Sometimes it seems as though people lack common sense. We are all for being innovative, but there is a difference between coming up with a great idea and just being plain silly. Here, we’ve found ten vintage products that actually used to be sold but would never fly today. Now we understand why helicopter parents are a thing!
Reddi-Bacon was the clever name for what was essentially instant toaster bacon. It was brought to us by the company that dreamed up “Reddi-Wip” (whipped cream) and the creators thought they would try their hand at revolutionizing another snack.
Reddi-Bacon allowed toaster owners to cook up to eight slices of bacon in 90 seconds. Each package of Reddi-Bacon came with four strips of precooked meat. However, the residual fat in Reddi-Bacon’s precooked strips of meat posed a dangerous threat. Grease was known to drip down into the toaster, which could either destroy the toaster, or worse – start a fire. Luckily, with the invention of the microwave, basically any bacon is now almost instant-ready.
2. Wonder Sauna Hot Pants
Sauna Pants were all the craze in the 1970s. The inflatable hot pants were marketed as an easy way to lose weight. They were designed to literally sweat the fat away from peoples’ stomach and thigh areas. Someone who bought Sauna Pants would wear them around the house or out in public if they were brave enough.
The heat would cause one’s body to sweat more than usual, which may have caused them to lose a few ounces of water weight. However, this would have only been a temporary solution for those looking to shed a few pounds. They probably fell out of style solely because of the way they looked, but crazy fad diets that have the same vibe as Sauna Pants continue to be popular today.
3. Easy-Bake Oven
We all wanted an Easy Bake Oven when we were younger. It seemed like the coolest toy, and you got a yummy treat after you were done playing with it. However, in 2007 Hasbro had to recall Easy-Bake Ovens twice because kids would get their fingers caught in them, which often resulted in burns.
Later in 2007, it was revealed that there were 249 burn cases, with 77 burns to be of the worrying status. In fact, in one serious incident, a five-year-old girl had to undergo a partial finger amputation. Easy-Bake Ovens have since been upgraded to use an electric heating element instead of a lightbulb.
4. DDT In Penn Salt Chemicals
This advertisement from 1947 is promoting the many uses of DDT. In the 1940s, DDT was used as a household pesticide to help control insects. However, while DDT was effective for eliminating mosquitoes that carry malaria, it also has a number of hazardous effects- especially in young children.
DDT was known to damage children’s nervous, immune, endocrine, and neurological systems. Perhaps what is most disturbing about this advertisement is the photo of the mother feeding her baby a bottle, with the caption “DDT helps to make a healthier, more comfortable home…”
Despite being an extremely popular toy in the 1970s, Clackers were quickly taken off the market for endangering those who played with them. The acrylic balls were known to crack and shatter into tiny shards that could then fly into the face. When the balls shattered on impact, the acrylic pieces became the equivalent of shrapnel.
6. 1960s Creepy Crawlers
Introduced in the 1960s, Creepy Crawlers was essentially the “boy-friendly” version of an Easy-Bake Oven. The toy came with a little oven that allowed kids to make molds of spiders, frogs, and other insects.
However, there were two major issues with the 1960s version of this toy. The first issue was that the oven used to cook up the chemicals got extremely hot. In fact, the oven could heat up to over 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
The second, and more dangerous issue, was that the chemicals these kids were breathing in were super toxic. The gel used to make the bugs was called “PlastiGoop,” and when it was heated up in the oven, it would give off toxic fumes and make kids sick. Yikes.
7. Mini Hammocks
Kids need to relax, right? Wrong! Mini hammocks, which were a popular item for children throughout the 1970s through to the 1990s, resulted in at least 12 known deaths. In 1996, 10 mini-hammock manufacturers had to recall three million mini hammocks.
The issue with mini-hammocks was that they did not have spreader bars. Without spreader bars to hold the bed open, mini-hammocks could suddenly become twisted around a child’s neck.
8. Asbestos snow
It is fairly well known that asbestos was used as snow in classic movies such as The Wizard of Oz, but did you know it could also be bought around the holiday season? Asbestos was commonly used as fake snow to decorate homes, churches, and schools during the holiday season.
Before it was recognized as a cancer-causing carcinogen, asbestos was once sprinkled on Christmas trees, wreaths, and ornaments. Although asbestos hasn’t been used as fake snow in a long time, older decorations that have been passed down through different generations may still contain small amounts of asbestos.
9. Gilbert Glass Blowing Set
Glass blowing is an extremely dangerous profession that requires one to be an expert at the craft, but sure, let’s give kids their own at-home glass blowing kit. This home craft was first introduced by Gilbert Toys in the 1950s, and allowed for kids to do the glass blowing experiment all on their own.
In order to change the shape of the glass, the glass first had to reach its softening point which is around 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The Gilbert Glass Blowing Set encouraged kids to try to mold the glass with their bare hands, or blow a bubble of hot glass until it burst in their face!
10. Wham-O Super Elastic Bubble Plastic
Plastic bubbles… from a tube? That was the selling point of Wham-O’s 1970s-1980s toy. Essentially, kids would put a ball of goo at the end of a straw and blow, turning the goo into a balloon/bubble-like structure.
However, the goo that kids would blow into was made out of polyvinyl acetate, ethyl acetate, and acetone, which could give off toxic fumes. When kids inhaled these fumes while blowing the goo up through a straw, they would have different physical symptoms, including dizziness and involuntary muscle spasms.