The toy closet. The toy box. The toy shelves. There sure are a lot of ways to stash all of the toys around the house. And all around the country, the same scenarios play out. It's time to clean up the toys, none of the kids help, mom ends up picking up the toys on her own, and swears that all future birthdays and holidays will result in exactly zero new toys.
However, it's an empty threat and new toys usually appear at the next birthday or holiday. And thus more toys accumulate. Yet, because of the sheer number of toys in the average household, most parents don't stop and think about the toys that actually do come through the door. Are the toys safe? Are the toys teaching good (or bad) lessons to the kids?
Some toys are chintzy plastic doo-dads that came out of vending machines, some are special toys that were purchased with months of babysitting money, and other toys may be fun - but dangerous. In fact, just because a toy has been manufactured and sold doesn't mean it's a good or safe toy. Toy recalls are constantly happening, but some toys still slip through the cracks.
Here are 20 kids' toys that are still on the market... even though they shouldn't be.
20 A Big Whoopsie Indeed
What's more "exciting" than cleaning up pee and poo diapers? Buying the Baby Alive Whoopsie for your not-quite-yet potty-trained child. Baby Alive really pees! Eek! So now you get to clean up messes from two babies - one happens to be a real human child and the other is a plastic doll that wishes it was a real human child.
But beyond the fact that you'll end up cleaning up messes from this baby (you do know your child is going to feed it bottles then leave those soggy wet diapers laying around the house, right?), there have to be serious mold issues with this doll. How could there not be mold?!
This might be a fun today for a day or two, but when you find it a month later stuffed behind the couch with a mildew-y diaper, you'll be tossing this in the trash.
19 Seriously, Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?
Rubber band guns may be the perfect accessory for playing cops and robbers or even acting out one of those dramatic scenes from a western, but rubber band guns and kids just are not a good combo. Surely, I'm not the only one who realizes that. Even the dad from The Christmas Story knows that toy guns will "take your eye out"!
Not only are you putting yourself and your other children in harm's way, but what is it really teaching kids by handing over a toy gun? That it's okay to aim at your brother? The first time you get popped in the face with one of those rubber bands, you'll realize really quickly that this toy purchase was a big mistake.
18 Splish, Splash, I Was Taking A Bath
Bath time is arguably one of the kids' most favorite times of the day. Most babies love the warm soothing water and older babies and toddlers love to splash and play with all of the special bath toys. It's sensory play at its finest, but unfortunately, bath time is also the source of a whole group of toys that shouldn't be on the market anymore: bath toys with holes.
Although the images of moldy bath toys went viral a few years ago, there are still many, many toys on the market with that tiny hole on the bottom. Sure, it might be great for squirting water in your sister's face, but that hole also means you're going to end up with the moldiest toys ever. We've had to say goodbye to quite a few moldy bath toys, including a Rubble Paw Patrol squeaker. RIP Rubble.
Lesson learned: no bath toys with holes in the bottom.
17 If Heelys Had An Evil Pyro Twin...
Remember Heelys? Yep, the sneakers that transformed into skates. You would be walking in the mall and then WOOSH! a kid would whiz right past you with their little wheely shoes. Eventually, malls and most public places got smart and banned those shoes... but little did they know that Heelys were the least of their worries. Jetts Heel Wheels are way worse.
Not only do Jetts Heel Wheels consist of wheels (similar to the Heelys) but they also shoot REAL SPARKS. Yikes! These might be totally safe on asphalt but what about the kids who live in dry zones - areas at risk for wildfires? What about kids who like to stand too close to their mothers?? Ouch! As a mom of two wild boys, these wheels are a hard pass from me.
16 This Is Just A Little Too Much
The Nerf Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow... it's a mouthful to say and it's just too much. Remember when Nerf guns used to be simple? They just shot out little foam darts with a suction cup at the end. You played Nerf tag, and it was super fun. But a crossbow just seems a bit much for kids, doesn't it?
They try to make it seem okay because "it's for hunting zombies", but guess what? Who are the zombies?? The zombies are your kid's siblings and friends. So at the end of the day, your kids are all aiming crossbows at each other.
Bottom line: It just doesn't seem right to hand over a crossbow to a kid.
