From dumb to deadly: the world's worst toys

Ransom Riggs

Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kids

At the height of the Cabbage Patch Kids frenzy of the 80s came the depths of toymaker foolishness. Designed to "eat" plastic snacks, the Snacktime Kids featured a pair of one-way metal rollers behind a plastic slot and rubber lips. The dolls were withdrawn from the market after several incidents where children accidentally got their fingers or hair stuck in the dolls' mouths.

Lawn darts

Memo from Isaac Newton to toy manufacturers: what goes up must come down. These foot-long plastic darts sported a weighted metal tip at the end, which (probably unbeknownst to its manufacturers), were perfect for puncturing people's skulls. After four lawn deaths, lawn darts were banned from sale in the US in 1988.


First marketed to kids in the early 70s, the now-infamous toy known as clackers were hard plastic balls that are swung around the fingers, making a "click-clack" noise. Unfortunately, the plastic had a nasty tendency to shatter and fly into players' eyes. Whoops. The toy enjoyed a brief resurgence of popularity in the 90s, when manufacturers started making them out of light, unbreakable plastic. (Good idea, guys.)

Pez gun

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Mattel Thingmaker

A 60s and 70s-era electric heater designed to melt plastic into funny shapes at high temperatures. Not only was the heater itself a fire hazard, but the hot, melted plastic could impart third-degree burns.