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Old 05-02-2020, 10:08 PM
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Dangerous 70's toys


So I've already thought of:

Tracer (disc) guns
Spark guns
Cap guns
Lawn darts
Dart darts
Frigging bow and arrow sets for kids.

What was the gun that shoots out a plastic projectile with a suction cup on the end? We'd take off the suction cup and eventually the plastic would grind down and couldnt be shot

Also thought of:

Water wiggle
slip n slide
Clik-claks
Creepy crawlies or any goo that you mold and then cook.
Ez Bake ovens

So what others did you all own? There was a carving toy I cant remember the name of. It was a cylinder of soft plastic you carve away to reveal the hard plastic under neath and it makes it look like you carved it.
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:15 PM
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I may have had some of the guns mentioned but I don't recognize the one you mention that wore down. We owned the lawn darts and never had anybody in the ER for them.

By clik-claks I think you mean those acrylic balls you whacked together?

https://www.littlethings.com/banned-toys/1

You may also enjoy:
http://www.feelingretro.com/
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:27 PM
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I can’t see where a tracer gun or a spark gun could be considered dangerous. Even a cap gun was pretty safe.
I mean - a pencil is more dangerous than any of those...

But, if you want dangerous - how about wood-burning kits?
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:31 PM
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I can’t see where a tracer gun or a spark gun could be considered dangerous. Even a cap gun was pretty safe.
I mean - a pencil is more dangerous than any of those...

But, if you want dangerous - how about wood-burning kits?
The discs from tracer guns wernt particularly dangerous I guess. Could smart if it hit an eye. But cap guns were loud as hell and my sister and I would try and burn each other with a spark gun.

But yes wood burning sets or ...were there sodering toys ...would definitely count.
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:32 PM
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DOH!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veMiNQifZcM
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:33 PM
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Double post sorry

Last edited by lobotomyboy63; 05-02-2020 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:40 PM
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Oh and those suction cup dart guns could also shoot out pencils...pencils that we of course sharpened as much as possible
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:41 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.
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:51 PM
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Super Elastic Bubble Plastic. Basically, liquid plastic in a tube -- you would squeeze a little bead of the plastic out of the tube, put it on the end of a straw, and blow up a big, semi-permanent plastic bubble.

My mom once bought us a tube of the stuff after we begged for it; upon getting home, she read the ingredients and the warnings on the tube. She refused to let my sister and I use it ourselves -- she blew one bubble for each of us, and then threw the tube away.
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Old 05-02-2020, 11:26 PM
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you know they still sell 90 percent of those? but ill one up ya the realistic-looking toy guns that you shot plastic bb types of pellets out of funny thing is they were made by one of the gun companies to get around the bb gun laws that popped up in the 80s ..... i cant remember the name tho .... i wanna say viper or something ....
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Old 05-03-2020, 02:14 AM
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How about candy cigarettes? They normalised the idea of smoking being a fun thing to do - that might even have been more dangerous than all the others put together
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Old 05-03-2020, 02:33 AM
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How about candy cigarettes? They normalised the idea of smoking being a fun thing to do - that might even have been more dangerous than all the others put together
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?

Last edited by TriPolar; 05-03-2020 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 05-03-2020, 02:41 AM
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Thinking back to the 60s and 70s the injuries to kids came mainly from skis, sleds, bicycles, and baseballs.
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Old 05-03-2020, 02:46 AM
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All the best ones are taken in the OP. Maybe Big Wheels - low-to-the-ground riding toys kids rode in the street like bikes, but were harder to see by motorists. Kinda stretching things there, though.

They came out with those new-fangled cap-guns with the round ring of plastic caps, I found out you could carefully lift the chemicals out and pile the contents of 2 or 3 into one cap. I had a little metal souvenir canon that fired these. I ended up with ringing ears a few times after some ill-advised antics. And, of course, there's the classic act of hitting an entire roll of red paper caps with a rock or brick.


I wanted a chemistry set in the late 70's, and was disappointed when I couldn't blow stuff up. I had a creepy crawly maker that got hot as hell, but I was hesitant to use it, because I could never get refills on the liquid you filled the molds with.


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Lawn darts

As with most things, the lawn darts made me think of a song.
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Old 05-03-2020, 02:53 AM
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True story:

As a kid, my brother, father, grandfather and I would divvy up into 2 teams. One child, one adult per each team. We would take archery targets and hold them flat, with the bullseye facing skyward. We would launch the lawn darts into the air by hand (and underhanded throw, trying for maximum height), and the other team would race around, trying to get the lawn darts to land as close to the center of the target as possible. Each player got to be the tosser for a turn, and the person running. So at different points in the game, you would have kids standing underneath lawn darts as they plummeted earthward, trying to get lined up for the best possible scores.

