particularly the former’s iconic double-sided weapon. While they were beloved, they didn’t last long on the shelves. An internal issue with the batteries shifting and overheating eventually led to them being considered burn hazards. While the negative effects were realistic to the movies, they definitely weren’t ideal in a real-life setting.

#27: Belt Buckle Derringer Toy Gun
Fake firearms are one thing – but one that can be hidden in an article of clothing takes things to a whole new level. In the 1950s, Mattel introduced a new phenomenon – a tiny pistol embedded within a belt buckle. The mini artillery would pop out and shoot a pellet whenever a small switch was activated, usually while the wearer moved their hips. They were so realistic that they could shoot several feet, making them a risk to anyone in the vicinity. The fact that it was a cap gun added another precarious layer to the product. While the bullets weren’t real, the friction from the chamber being activated spelled out disaster – especially considering how close they were to sensitive areas of the body.

#26: Pogo Sticks
While bouncing from place to place seems ideal for any child, the risks usually outweigh the rewards. Pogo sticks have been one of the most unique items on the market since their inception, as they utilize springs to give users hours of fun and potential pain. Some variations have been taken off the market due to the mechanisms backfiring, causing people to fall mid-use. However, what makes them truly unsafe is how hard they can be to control. Even if someone isn’t attempting sick tricks, the stick can easily slip out from underneath them, causing them to fall or even be hit. What’s even more dangerous are the stunts some people attempt while using them – with failed ones usually ending in immediate injury.

#25: Monster Science Colossal Water Balls

A bouncy ball never hurt anyone, right? Just be careful if they start to mutate. Be Amazing! Toys ran into some trouble when they produced “colossal water balls,” little polymer orbs that expanded in size when combined with a special “growth powder.” The problem started with the colorful trinkets resembling candy. The toys also ballooned up in any sort of water…something that unfortunately makes up more than 50% of the human body. The fear was that kids would ingest the product and that its growth in diameter would present a serious choking hazard or, if swallowed, cause fatal obstructions in the intestines. Though no direct incidents involving the “Monster Science” miniatures were reported, occurrences involving similar polymer products prompted a recall of Jelly BeadZ Jumbo BeadZ and Magic Growing Fruity Fun Toys in 2013. It’s a helpful reminder that unexpected dangers sometimes come in small packages.

#24: Super Blast Balls
In retrospect, a toy centered around slamming two objects together as hard as possible might not have been the best idea. The concept behind Super Blast Balls was straightforward. People would hit them together, simulating the sound of a cap gun going off. They would have to hold the small balls in their palms for maximum effect – causing a loud noise and even sparks in the process. The latter posed a burn threat, especially to those who were hitting them with all their strength. Before they were finally investigated and recalled, several people had reported being injured by the tiny ballistics. What could’ve been a great early lesson in friction ended up teaching more people how to treat singe wounds.

#23: Yo-Yo Balls
Some playthings are a mess from top to bottom – even something as small and seemingly inconsequential as this. A yo-yo and a ball combined seems like it should result in hours of fun. Instead, they ended with trips to the hospital. Every component of it posed a threat, from the cord nearly strangling kids to the balls striking them in the head. Even the liquid inside was scrutinized for its potential toxicity and flammability. While there thankfully weren’t any fatalities, there were far too many close calls. This led to them being recalled – though by the time they were, millions had already been sold across the country. These just go to show that even the smallest objects can have the largest drawbacks.

#22: Gilbert Glass Blowing Set
Giving children unfettered access to glass and fire – what could possibly go wrong? The A.C. Gilbert Company was all about releasing products that had some real world application, whether it be a chemistry set or a glass-blowing kit. The latter came with several glass tubes, an alcohol lamp, and even a small blow torch that kids could use to make their own creations. When left unsupervised, these materials had the potential to end in serious injuries and even house fires. Glass blowing isn’t the safest hobby, even for adults. To do it correctly, you have to bring the temperature up to several hundred degrees. Giving a youngster access to that level of flame, no matter the reason, is just a disaster waiting to happen.

