6 Awesomely Dangerous Toys of the '70s

April Peveteaux

click clack clackersWhenever you're feeling nostalgic for your youth, stop and remember that it's amazing you're even alive to reminisce about those halcyon days of playing in a vacant lot while your parents had no idea where you were, and frankly, didn't care.

Tetanus shots aside, the real dangers of your childhood could be found in your toy box. Yes, it was a good time, and nobody got hurt -- except that one kid with the missing hand. But it's also no surprise that your kids won't see these toys under the Christmas tree this year.

Click Clack Clackers

These two heavy balls on a string seemed innocent enough. Yet the FDA actually put a stop to the plastic production after children were injured by shrapnel. I'm only assuming a long line of smushed finger complaints preempted the more serious "shrapnel" charge.

shrinky dinksShrinky Dinks

I loved Shrinky Dinks. There was something incredibly satisfying about coloring a piece of paper and watching it shrink into a hard chunk of plastic. I have no idea why. Between the toxic fumes and letting us play with an oven -- this one would get your neighbor on the phone with CPS before the edges finish their beautiful curl.


model rocketModel Rockets

We can't even play with fireworks on 4th of July anymore. But you bet we had M-80s year-round, and model rockets to be shot directly into your little brother's eye and/or to the top of the neighbor's roof. Did anyone get in trouble for almost starting a fire next door? Nooo. In fact, in some places if you assembled and set off a model rocket that earned you an A in science class.



bb gunBB Guns

Who didn't have a BB Gun growing up? If you lived in my neck of the woods, you probably even advanced to a shotgun before you grew pubes. Can you imagine letting your kid play with a gun that actually can shoot your eye out these days?


lawn dartsLawn Darts

Throwing giant metal darts into the air with your friends. What could go wrong? Just a burrowing into the skull is all, and three deaths due to lawn darts. Hence, the ban on the toy in the U.S. in the late '80s.




ez bake ovenEasy Bake Oven

This one I'm adding to the list under protest. My husband insists serious burns resulted in his house due to the Easy Bake. I for one only remember lovely brownies and cakes warmed slightly by a light bulb.

Did you get burned by the EZ Bake? Or any of these other toys?

Images (top to bottom): Time Warp Toys, dr. knitter/Flickr, woodleywonderworks/Flickr, au_tiger01/Flickr, TheDamnMushroom/Flickr, ebay

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