We never had an injury.
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Old 05-03-2020, 03:02 AM
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Super Elastic Bubble Plastic. Basically, liquid plastic in a tube -- you would squeeze a little bead of the plastic out of the tube, put it on the end of a straw, and blow up a big, semi-permanent plastic bubble.

My mom once bought us a tube of the stuff after we begged for it; upon getting home, she read the ingredients and the warnings on the tube. She refused to let my sister and I use it ourselves -- she blew one bubble for each of us, and then threw the tube away.
Oh, yeah, I remember that - it smelled toxic as hell. You really have to wonder about what some toymakers were thinking.

Although the 1960's had nothing on the 19th Century, with things like the incredibly toxic pharaoh's snake fire work at one point being sold to children.
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Old 05-03-2020, 03:16 AM
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Some neighbors of ours had lawn darts out at their summer property. They usually invited us out there once a year and we'd play a game of two of them. No one ever got hurt.
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:12 AM
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In the late 70's at least, Super Elastic Bubble Plastic smelled really. . .interesting, sweet, as I recall. . . OK, what the hell, this is what the internet is for, right?

<googles ensue>

OK, acetone is one of the main ingredients, and the would be a major component of the volatile gasses, so I guess that's what I was smelling. I always kind of liked a whiff of acetone. I'm weird, I guess.

We'd try not to smell the fumes, as we were warned they weren't good for us, but I remember we both liked it. My buddy and I would scrape our change together and buy a few tubes, then come back to my apartment building. I lived in teh suburbs, in a 10-story building on the tallest hill in town. We'd go to the highest floor that had a window we could open (most were screwed shut for safety, but some were removed by residents wanting a breeze in the summer), and we'd let the bubbles fly. We'd get some to travel quite a distance across town. They were pretty light for their surface area, if you didn't use a lot of goop to pinch it off, so we actually lost sight of some bigger-than-basketball-sized bubbles.


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Although the 1960's had nothing on the 19th Century, with things like the incredibly toxic pharaoh's snake fire work at one point being sold to children.
And they sold them to us because they were safer than other fireworks. At least we have all our fingers.
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:33 AM
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[Moderating]

I don't think this is really a Cafe Society topic. The Game Room is probably a closer fit. Moving.
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:43 AM
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The biggest problem with jarts was the original rules. They said to play it on opposite ends of the course(?). Each player or team puts the plastic circle pretty much at their feet and stands their while the other side throws, then they pick the jarts up and throw them back the other way. Which was absurdly stupid. But most sane people, even kids realized how fuckin stupid that really was, and played from one end at a time, even if it made team play much slower.
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:59 AM
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I may have had some of the guns mentioned but I don't recognize the one you mention that wore down. We owned the lawn darts and never had anybody in the ER for them.

By clik-claks I think you mean those acrylic balls you whacked together?

https://www.littlethings.com/banned-toys/1

You may also enjoy:
http://www.feelingretro.com/
I had a lot of the toys from that first link
* I didn't have my own radioactive lab, but I had chunks of fluffy asbestos in my rock collection.
* I certainly played on metal playground stuff, including a very high, straight slide (the type you can fall off of easily and is no longer allowed) that got so hot in the sun it could burn you.
* missed the cabbage patch eating doll and the explosive best buckle.
* I'm sure I played with jarts once or twice. Who didn't?
* I ADORED candy cigarettes. And I hated smoking. I don't think those are dangerous at all.
* So that's what happened to sky dancers... That was a great toy. We got some for the kids one year for Christmas, and had a lot of fun with them
* Sure, everyone played with slap bracelets, then got bored with them. I'm surprised they hurt people. I wonder how. Like, did people go slapping sensitive body parts or something?
* Clackers were fun. We never had any trouble with them.
* I missed yoyo water balls.

Other dangerous toys... One of my favorites as a child was liquid mercury. Every so often a thermometer would shatter, and my mom would let us play with the mercury for a while before she cleaned it up. SO COOL. I also had a chemistry set full of toxic stuff. But that, like super-magnets, is perfectly safe if used as directed. We used to play with mouse traps, and similarly "this could hurt you" household stuff. Seriously, slap bracelets? Try playing chicken with a mousetrap. And of course I played with knives (whittling) and with heat sources (wood burning) and the actual stove...

But the things that most often hurt kids were cars, bicycles, baseballs, and other kids (wrestling, etc.) I bet they still are.
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Old 05-03-2020, 10:25 AM
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you know they still sell 90 percent of those? but ill one up ya the realistic-looking toy guns that you shot plastic bb types of pellets out of funny thing is they were made by one of the gun companies to get around the bb gun laws that popped up in the 80s ..... i cant remember the name tho .... i wanna say viper or something ....
http://www.clarksinn.in/Other-Vintag...N-CARD-706317/

Zebra II? I went through plenty of these in the late 70s. All from my local Kmart.

