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Top 10 most dangerous toys that have been banned

Ian Harvey

Over the years children’s toys have been a major hit and cost consumers thousands, even millions, of dollars. However, along with them comes toys that have been dubbed as dangerous. Whether these toys have dangerous parts that might harm children, or if they are just incredibly offensive, there are reasons why they are no longer being sold or were banned outright.

Here are the top 10 most dangerous toys that have been banned:

  1. Easy Bake Oven

    Easy-Bake oven - the Premier model - released in 1969.Source
    Easy-Bake oven – the Premier model – released in 1969.Source

Every little girl dreamed of having an Easy Bake Oven. Who doesn’t want to independently make cookies and cakes in their own little oven? One of the major risks of  having an Easy Bake was that it actually got hot enough that children could and did hurt themselves. However, this was not the only reason it was recalled. In fact, the toy was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2006. That celebration was short-lived, though. Over one million of the toys had to be recalled due to a design flaw. These ovens had easily trapped little fingers and burned them badly. The ovens actually got hot enough to reach 400 degrees. There were nearly 250 incidents reported; in 16 of those cases, children suffered from second and third-degree burns. One five-year-old even had to undergo surgery to remove part of her finger.

  1. Snap Bracelets

    Slap bracelets Source
    Slap bracelets Source

Snap bracelets were a major fashion hit in the 1990s and early 2000s. These were spring-loaded bracelets that were covered in different kinds of plastic or cloth. If they were slapped just right, they would curl around the wearers’ wrists. Although they were a popular toy, teachers especially hated them. Many school children wore them and never grew tired of constantly slapping their wrists with these toys. While the name brand bracelets didn’t cause issues, knock-off manufacturers faced problems. These bracelets were usually under a dollar and would slice into children’s wrists when the metal wore through the cloth or plastic. Schools went as far as banning the bracelets due to the risks. This caused the knock-off brands to be recalled. They made a small comeback in 2012 when they came out with animal prints, but they soon faced the same issue with cutting children and were recalled again.

  1. Monster Science Colossal Water Balls

These toys were a hit because they started out as little capsules that a child would have to put into water, which would then magically turn them into what was supposed to be a dinosaur. These dinosaur-shaped ones were smaller bead-like toys. The same company got the bright idea to make jumbo versions, and this only led to disaster. With small toys comes the possibility children would swallow it. Hey, it’s a water ball, right? Nothing wrong with swallowing something that was partially water, right? Wrong. Many children ended up swallowing the balls before they were expanded, which caused the balls to expand in the children’s small intestines. These balls ended up causing severe hydration and vomiting. Since they were clear, it was impossible to X-ray them, and surgery was required to find and remove them.

  1. Aqua Dots

    Aqua dot Source
    Aqua dot Source

Aqua Dots were the hottest toy for a while there, but again, with small pieces comes the possibility children will eat them. Unfortunately, this company decided that using toxic paints and plastics were the way to go when they made these easy-to-swallow toys. Generally, any good company makes non-toxic toys for this reason. While this company didn’t use toxic paints and plastics, it did make the beads out of a chemical that was soon found to turn into a date rape drug when ingested. These toys were made so that kids could make shapes and then spray water on them so they’d magically stick together. However, if they were ingested, it would cause respiratory depression, ending up in either a coma or seizures. Nearly four million of the kits were recalled. One child who ingested the toy was hospitalized for five days. The maker of Aqua Dots revealed that their dots contained a controlled substance. The company was forced to pay $1.3 million dollars for all the children who were hospitalized, and one dog that also became ill from them.

  1. Kite Tube

The first hint that this toy was dangerous was the skull and crossbones printed on each tube. This toy caused two people to die and many others to suffer severe injuries. Two of the injuries were a broken neck and a punctured lung. This toy was designed to allow a person to glide in the air while being pulled by a motorboat. However, the only things attached to the tube to keep a person on were hand grips and stirrups. To put it into perspective, the Kite Tube could reach heights as high as a three-story building. Now, think about falling from there and into water … sounds rather dangerous. The company ended up voluntarily recalling the toy before they were forced to recall it. However, they claimed that there was no way to tell if these injuries had been caused by their tube or the fact that the people were tubing on water in general.

  1. Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kids


While these dolls seemed like a cool idea in the 1980s, it didn’t take long for them to cause trouble. The dolls actually had mechanical mouths that allowed the owner to feed them. However, with little kids, they are bound to try to put their fingers and hair inside these dolls’ mouths and wreak havoc. While these injuries weren’t life threatening, parents didn’t like seeing their kids’ hair being pulled out by the root. The worst part about these dolls was that they didn’t come with an on/off switch. One little girl was scalped along the entire back of her head because of this. While Mattel didn’t have any issues during their testing of the toy, they decided to pull the dolls off the shelf to be safe.

  1. Bucky Balls

    Bucky_Balls Source
    Bucky_Balls Source

Generally, desk toys are made for young adults. However, some of these caused problems when they ended up near a child’s reach. These balls were made to be extremely magnetic so that the owner could build sculptures on their desk while at work. Again, when children see small things, they put them into in their mouths. If several pieces were swallowed, this caused them to clamp together in the intestinal walls and not let go. This could tear up organs and cause blood poisoning, bowel blockages, and even death. Because these toys had so many balls in one package, parents weren’t sure just how many were ingested by a child. Sadly, even teens fell victim to ingesting these toys. One of the “cooler” things they did was put them on their tongue and pretended they were tongue piercings, causing them to accidentally swallow them. There were over 1,000 cases of children who needed surgery to remove the Buckyballs. However, the company refused to pay for the surgeries and fought the legal issues. In fact, they even refused to recall their toy, resulting in their getting sued. The owner even risked his company’s being shut down instead of recalling his toy. This caused the government to go after him personally in order to collect the $57 million in costs.

  1. CSI Fingerprint Examiner

Who didn’t want to pretend that they were a forensic examiner? This toy was actually based on the CBS show CSI. This toy allowed kids to put on latex gloves and collect evidence. One of the most fun parts was dusting for fingerprints. However, the dust had a little more than non-toxic substances – it contained one of the deadliest forms of asbestos. The powder contained seven percent asbestos, which is at a level able to cause lung cancer later in life if one is exposed to it even once. The company ended up going bankrupt due to this major error.

  1. Splash Off Water Rocket


Again, these seemed like cool toys. Who wouldn’t want to blast their own rocket into the air from their backyard? While they looked harmless, they were far from it. These toys actually burned users, and others broke apart in mid-air. This water rocket used water pressure from a hose in order to build up the energy needed to take off into the air. Because of the hose pressure, some rockets exploded or flew off in unpredictable directions, causing 37 cases of hand and face lacerations.

  1. Aqua Leisure Baby Boats

Although this toy seemed like a great idea, it was cheaply made, causing the bottom nets to tear right through. This caused babies to fall right into the water. Now, what happens if the parent isn’t close to their baby at that moment? The company was fined $650,000 for knowing about the problem for nearly six years! The company stood there watching their toys fail, and it didn’t do anything about it. Their excuse? That no babies had actually drowned because of it, so what’s the big deal? They even went as far as hiding the defect from federal watchdogs.


Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News