Looking back, it’s pretty clear why some of the most popular toys of yesteryear would be frowned upon today. But that doesn’t mean those childhood toys didn’t leave a lasting impression (and perhaps some permanent scars) on older generations.
The Reddit community is currently reminiscing about some of these treacherous trinkets in response to a question posed to the site’s popular AskReddit page on Sunday: “What toys did you have as a child that would be considered too dangerous to be given to a child today?”
Over 10,000 users have since chimed in, looking back in near-disbelief that anyone ever allowed them to play with realistic-looking toy guns, fake cigarettes or even lawn darts.
“My parents were cleaning out their garage a few months ago and found the lawn darts my mom had when she was a kid,” one user wrote. “If you thought they were dangerous originally, just imagine rusted-out lawn darts from the ’60s.”
“When the game was over, we used to throw them in the air and then run for our lives. I have no idea how I survived the ‘70s,” another claimed.
“My brother sharpened ours to an even more deadly, lethal, point,” someone else remembered.
“When the game was over, we used to throw them in the air and then run for our lives. I have no idea how I survived the ‘70s,” one Reddit user claimed.
It wasn’t just lawn darts that nearly killed several of the Redditors who responded. Many pointed their fingers (or what was left of them) at firecrackers or fireworks, which were apparently sold with no age restrictions.
“We would use (M-80 explosive firecrackers] to literally blow stuff up — like sending garbage cans into the air or blowing street signs off their posts,” one user wistfully remembered. “They were really a lot of fun for us early teenage boys!”
Chemistry sets were a big cause for concern too — at least in retrospect — as several users claimed to once own sets that came with vials of mercury or other dangerous substances. Others were just given the dangerous substances to play with, sans chemistry set.
“My dentist used to give me vials of Mercury to bring to school for show and tell,” one person wrote, adding that they also somehow owned a rock collection that included a “chunk of asbestos.”
“As a kid in the 60s, my uncle looked up ‘gunpowder’ in the family encyclopedia and headed off to the pharmacy with his pocket money,” another Redditor claimed. “He could barely reach up to the counter, but they were happy to sell him a pound of each ingredient.
Some of the most common dangerous ‘”toys,” however, were often not really toys at all, but rather the playgrounds where many Redditors remembered playing on at recess.
Remember burning hot metal slides? Reddit sure does.
“Playgrounds were plunked down onto asphalt and concrete,” one person wrote.
“With metal slides that caused third-degree burns on hot summer days,” another added.
Still, that didn’t stop at least a few users from longing for the days when these dangerous playgrounds were actually allowed to exist.
“My playground at my school had a collection of telephone poles randomly piled together like giant pick up sticks. Great for climbing on, and falling from great heights,” one Reddit commenter said. “There was absolutely nothing safe about it, and it was the best playground ever!”
As of Tuesday morning, Reddit’s thread about the toys that may have maimed older generations had amassed over 30,000 upvotes and more than 10,000 comments.