Ha! Packaging says not for kids under 3!

Last edited by Hampshire; 05-03-2020 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 05-03-2020, 10:58 AM
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Also thought of:

Water wiggle

Water Wiggle was an absolute blast! I was already a teenager when my younger siblings got it. I’d play in the yard for hours with them. It was great fun. I don’t see it as any more dangerous than a common jump rope.

Balloons and bicycles probably hurt and killed more kids that the things the OP listed. When I was a kid in the 60’s they had wood burning kits recommended for ages 8 and up. Who the funk thought that was a good idea?
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Old 05-03-2020, 10:59 AM
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3 wheel ATVs were banned in 1987 because a lot of kids died riding them.
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:04 AM
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Wizzzers weren't lethal but I understand some kids got the very bad idea of revving them up and sticking them in someone's hair.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wizzzer
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:05 AM
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... When I was a kid in the 60’s they had wood burning kits recommended for ages 8 and up. Who the funk thought that was a good idea?
Why not? I spent a lot of time playing with crafts like that. They are designed so you are unlikely to set the bench on fire, and it's not that hard to avoid burning yourself or your friend. Whitting (where sometimes the knife would stick and then suddenly release) was probably a lot more dangerous, but I never hurt anyone else doing that, either.
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:14 AM
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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.
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:26 AM
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Why not? I spent a lot of time playing with crafts like that. They are designed so you are unlikely to set the bench on fire.
When you were only 8? It was basically just a soldering iron. Our neighbor almost had his house burned down because of one. Seeing that some kids are too stupid to play with a $3 water toy without drowning themselves do you really want to give them something that gets hotter than blazes to play with unsupervised?
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:58 AM
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I had some of the OP's list.
Tracer (disc) guns
Spark guns- never had one, but I sparked the hell out of the ones in the Woolworth's!
Cap guns
bow and arrow sets
suction cup dart guns
Clik-claks

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.
How could my parents allow this? My dad said he had a toy soldier foundry set when he was a kid. It included a stove, molds, and lead to melt to make the soldiers!

Perhaps the neatest one was the Derringer belt buckle. It was a cowboy style buckle with a gun inlaid within it. When I stuck out my tummy, the gun would flip out, shoot a plastic bullet, and pop a cap!

Ah, good times.
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:59 AM
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I think when I was about 11 or 12, I got a nice 3-wood for my birthday, which I promptly used to break my best friend's tooth because he happened to be standing in my follow-through.
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Old 05-03-2020, 12:55 PM
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When I was ten I had a chemistry set that had little containers of all kinds of stuff that was poison and a microscope set that came with a piercing needle and exacto knife. We used it to see what was inside a slug (looks like eggs if you were wondering).
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Old 05-03-2020, 01:15 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.
Newspaper article about the death.
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Old 05-03-2020, 01:37 PM
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When I was a kid, one of my favorite "toys" was a yardstick made like a slap bracelet, but that was intended as a tool, not a toy.

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.
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Old 05-03-2020, 02:00 PM
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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 had those. I don't think they were especially dangerous. I mean, sure, you might have burnt a finger, and it would have hurt, but that's about as bad as it was likely to get. They were a lot of fun, although the incredible edibles were disgusting. (Yes, I ate them.) I had a great time playing with creepy crawlies. Also with some plastic film you could draw on, cut up, and then put in the oven, where it retracted into a much smaller and thicker thing.

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When you were only 8? It was basically just a soldering iron. Our neighbor almost had his house burned down because of one. Seeing that some kids are too stupid to play with a $3 water toy without drowning themselves do you really want to give them something that gets hotter than blazes to play with unsupervised?
I'd guess I was around 8? I think parental discretion was advised as to whether YOUR kid was responsible enough to play with stuff like that.

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When I was a kid, one of my favorite "toys" was a yardstick made like a slap bracelet, but that was intended as a tool, not a toy....
Yeah. I used to like playing with one of those. My dad also had a folding yardstick, with joints, that I liked to play with.
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Old 05-03-2020, 02:10 PM
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When I was a little kid I had a Hot Wheels Factory, which would heat up little rectangles of plastic to the point that they melted & could be injected into a mold that had two wheel sets across it, and you could use that to make cars. that thing got so blisteringly hot that I burned myself more than once. And, it made crappy cars. And it had weird fumes, though I’m assuming they weren’t toxic. Much.

It looks like they still have a version of that, but the heated section is in some sort of protective cover.
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Old 05-03-2020, 02:30 PM
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http://www.clarksinn.in/Other-Vintag...N-CARD-706317/

Zebra II? I went through plenty of these in the late 70s. All from my local Kmart.

