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  #51  
Old 05-03-2020, 10:26 PM
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At least none of these things were the Cornballer.
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Old 05-04-2020, 12:44 AM
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When I was a kid some of our fathers had brought back "souvenirs" from Korea, which usually meant a beat up old 1911. Our dads removed the firing pin and glued a piece of wood into the magazine well. One kids dad gave him a S&W Model 10 snubbie. He had bent the firing pin off and filled the cylinder chambers with cement.

I knew of at least 4 boys who were playing cops and robbers with real pistols. Nobody held up the local gas station, no adults got hysterical, and no jumpy police officers shot any of us.

But can you imagine how dangerous having those "toys" would be today?
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:53 AM
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The danger level of those "toys" probably hasn't changed at all. Then or now, white kids playing with them would probably get left alone, and then or now, black kids playing with them would probably get shot.
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Old 05-04-2020, 07:19 PM
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I had a toy called "Mercury Maze" which was a plastic maze with a blob of actual mercury in it. You were supposed to maneuver the mercury through the maze like those toy ball mazes, with the added complication that you could accidentally cause the blob to split into two, and then you had to get them back together. I liked it, and although I was aware at the time that mercury was dangerous, it somehow never occurred to me that THIS particular blob of mercury could be dangerous to ME. After all, it was just a toy.
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:24 PM
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Hey, I would have played with BAG O GLASS!
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  #56  
Old 05-04-2020, 09:38 PM
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A cousin of mine had one of those disc guns and he discovered it would shoot pennies as well. I can confirm that those hurt.
My parent's idea of safety was to buy us rubber BBs for the BB guns. That way we could play tag out on my Mom's family's farm without hurting anyone. Welts didn't count as "hurt" in our family. Basically anything short of a pumping blood wound you sucked it up and maybe got a popsicle out of it.

Apparently, the big danger of the EZ-Bake oven was food poisoning. It turns out that a lot of food poisoning is caused by raw flour. Who knew? I had one, seldom used it as I was allowed to make real cookies using the real oven from about age five. I'm sure my Mom was somewhere near the kitchen while I did it. . .

I also had this doll with her own bowl and mixer to make whipped instant pudding. The danger with that (as with the cotton candy machines) was that long hair could get caught up in it and the machine was strong enough to just rip it out in chunks. Didn't happen to me, but once I heard about it she went to the giveaway pile.

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. . .
One time my cousin and I tied a rope to a very high branch of a tall tree. We tilted it at a slant and secured it to the ground with a railroad stake. We spent all weekend using a pulley zipping up and down on it. An awesome time that could have gotten us killed had our knot on the branch or the stake hold failed.

Then there was the “wrist rocket” slingshot. My brother and I welted up half the traffic signs in town with one of those. We could never figure out why someone would spend the 59 cents on a pack of Steelies when rocks were free. One woman yelled at my brother for shooting at a bird in the park. As she walked away he cracked her right in her fat ass with a sharp jagged rock. No way we should have had one of those. My old man bent it up with the vice in the garage. I can still hear him bellow “shooting people with rocks? I must of had rocks in my head letting you have this!”
OMG the slingshot. Did he hit somebody you knew? Or did she just follow you home? We had the luck of a storm drain system that went all through the neighborhood. No adult would follow us down there and we could get home without being followed.

I was a crack shot with a slingshot; I craved one of those wrist things but I never got one. I also had a Swiss Army knife that I could bury into anything at about ten paces. Child paces, of course. When I was nine, EVERY kid had a Swiss Army knife, and we took them to school with us.

We also used to do something we called "Tree-jumping." that's where several kids climb up a sapling until it bends over. Then you all hang by your hands and there's this "Survivor" type wrangling that goes on to see what group is going to let go all at once and who will be left holding on thrashing back and forth with the tree. (or flying to their death if they don't get their legs wrapped around in time.) Good fun!

I could go on for hours. It's a demned miracle we made it to adulthood.
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:45 PM
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And Mom started teaching us to use the power tools in the basement when we were about 5. Yes, it's potentially dangerous, which means it's a really good idea to learn how to use it properly.
I remember sometime in the seventies someone put out a set of power tools for kids, actual power tools just smaller than the normal ones
  #58  
Old 05-04-2020, 11:20 PM
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The danger level of those "toys" probably hasn't changed at all. Then or now, white kids playing with them would probably get left alone,
Nonsense. Every now and then we'll get sent to a call of a kid with a gun that turns out to be a BB or Air Soft gun. It's handled the same regardless of the race of the kid. The difference is in the reaction from people now as opposed to 55 years ago when they see a kid playing with a life like guns. And of course the instances of kids actually shooting each other for real. We took our rifles and shotguns to school to give speeches on and we had a school trap team. Nobody ever killed anyone.