#21: Sky Dancers
Who could’ve thought that such fashionable fairies would bring so much emotional distress? Sky Dancers were the perfect whimsical doll for kids of all ages, with a pull-string activated base that caused each one to fly. Unfortunately, the results were anything but magical. They spun at such high speeds that the flimsily covered foam wings were harming anyone in their path. The injuries were severe, and ranged from scratched corneas to broken bones. After nearly 200 reports from consumers, the company had to pay a $400,000 fine and over ten million toys were recalled across the country. A new generation of Sky Dancers was eventually introduced in the 2000s – this time, with softer, more padded wings.

#20. Polly Pocket
If history has taught us nothing else, it’s that magnets and young kids really don’t mix. Imagine an entire apartment, shrunk down to fit into a pocket-sized folding dollhouse, styled as a makeup compact. Add the male equivalent playsets, Mighty Max, and this line of choking hazards had kids in the '90s eating out of the palm of their hand. These toys were already dangerous enough to warrant teaching your kid the Heimlich maneuver, but the Polly Pocket magnetic playsets, with their magnetic clothing, warranted a full recall in 2006. These dolls were too large to swallow, but the small magnets often fell out, wreaking life-threatening havoc on digestive systems if multiple were ingested.

#19: Inflatable Baby Floats
There’s nothing scarier than a potentially lethal baby product. Parents always need to be extra careful with infants around water, but you can understand how one might let their guard down when placing a child in an inflatable device specifically designed for that purpose. Sadly, a number of baby flotation products have ripped, resulting in the child sinking or being smothered. In 2009, some 4 million units, consisting of various models of the Aqua-Leisure Baby Floats, were recalled after 31 incidences of seat strap ripping occurred, allowing the baby to fall into the water. In 2015, Otteroo floats were recalled after some 50 cases of deflation were reported. Thankfully, neither specific case resulted in death.

#18: Children’s Wood Burning Kits
If the word “burning” is in the name of your product, maybe don’t market it to kids. Admittedly, the various companies manufacturing this product have always targeted the outdoorsy, do-it-yourself, “Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America” kind of kid. They’re the types who generally don’t need their toys bubble-wrapped. Sets from the 1950s were notorious for burns and for trusting in the fact that kids would learn responsibility. Modern kits, like those made by educational toy companies like T.S. Shure and NSI, are more safety-minded. But no amount of safety recommendations can mitigate the potential for burns, or worse, fires. If it can burn a pattern into wood, it can burn plenty of other stuff too.

#17: Creepy Crawlers
It might not exactly be playing with fire, but this creation station still involves high temperatures, and in early models, toxic fumes. Mattel first began producing Creepy Crawlers in 1964. Sets included die-cast creature molds, a liquid chemical that kids poured into the mold, and a small oven or hot plate to heat the “plastigoop” into hardened rubbery shapes. Creepy crawlers got a lot safer in the 1990s, but the early versions consisted of an open-face hot plate that rose to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. It might not be liquid magma, but that’s still blisteringly hot, especially if you touched the creature before it solidified. Although marketed as “non-toxic” at the time, that was before we knew the dangers of PVC fumes.

#16: Austin Magic Pistol
Doesn’t it suck that all the most dangerous toys are also the coolest? This toy gun actually uses combustion – flames shoot out of it! It’s made of metal and totally looks like a ray gun from early sci-fi! While the Austin Magic Pistol might make for a wicked awesome vintage toy when you’re in your twenties or older, this circa 1950s “toy gun” is absurdly dangerous. Its “magic crystals” are composed of a mixture of calcium carbide and water, which, with a little help from the sparking trigger, combusts violently. Even in the wild and crazy '50s, it quickly became apparent that this was no toy – resulting in a number of bans.

#15: Science Wiz Bottle Rocket Party
Listed in the “Top 10 Unsafe Toys of 2014” list from parental safety group W.A.T.C.H., this kit gives children everything they need to have a bottle rocket party! It includes the rockets themselves, stoppers, and fun “caution” tape so you feel like you’re at a real rocket launch. What the kit doesn’t include are the safety goggles they recommend on the packaging. The baking soda and vinegar-propelled rockets aren’t going to explode, but the projectiles still present a significant risk of eye or facial injury. The kit is labeled “8 and up,” but you’d be hard-pressed to find any 8-year-old that’s going to wait until they can track down safety goggles before playing with something this cool.