Ha! Packaging says not for kids under 3!
that was the brand but the guns looked more realistic in the 8s ...
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Old 05-03-2020, 03:40 PM
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So what others did you all own? There was a carving toy I cant remember the name of. It was a cylinder of soft plastic you carve away to reveal the hard plastic under neath and it makes it look like you carved it.
I remember two of these - the one you're describing, I think was called Whittle Away, and you whittled off pieces of a small plastic log; the other one, I can't remember the name, but it resembled a block of stone that you "carved" to reveal a statue.
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Old 05-03-2020, 03:40 PM
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I lived on a dead end country road, a lot of kids had 3 wheelers.

We had detailed replica cap guns that looked like everything from revolvers to Uzis.

BB/pellet guns were pretty standard by the time you hit double digits.
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Old 05-03-2020, 04:01 PM
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Just remembered common sling shots were a thing also. I can't remember the last time I saw a kid with a sling shot.

Boomerangs too, though a kid was lucky if he could get a boomerang to come back half way, never mind downing anything.
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Old 05-03-2020, 04:01 PM
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Did anyone else take an entire box of caps and hit it with a hammer? I did, a most satisfactory display!
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Old 05-03-2020, 04:02 PM
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Did anyone else take an entire box of caps and hit it with a hammer? I did, a most satisfactory display!
Did anyone not do that?
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Old 05-03-2020, 04:51 PM
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When I was a kid in the late 50s, early 60s, we would go to a construction site and play "War." You were only supposed to throw "dirt clods" at the other guys, but plenty of times, rocks got thrown. No injuries, that I'm aware of. Perhaps that's a bit of a miracle.
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Old 05-03-2020, 05:01 PM
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Did anyone else take an entire box of caps and hit it with a hammer? I did, a most satisfactory display!
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Did anyone not do that?
How about collecting all the dud firecrackers after the 4th? Cut open, combine the powder in a piece of paper, wrap in layers of tape, bury under a pile of dirt(and rocks) and light the scavenged fuse.

I did that.









Once.
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Old 05-03-2020, 05:11 PM
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I'd guess I was around 8? I think parental discretion was advised as to whether YOUR kid was responsible enough to play with stuff like that.
You could say that about anything. But generally when they put an age group on the box they’re talking about the child using it without supervision. Nobody would ever accuse me of being an old hen but I know at least half a dozen stories from folks that caused big problems with a wood burning kit. 8 is just too young for an item that gets that freaking hot.

We made our own dangerous toys, didn’t need help. When I was about 9 I taped the end of a paper towel cardboard roll. I snipped the heads off of dozens of matches and mixed them with the silver sulphuric stuff I bent off some boxes of sparklers. Made my own fireworks. Set the front hedges aflame. One of the few times I ever heard my Dad say the “F word”.

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!”
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Old 05-03-2020, 05:17 PM
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Also with some plastic film you could draw on, cut up, and then put in the oven, where it retracted into a much smaller and thicker thing.
Shrinky Dinks.
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Old 05-03-2020, 05:20 PM
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Thanks, that was it!
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Old 05-03-2020, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
Clackers were fun. We never had any trouble with them.
I had a set of clear blue clackers that shattered as I was playing with them. Fortunately none of the fragments ended up in my eyes.

I can still hear the voice of my junior high school's assistant principal angrily announcing over the PA system that CLACKERS ARE NOT ALLOWED AT SCHOOL.
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Old 05-03-2020, 07:46 PM
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My brother hung a 30' halyard in the maple tree. There was a knot at the bottom for grip. It was right at the edge of the rockery that lined the path that went down to the back yard. We were in the habit of swinging out over the hedge (which had a low spot because of that), which took us out over the neighbor's driveway some 20' below.

No one ever got hurt.
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Old 05-03-2020, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by eschereal View Post
My brother hung a 30' halyard in the maple tree. There was a knot at the bottom for grip. It was right at the edge of the rockery that lined the path that went down to the back yard. We were in the habit of swinging out over the hedge (which had a low spot because of that), which took us out over the neighbor's driveway some 20' below.

No one ever got hurt.
Not everyone that played with any of the toys mentioned so far were hurt and/or killed by those toys. If I manage to drink and drive safely for a couple of years does that make it safe to do so?
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Old 05-03-2020, 10:12 PM
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Of food oriented toys, I had a Pretzel Jetzel, Incredible Edibles, a snow man snow cone machine, and a Mr. Peanut peanut butter maker (I still have it, 50+ years later). As far as being dangerous, I guess the first two could burn one's fingers if one wasn't careful enough. However, all of them sucked at what they were supposed to do. My niece and nephew had an E-Z Bake oven and said it was pretty lousy also.

About six years ago I was walking around in a Big Lots on Black Thursday and saw they had cotton candy machines on sale for $15. This was the one food toy I always wanted but never got so I bought the last two- one for me and one for my great nieces. These things work! I guess a small child could hurt himself with it without supervision, but a with bit of instruction for anyone over 6 or 7 they'll probably be fine.
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