Then there were Cox cars. Anyone have one of these? Had tiny engines that ran on flammable fuel? They made an awful racket when started. You were supposed to tie a tether on it to control where it went but nobody ever did. I had a Cox airplane that flew away from the field I was in right into the open window of a semi-truck cab that was passing by. The commotion created would have been hilarious to watch if it wasn't me getting my ass screamed at by a very large and very pissed off truck driver.
  #59  
Old 05-04-2020, 11:34 PM
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OMG the slingshot. Did he hit somebody you knew? Or did she just follow you home?
We actually didn't get in trouble for that one as we GTF out of there, pronto. But the dumb ass clipped a couple more people and word finally got back to my Pop.


How about those water rockets that you pumped up with air and it flew from the pressure. If you stood wrong and looked down at it while releasing it'd fly up and smack you in the forehead. That hard plastic hurt.

Did anyone mention cheap plastic squirt guns? Filling them up with a liquid other than water made them plenty dangerous.
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Old 05-05-2020, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Quoth pkbites:

And of course the instances of kids actually shooting each other for real.
I'm not sure precisely how old you are, but that was probably more common when you were a kid than it is now.
  #61  
Old 05-05-2020, 10:14 AM
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Creepy crawlies - I had two complete Thingmaker sets and some extra molds. Best toy I ever had! It was fun to spit on the cooker and watch it sizzle away!
I also had Incredible Edibles, which cooked "candy" critters from an artificially sweetened starch slurry. Imagine Twizzlers sweetened with saccharin.
I also had a Pretzel Jetzel that used a 100 W light bulb to cook pretzels!
I had all these before I was ten. I never hurt myself.
.
I had the creepie crawlies both plastic and food sort =) I also had the pretzel jetzel, an ez bake oven, a snoopy sno cone maker ... and the prize of them all - a cotton candy maker =)

I had the big chemical set, the little curated rock collection that had uranium ore and asbestos =)

My mom would shoo my brother and I out after an early breakfast in the summers to go play with a random roaming troup of kids and cousins, and the only thing was to be back when the YMCA camp blew evening chow call at 6 pm, no fixed bedtime but dinner tended to be between 7 and 8. After I hit 12 I could go out after dinner as long as I was back by midnight, we determined i could find the place based on the visual profile of the hills and trees profiled against the night sky =) Lunches tended to be mooched from whoevers parents we ended up closest to at lunch time, bathroom breaks for girls wherever we were near. The summer residents along that quarter of the lake tended to be all locals, and frequently were relatives or friends of the family =)
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  #62  
Old 05-05-2020, 01:24 PM
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Sopranos had the son of Ralphie Ciffaretto get hit by a lawn dart and ended up in a coma. Not long after that Tony sent Ralph to sleep with the fishes.
  #63  
Old 05-05-2020, 02:06 PM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_7XR1L7NPI

I had this...and the Winchester rifle to go with it. I tortured our dog with it.
  #64  
Old 05-05-2020, 06:10 PM
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Some of us were play circus, trying to do stunts. Benny stood on the end of the board while Jeff jumped on the other end, launching him in the air. That went on until the tape holding the fulcrum pieces together broke and Benny did a really scary looking half-flip, landing hard on his back. Came out of it ok, though.

Some of our most dangerous toys were not manufactured.

Last edited by eschereal; 05-05-2020 at 06:10 PM.
  #65  
Old 05-05-2020, 09:03 PM
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This may go back a little further than the 70s, depending on where you live, but up to about the early 60s around here firecrackers were readily available to kids. Surprised this wonderful way for kids to permanently injure themselves hasn't been mentioned. I recall a transition point where they became illegal, due to new laws at some level of government, but some stores -- like one hardware store in my neighborhood -- continued to sell them under the counter. Including some fairly big fat ones a few inches in length. All the kids knew about it and I had lots of fun with them.

Some of the crazy stuff we did must have precipitated parental interrogations of their respective offspring, and word was that the police had paid a visit to our favorite hardware store. I went in one day to buy more firecrackers, and the man shook his head sadly, in the manner of one who has been through something of a legal ordeal and had no wish to go through it again.
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Old 05-05-2020, 09:51 PM
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This may go back a little further than the 70s, depending on where you live, but up to about the early 60s around here firecrackers were readily available to kids. Surprised this wonderful way for kids to permanently injure themselves hasn't been mentioned. I recall a transition point where they became illegal, due to new laws at some level of government, but some stores -- like one hardware store in my neighborhood -- continued to sell them under the counter. Including some fairly big fat ones a few inches in length. All the kids knew about it and I had lots of fun with them.