15 My Spidey Sense Says This Is A Bad Idea
I get why kids are fascinated with drones. It's like a mini aircraft that you get to control. It's like a real-life video game. But here's the thing: drones aren't mini aircraft meant for children to control, and they aren't real life video games. Drones shouldn't be marketed to children, yet the Spider-Man Spider-Drone is irresistible to kids.
There are a million and one reasons why a child should not have a drone. Besides the obvious reasons for crashing the drone or damaging someone else's property, those blades can hurt little fingers. If your kid loves the Spidey, then head to the superhero section at Target.
14 Build Me A Tower… Sans Lead
If you have a little baby, you probably have a set of squishy blocks, and if you've got an older baby or toddler, then you might even have some wood blocks. If your toy shelf is not crammed with at least two types of blocks, then let me tell you a secret: babies love blocks. Specifically, knocking down towers made of blocks.
And blocks also double as teethers, since I can guarantee that your baby will find these blocks oh-so-tasty. Speaking of babies chewing on blocks, blocks with lead paint are another no-no toy. Of course, most parents know that lead paint is dangerous, yet there are still suspect blocks being made with lead paint. What gives? Parents, it's your responsibility to check all of the toys you purchase or are given. If the product doesn't specify that it is non-toxic and/or contains lead-free paint, save your kid and just toss those blocks out.
13 Lead Paint Part Two: Tea Sets
Speaking of lead paint, tea sets are another sneaky source of lead paint. Seriously! Why is lead even used in paint anymore? According to environmentalist Tamara Rubin, the toxic level of lead is 90 parts per million (PPM). Tamara tests various products and she found that many painted tea sets contain lead. One set that Tamara tests had 20,600 parts per million (PPM) of lead. That is not okay!
Many of the tea sets with lead paint are made overseas in China or Taiwan. If your child has a tea set, make sure that is 100% guaranteed to be free of lead. This is especially important because kids pretend to drink out of tea sets and their mouths WILL touch leaded paint.
12 All Of Those Cars With Teeny, Tiny Wheels
As the mother of two boys, I can tell you with absolute certainty that I have no idea how many Hot Wheels, motorcycles, and dye cast cars we have. It's at least three buckets full. But before you judge me, know that each of one of those cars was carefully chosen and picked out, and it's really hard to play "parking lot" if you don't have buckets of cars to fill all of the spaces.
But I can also tell you with absolute certainty that the cars with the removable rubber tires are just downright... dangerous. 1) It's a choking hazard for those little pieces to be loose, 2) Kids will lose their tires, 3) The cars will no longer slide smoothly due to missing tires and your kids will ask for a new car, 4) You say no because of the aforementioned buckets of cars, and 5) Chaos ensues.
Spare yourself and just buy the cars that do not have wheels that detach.
11 It's Pretty Close To Flying
I'll be the first to admit that I thought hoverboards looked like a lot of fun; it's like flying but not. It's like experiencing anti-gravity but not. It's everything that the Jetsons promised the future would be. But the thing is I won't ever purchase one, but I think - in theory - it would be a fun experience.
When the news first came that hoverboards were exploding, I thought maybe it was just a fluke. But the reports kept rolling in: hoverboard after hoverboard was exploding. Sure, you can buy a new hoverboard still, but do you want to? I just can't trust an exploding toy...
10 A New Take On The Slap Belt
Remember slap bracelets? Who could forget the sharp piece of metal wrapped in cloth and meant to be slapped on to the wrist of a friend? Some slap bracelets are still around, although I'm not sure how.
You literally cannot wear this unless you slap them onto someone. But here's another thing: slap bracelets were ugly! Thick bands of metal with unattractive fabric covering? No thanks. If your kids want to give bracelets to their friends, please just get them the friendship bracelet kit from the craft store; it's so much nicer than having to slap a hunk of steel onto their arm.
9 Slinkies Gone Wrong
Slinkies are mesmerizing, especially when you start at the top of the stairs and watch as the slinky walks itself down the stairs. Slinkies had a comeback thanks to the Toy Story series. The slinky dog was just too cute. Despite that, slinkies should me made anymore, or least not marketed to young children.
If you've ever given a slinky to a child, you know that it takes approximately 3 seconds to get all tangled up. What if the child tangled himself up in the slinky. Total hazard right there.
8 Wonder Woman Wouldn't Be So Proud
Toy swords are nothing new, but that doesn't mean that they should continue to be made. Toy swords definitely make the list of toys that should be made anymore. From Wonder Woman costumes to pirate costumes, swords are a very common costume accessory.
