I’m very surprised I survived the 80s. My mom had six kids and taught piano lessons in the home, which meant my siblings and I spent quite a bit of time playing outside without adult supervision, left to our wild imaginations. Here are the top ten toys that should have killed me but luckily just created the need for stitches, Neosporin and bandages. Let me know if I forgot your favorite classic “deadly” toy.
1. Lawn Darts: Who would have thought that large pointy metal darts being thrown by children would be dangerous? Not toy makers in the 80s!
2. Trampolines: These bouncy death traps were all the rage in the early 80s, but they came without padding or safety nets. It’s amazing just how many body parts can be damaged when you land on them after gaining momentum from an incredibly high bounce.
3. Slip-n-Slide: For those kids growing up in hot summers with no pool, this was a great second-best. The problem was that you glided right off onto sharp objects, rocks and cement porches. Ouch! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9PCkURKtHY
4. Toy Cork Guns: Poking your eye out was just one of many painful injuries caused by this “harmless” alternative to a real weapon. It wasn’t just human injuries either. Many a squirrel and bird can attest to that.
5. Easy Bake Ovens: The commercials made it look so sweet and innocent; baking little cakes with friends. In real life, however, many fingers, hands and even legs were burned with this hot little hazard. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn2TMsZGT-c
6. Rollerblades: Regular roller skates can be dangerous, but Rollerblades are far worse. Many of us, after watching some cool daredevil down the street, thought it would be easy enough to ride down hand rails and landed right on our helmetless heads.
7. Clackers: Sure, these are innocent -- if you have excellent fine motor skills. I didn’t. Neither do these kids. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUCVURfLdMg
8. Shrinky Dinks: These seem innocent enough -- cute little images that you make and bake in the oven as decorations. However, if you cooked them too long or wrong in any way, a hazardous smoke filled the whole house. Let’s just say my sisters and I were not that good at following directions.
9. Pogo-Ball: It’s slogan, “The ball that takes you higher and higher,” is especially accurate for those of us that tried to combine this already dangerous toy with mini-trampolines (a popular activity in my youth). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgYzHV7Ftqc
10. Metal Play Ground Equipment: Back in the old days, all of the parts of your basic swingset -- the slides, swing bottoms, monkey bars, etc. -- were made of metal. This seems like an excellently sturdy idea until the first really hot day of summer when you race to be the first one down the long slide and your short shorts expose maximum skin to the blazing hot metal. So m