Some of the crazy stuff we did must have precipitated parental interrogations of their respective offspring, and word was that the police had paid a visit to our favorite hardware store. I went in one day to buy more firecrackers, and the man shook his head sadly, in the manner of one who has been through something of a legal ordeal and had no wish to go through it again.
I grew up in a state where fireworks were illegal. Oh, you could light sparklers and smoke bombs but nothing as dramatic as a firecracker. We were jealous. But apparently it paid off.
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Old 05-05-2020, 10:34 PM
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Somewhat related to this topic, somebody(I believe it was the National Lampoon in their Sunday Newspaper parody) put out a fake Red Ryder ad where the mother was telling her older son that he could put someone's eye out, and they was a small illustration of the younger brother crying with a hand other one eye, the older son replying something like "You bet I could, mom!"
I would love to be able to find a link to that ad.
  #68  
Old 05-05-2020, 11:18 PM
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I'm not sure precisely how old you are, but that was probably more common when you were a kid than it is now.
60 this year. Nobody ever shot anyone at my school. And we had shotguns and rifles in our cars.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_7XR1L7NPI

I had this...and the Winchester rifle to go with it. I tortured our dog with it.
But that wasn't the 70's as specified by the OP. I had the Johnny Eagle version. Those Greenie Stick'um Caps were a pain in the ass. Had to sit half the day and load up bullets if you wanted plenty of reloads. And I kept losing those stupid bullets on top of it.

What about swing sets. Anyone here almost kill themselves on a swing set? We had the largest backyard version I think possible. My cousin broke his arm jumping out of the swing on 2 separate occasions. One time there were 6 of us on it. Rocking the glider, the sky glider and the swings. Tipped the entire sonovabitch over frontways. Ripped the stakes right out of the ground. All 6 of us on the ground pinned by the top metal bar of the set. Good times, folks.
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:53 PM
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How about the Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper toy that killed a kid in the late 70s and got the missile launching Boba Fett figure cancelled? Probably put an end to spring loaded missile shooting toys altogether.
I still have my Micronauts Battle Cruiser with the darts intact. They flew well, and the guns could be separated from the ship for handheld use.
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:02 AM
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My cousin, 2 years older than me, had some sort of chemistry set. We stunk ourselves out from under the stairs a few times. The fake blood was cool.

I had the microscope with the needle and scalpel, as was mentioned elsewhere. Mom took the scalpel away until I was about 13. I got it back so I could work on models with it.

I also had a few woodworking kits over the years. These had real saws, hammers, and screwdrivers, but everything was sized for little hands. Potentially dangerous in the wrong little hands.

When my father was a kid, everyone had a pocketknife. Much less so when I was younger, but I always had at least one. Aside from being practical, we'd play stretch. My English teacher in high school used to borrow my Swiss Army knife regularly for the scissors. Nowadays, carrying a knife in school will get you arrested. What a shame.
  #71  
Old 05-06-2020, 07:50 AM
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60 this year. Nobody ever shot anyone at my school.
Yes, exactly. When you were young, you'd hear about people getting shot at your school. Nowadays, you hear about people getting shot at any school anywhere in the nation.
  #72  
Old 05-06-2020, 04:55 PM
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I seriously doubt candy cigarettes could be blamed for anyone smoking. Candy cigarettes existed because our culture was imbued with cigarette smoking. If you went to the movies, watched TV, read books or magazines it was apparent that everybody smoked cigarettes. If you held a party you were expected to put out cigarettes for your guests on the coffee table along with a huge Aladdin's Lamp shaped cigarette lighter. Even if you didn't do that you still put out ashtrays for your guests. Fer cryin' out loud, Fred Flintstone used to smoke! Do you think some kid, unaffected by all that, was then going to turn into a smoker because of a candy cigarette?
I beg to differ. I took up candy cigarettes at the age of 7 and I have never been able to quit for very long (I squirreled away a life-time supply before they went off the market) . They have ruined my teeth and caused me numerous debilitating health problems, yet I can't do without my two packs a day.
  #73  
Old 05-06-2020, 05:00 PM
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I had a toy called "Mercury Maze" which was a plastic maze with a blob of actual mercury in it. You were supposed to maneuver the mercury through the maze like those toy ball mazes, with the added complication that you could accidentally cause the blob to split into two, and then you had to get them back together. I liked it, and although I was aware at the time that mercury was dangerous, it somehow never occurred to me that THIS particular blob of mercury could be dangerous to ME. After all, it was just a toy.
Jesus, that sounds like one of those "Mainway" toys from old SNL sketches. My favorite was "Bag O Glass", which was exactly what the name said it was.
  #74  
Old 05-06-2020, 05:23 PM
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The Wham-O "Air Blaster" was not dangerous when used as intended but, hey, you know kids. Put a pencil in the business end and off you go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxZu_Y_m8i4
  #75  
Old 05-06-2020, 05:58 PM
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I had one of the wrist rocket slingshots. I never shot them at anything living, unless there was a big flock of blackbirds in the corn field. Shooting anything that wasn't going to be eaten was frowned upon at our house, and I had a shotgun for that before I had the slingshot. I found rocks too inaccurate unless they were small and shaped just right. Pieces of corn cob were fun to shoot at targets that weren't far away, but I had my thumb sticking up too far one time and hit it. Lucky I wasn't using a steelie or a rock.

I didn't think using pennies instead of discs hurt much unless it was extremely close range. Pennies were just too heavy. I'd use them once I lost all the discs, though.
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