Yo-Yo Balls = Gasoline Death Balls?

A few minutes ago, I was watching Good Morning America and saw an investigative report on the new toy, the Yo-Yo Ball. For those of you unfamiliar with these, the yo-yo ball is a ball made of stretchy rubber (which is filled with liquid) that is attatched to a stretchy rubber cord. Now, the investigative report was citing that several children have been hospitalized for nearly strangling themselves with these toys. Since my daughter has one of these, I quickly got hers and ran a test. I found that, yes, they can strangle you quite easily, but I discevered something else.

When I had the ball close to my face, I noticed a familiar smell, that of gasoline. My question, is this: do any dopers out there know what is inside these death balls (GMA didn’t say)? Whatever it is, it made my hands smell like gasoline until I washed them.

I have no cites or evidence to give you, but I highly doubt anyone, even Irvin Mainway, would make a child’s toy utilizing gasoline.

WAG It might be made of a petroleum based product that smells a bit like gas.

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.
This kinds reminds me of the exploding jawbreaker over in the BBQ Pit.

It’s not the liquid inside, it’s the ball:

The liquid inside is just water and soap. My kids have a bunch of these things, picked up at swap meets. They always break them, and the inside liquid is always the same…just soapy water. Of course, it’s Asian soapy water, so who knows what lurks microscopically in it’s depths.

Those things are dangerous as hell, for another reason not yet mentioned.

When they’re stretched out too far, the seal that connects the “string” to the ball separates, often slinging the ball in a pretty random direction for a pretty indeterminate distance at a decidedly unsafe velocity. We got a case of those about a month ago at my workplace, and by the end of the week we had broken almost all of them in this manner.

By the way, the box says something to the effect of:



They’ve been banned for sale in Ireland; that means they’re recalled from regular stores and hawked by street traders at carnivals (no sh1t). Too many eye injuries. I can’t believe they carried a CE mark.

Any idea what polymer they may be made from? I can’t think of a plasticiser that smells like gasoline. But I’m guessing that if it elutes enough to leave a smell on your hands it must contain a large proportion.

Plasticisers are low molecular weight oily liquids dissolved in plastics to make them flexible. Often flammable.


Meka, is your name from the Weid Al song?

In addition to what An Lú abú says, I should add that they’ve been banned not (primarily) because of their chemical content and flammability, nor that the water inside them is from a Chinese sewer or something, nor the eye problem, but because they can very easily wrap several times round a child’s neck very tightly during play.

PeeWee Herman is my guess.

An Lú abú, I believe his name comes from the old kids show Pee Wee’s Play House . A character from the show, Jomby, a genie in a box, would always say the catch phrase, “Meka Leka Hi Meka Hiney Ho” when he granted a wish or something.

Sorry for the hijack.