#14: Easy-Bake Oven
The Little Lady Empire Stove, with its metal frame and up to 600 degrees of heat, might’ve been the more deadly children’s stove, but the Easy-Bake Oven has had a much more significant impact since Kenner launched the product in 1963. Over 25 million units have been sold since, meaning that the average kid likely interacted with one at some point. Most of the 11 models have been totally safe, but one or two got the recipe wrong. The 2006 version was recalled after 29 reports surfaced of kids getting their fingers caught in the front-loading oven door. Despite the recall, another 249 incidents were reported, one of which ended with a little girl needing a partial finger amputation.

#13: Stats 38 Quick Folding Trampoline
Anything that goes up must come down, and the higher you launch a child into the air, the greater the risk for injury. This specific trampoline might be mini, but it packs a huge risk factor. Marketed to children 6 and up, it has some serious bounce to it. No safety, no padded handlebar. The likelihood of your child losing control and flying into furniture is high. On the packaging you find the following warning: "Landing on the head or neck can cause serious injury, paralysis, or death...”. If, as a manufacturer, you feel the need to put that on a product you’re selling to 6-year-olds, you might’ve missed the point of age restrictions.

#12: Mini Hammock
Inflatable baby boats might be prone to malfunction, but mini hammocks seem as if they were designed specifically to endanger young children. Made from a fine nylon mesh, and lacking any sort of spreader bar, these child-sized hammocks were prone to entangling their young users. Most often, this would occur when the child was attempting to get in or out of the hammock. In 1996, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall and safety warning on ten different mini hammock brands and models, most notably the EZ Sales hammock brand, deemed unsafe for use due to a lack of spreader bar. Between 1984 and 1995, there were twelve separate cases of kids becoming trapped in the hammock and dying from asphyxiation.

#11: Aqua Dots
Aqua Dots are small colorful balls that you arrange into patterns or images. Spray the design with water and they solidify together into a single piece of art to show off to mom or dad. But as we’ve learned, anything a kid can swallow – they will swallow. These small toy beads, when ingested, caused vomiting, respiratory failure, seizures and comas. Why? Aqua Dots contained a compound that when consumed, breaks down into GHB, also known as liquid ecstasy. The product was pulled from shelves after 3 separate toddlers fell into comas. The parents of one toddler, who suffered permanent brain damage, won their court case against the manufacturers, distributors and toy designers, each company being assigned partial blame for the tragedy.

#10: Hannah Montana Pop Star Card Game
Before she became the controversial pop star we all know and love today, Miley Cyrus was America’s sweetheart and role model, Hannah Montana. Little girls around the world wanted anything and everything with her name on it, including this awesome card game. Parents trusted that smiling face, making it a huge surprise that the carrying case contained over 75 times the level of lead legally permitted in consumer goods. Hannah Montana... slowly poisoning children? Even scarier, the card game avoided a recall thanks to a legal loophole (since the lead was found in its vinyl and not its paint), meaning it stayed on shelves, and in the hands of kids.

#9: Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kids
Step aside Hungry Hungry Hippos, here come the cannibal Cabbage Patch Kids. “Snacktime” dolls were a must-have gift for Christmas 1996. They could bite and swallow plastic food! In the eyes of children, they were as good as human pets, but with no mess on the other end. Unfortunately the dolls couldn’t differentiate between plastic food, fingers and ponytails. Over 100 reports were filed claiming the jaws clamped down on fingers and hair, slowly pulling them in. In one case, a girl’s hair was allegedly ripped down to the scalp. Mattel offered a $40 refund and took these little monsters off the shelves.

#8: Sky Rangers Park Flyer Radio-Controlled Airplane
Let’s be honest – remote control planes are dangerous even when functioning properly. There’s always a risk of them crashing into a window, car or innocent bystander. Forget “with great power”... with REMOTE CONTROL AIRPLANES comes great responsibility. Well, apparently no one told Estes-Cox Corp., the makers of the Sky Rangers, who upped the ante by releasing a toy airplane that was prone to spontaneously combusting during take-off, mid flight and while landing. Anytime, really. Oh, and did we mention you have to throw the plane on take-off? Burns, temporary hearing loss, wounded eyes, facial lacerations and a mandatory recall ensued.