Even though the toy sword may not be sharp, it can still inflict harm. Remember the whole "You'll poke your eye out" warning? Yeah, that totally applies here. Here's another danger: kids run, kids trip, and kid lands on sword. It sounds like a paranoid Dad threat, but I've witnessed it in real life, and just trust me when I saw toy swords are dangerous.
7 What Is The Point Of These Exactly?
On the list of toys that shouldn't be manufactured, we've already got a few risky ones, and it's time to add another one: BB guns. Somehow BB guns got lumped into the kids' toy section, but just how and why are BB guns a kids' thing?
Sure, BB guns are great for practicing aim and hitting tin cans in the backyard, and I understand that back in the day, kids would need to help hunt or scare off coyotes on the farm. But we are not a hunter-gatherer society and unless you live on a farm, there isn't really a need for a child to have such a toy. So these definitely get tossed in the "kids shouldn't have these" category.
6 "Pull" This Off The Market
The Tolo Pull Along Pony breaks some major toy rules. In order for kids' toys to be safe, strings should be longer than 12 inches, and even then, the product should come with a warning. Tolo is a naughty pony and disregards these two rules.
First, the string is much longer than the recommended 12 inches; it's 19 inches. Second, there's no safety warning about keeping on an eye on your kid to prevent strangulation. And it's like some kid rule that if you have a long string, you have to put it around your neck and scare your mother out of her wits. So… at the end of the day, this is just another toy that should not be on the market.
5 Tool Time Gone Wrong
Kids - both boys and girls - love toy tool sets. What's more fun than pretending to use power tools, hammers, nails, and screwdrivers? And if you've got a (lead-free) set of blocks, you can spend hours pretending to construct and build a house.
However, there is one component of the toy tool set that just shouldn't be made anymore: the hammer. I know a toolset isn't complete without a hammer, but let me ask you this: have you ever been hammered in the head by a Toddler Foreman? If so, then you'll agree with me. It's time to ditch the toy hammers - especially the wooden ones.
4 PVC Belongs In The Pipe Aisle, Not The Toy Aisle
Did you know that PVC is harmful, even if your baby isn't chewing on the plastic toy? That's right - simply touching and using the toy can be harmful, according to SafBaby. PVC is so bad it even has it's own nickname: "the poison plastic." So why, WHY is PVC still used in toys or anything for that matter?
Check all of your child's toys and toss anything that may contain PVC. This may be indicated by seeing the number three inside the recycling triable that is stamped on products. You might also suspect that a product contains PVC if it not labeled "PVC-free."
3 Don't Be A Slacker
Slacklines are fabulous for improving balance and strengthening new muscles, but there's a certain kind of slackline that just shouldn't be on the market: slack lines for kids. Before you yell at me for discouraging children's physical exercise, listen to this: slacklines are okay for adults, but on the boxes, which are marked suitable for ages 5+, there are warnings that physical harm and "injury can occur if product is misused."
So do you really think it's wise to let kids use products that may cause injury or worse? Probably not.
At the end of the day, let's leave the slack lines for the adults.
2 A Bunch Of What?
In theory, Bunchems are great. It's like the pre-cursor to Legos. Little hands can easily grab these Bunchems and create ocean fish, cars, aliens, houses, abstract art - you name it. The spikey arms attach to each other easily, so you don't have to worry about lining them up perfectly. Plus, they are fun colors!
However, Bunchems are known for getting tangled in hair - little girls' long hair, boys' hair, and even a fully grown manly beard. A few (okay, 20+) years ago, there was a Cabbage Patch doll that got recalled for eating (yes, eating) a little girl's hair. As far as I see it, Bunchems also get tossed in the "these will destroy your hair" category.
1 The Sharpest, Most Pointiest Toys Of Them All
On behalf of all parents everywhere, Legos should no longer be on the market. After all, Legos are the number one cause of parental foot pain, and if you've got small children and older children, you're also worrying that the younger kids are going to pick up a lost Lego off of the floor and swallow it. Right? Tell me I'm not the only one.
Okay, okay. Legos shouldn't be removed from the market. I do actually love Legos, but they are still dangerous. And if you step on a rogue Lego, you might just wish they had never been invented.
References: Amazon, Viral Gadgets, Walmart, Tamara Rubin, USA Today, Toy Safety, SafBaby, Target