LIFE

20 Vintage Toys Parents Would Never Let Their Kids Anywhere Near Today

by Angela Andaloro

Kids today probably think that they have the coolest toys. The dramatic technological advances that occurred when many of us were already adults have no doubt afforded them some cool things, but their toys have nothing on ones from past decades. Most kids today might scoff at the idea of spending an afternoon wearing moon shoes or slinging Sky Dancers, but they simply don’t know what they’ve missed out on.

Views on parenting have also changed a lot in the past few decades. There were plenty of toys that our moms and dads didn’t think twice about getting us that would elicit some pretty outraged Facebook rants today. Somehow we survived the era of inappropriate and dangerous toys, and we made it out with character, thank you very much. These vintage toys made our childhoods complete, even if the parents of generation Z wouldn’t dream of letting their kids play with them.

1. Swing Wing

swing wing

This toy from the 1960s showed no concern for neck injuries or concussions. The Swing Wing was effectively a hat with a wing that you swung around your head.

2. Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper

2. Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper

This toy is the reason there are choking labels on toys today. The toy featured a shooting ball, which led to the choking death of a 4-year-old boy in 1978. The toy was recalled, and all toys with pieces a child could choke on were branded with a warning moving forward.

3. Moon Shoes

3. Moon Shoes

Moon shoes might seem like an unlikely toy from the jump, seeing as you generally don’t want kids to fall from greater heights. They seem downright crazy when you realize that from the 1950s through the 1970s they were made of metal.

4. Happy Family Midge and Baby

4. Happy Family Midge and Baby

Barbie’s best bud welcomed a baby, which wouldn’t be weird under normal conditions. The strange way that the baby came out is what causes pause. The doll came with a magnetic bump that concealed a small baby doll, so girls just popped off the bump and reached in for the baby. It’s a weird detail that probably wouldn’t be considered politically correct today.

5. Creepy Crawlers

5. Creepy Crawlers

Creepy Crawlers originally debuted in the mid-1960s but were recalled after it was discovered that children and heating elements and metal do not mix. An improved-upon version was released in the 1990s but still held just as many safety concerns as Easy-Bake Ovens did.

6. Sky Dancers

6. Sky Dancers

Sky Dancers were a prettier way of outfitting young children with high-powered slingshots. Despite causing all sorts of injuries ranging from chipped teeth to concussions that began when they toys were released in 1994, these toys weren’t recalled until 2000.

7. Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kid

7. Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kid

The Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kid was one of the most sought-after toys when it was first released, in time for Christmas 1996. The hype over the product turned to outrage after parents discovered that the doll’s ability to chew was actually pretty dangerous. The toy would chew anything you put near its mouth, eating the hair of many little girls before getting recalled.

8. Socker Boppers

8. Socker Boppers

Many parents today wouldn’t dare encourage their kids to hit anyone. In the ’90s, these inflatable gloves were given to us with adult blessings to beat each other silly. It would’ve been relatively harmless if the sharp plastic seams didn’t cut skin so easily.

9. Skip-It

9. Skip-It

Skip-Its were way too intimidating for some of us klutzier kids. The braver ones of us endured many a heinous bruise as a result of the heavy, unwieldy toy.

10. Slip 'n Slide

10. Slip 'n Slide

From the 1970s well into the 1990s, Slip ‘n Slides were a staple in backyards across the country. Slipping sounds fun until the landing doesn’t stick, and a number of people learned that lesson the hard way. Although they’re still around today, they’ve been updated to be safer.

11. B'Loonies

11. B'Loonies

Using tiny straws and mystery goop, B’Loonies helped you create colorful, sticky bubbles that looked like so much fun. Unfortunately, they smelled like nothing but chemicals. It wasn’t long before parents began questioning whether breathing in this stuff could be good for their children.

12. Slap Wrap Bracelets

12. Slap Wrap Bracelets

Before slap bracelets were made of plastic, they were metal. A cool ’80s accessory, Slap Wraps were more dangerous than they appeared. The fabric covered a piece of metal to make the bracelet, which meant that once the fabric wore thin, the metal made for a lot of serious cuts and even stitches for some of the young, fashion-forward souls who wore them.

13. Punisher Shape Shifter

13. Punisher Shape Shifter

There were just so many other places they could have put the power pistol. Parents today would definitely not find this appropriate for their little ones.

14. Roller Racer

14. Roller Racer

This plastic seat with wheels and a handlebar was responsible for quite a few fingers getting run over. It also kept you so low to the ground that you were invisible to cars and bikes — a recipe for disaster.

15. Jibba Jabber

15. Jibba Jabber

The Jibba Jabber made the same sound as one of those groaning sliding batons you’d get at a fair. To make it emit that noise, you had to effectively shake and strangle the things, which is strange to encourage kids to do. The creators of the Jibba Jabber eventually learned about shaken baby syndrome, and from then on the toys came with warnings.

16. Growing Up Skipper

16. Growing Up Skipper

Just a twirl of the arm transformed Skipper into a “teenager” by giving her boobs. The message is all kinds of crazy and not what the empowered women of today want their daughters striving for.

17. Lawn Darts (Jarts)

17. Lawn Darts (Jarts)

The idea of letting your kids throw huge darts around your yard might say “Danger!” all over it to parents today, but the ’80s were simpler times. (And although the box said it was an “outdoor game for adults,” plenty of kids got their hands on Jarts.) While they weren’t sharp, the lawn darts were weighted. In one tragic incident, a little girl struck in the head with a Jart was killed just because of the sheer pressure it struck her with.

18. Play-Doh Doctor Drill 'N Fill

18. Play-Doh Doctor Drill 'N Fill

Aside from the wildly inappropriate name, this Play-Doh set was just begging your kids to have nightmares about the dentist.

19. CSI: Forensic Lab

19. CSI: Forensic Lab

This CSI: Forensic Lab kit was a dream come true for the future true crime podcast binger in your life. As it happens, the powder that small sleuths used to lift fingerprints off things contained as much as 10% of a deadly form of asbestos.

20. Harry Potter Vibrating Nimbus 2000

20. Harry Potter Vibrating Nimbus 2000

The Harry Potter Vibrating Nimbus 2000 was made with the good intention of letting kids get in on the quidditch action in the midst of Pottermania. Alas, we cannot have nice things, and adult “toy” stores began to sell the Mattel product, forcing Mattel to pull the toy altogether.

Toy makers seemed to push the envelope in decades past in a way that they don’t quite approach nowadays. Kids today are probably better off, even if we adults did manage to survive all sorts of dangerous and inappropriate toys growing up.