#7: Zulu Blowing Game
When it comes to toys, the phrase “Choking Hazard” holds the title as the biggest buzzword in child safety. But toys from the 1930s through to the 1960s seem like they were designed to weed out and kill all but the smartest kids before they reached adulthood. The Zulu Blow Gun from the Zulu Blowing Game was no exception. These toys essentially streamlined asphyxiation. A number of versions were sold between 1920 and 1960, but they all consisted of a long straw and small, sharp darts. Put a dart in the straw, inhale, put it to your lips and blow! You guessed it… Tons of kids got that order wrong, and inhaled the darts. Ouch.

#6: Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper
Remember a simpler time, when companies didn’t have to cover their products in warnings? The people at Mattel sure do. In the late seventies, there were 3 reported cases of children accidentally shooting themselves in the face with the spring-loaded missile of the Colonial Viper, inhaling or swallowing the missile and choking. One of these incidents sadly resulted in the death of a 4-year-old child. Following a recall, Mattel began to place “choking hazard” stickers on all of their toys with small parts, a precaution that would go on to become mandatory for all toy manufacturers.

#5: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Fingerprint Examination Kit
Before we get into what makes this toy dangerous, let’s just acknowledge the fact that toys for children should’ve never been made based on the CSI television franchise considering the grisly subject matter. Kids... should not be fans of this series. Period. Turns out this toy set was not only inappropriate, but also poisonous. The powder used for fingerprinting was proven to contain asbestos, which when inhaled can cause deadly respiratory issues and even cancer later on in life. This resulted in a class action lawsuit against CBS, the network that licensed the toy. In the wake of the public relations nightmare, the manufacturer, Planet Toys, filed for bankruptcy.

#4: Moon Shoes
Swings, trampolines... it seems like childhood is all about trying to launch your body as high as possible. The first generation of moon shoes was released in the 1950s. Made of a type of metal, these shoes locked your feet in like roller skates and used springs to help you reach the stars! They were also incredibly heavy, resulting in a lot of property damage when kids landed on household items, and injuries when kids botched a landing, rolled an ankle or broke mom and dad’s toes. Nickelodeon released a much safer plastic version in the ‘90s, but sprained and broken ankles continued, minus the fun.

#3: Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Laboratory
Between 1910 and 1950, the A.C. Gilbert Company was a big name in toys. Their 1913 Erector Set was one of the best-selling toys the world had ever seen, and over the next 40 years the company continued to put out a wide variety of scientific play sets that were quite dangerous by modern standards. The chemistry set taught young kids to make explosives. The glass-blowing kit involved temperatures close to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. But the Atomic Energy Lab wins for the most absurd, with multiple kinds of uranium, a Geiger counter to measure radioactivity and a cloud chamber to observe alpha particles in action!

#2: Toy Guns (Including BB Guns)
Guns! It doesn’t matter if kids are raised by registered NRA members or in strictly anti-gun households; they love playing with toy guns. Maybe it’s the speed of the projectiles, the loud noises, the influence of popular TV characters or all of the above. BB and airsoft guns can take an eye out, paintballs leave a serious bruise and cap guns often lead to burns. There are over 200 incidents of toy guns being mistaken for real firearms per year in the States. While many toy guns are not inherently dangerous, they often look like the real deal and can lead to serious injury or death.

#1: Lawn Darts
A cross between horseshoes and darts, these oversized projectiles have plastic fins and big rounded, weighted metal (or sometimes plastic) tips that ensure they fly true and land point first. Simple, outdoor fun for the whole family… until someone gets seriously or fatally wounded by a stray dart. Also known as jarts or yard darts, they were popular in the 1950s but were later banned because of injuries. The ban was lifted in the 1970s under the condition they never be marketed to kids. When a 7-year-old girl was killed by one, it proved that the regulation couldn’t keep them out of the hands of kids, so this led to a strict ban in the States.

Were any of your favorite childhood toys more dangerous than you thought? Let us know in the comments below.