Old Popular Toys That You’ll Never See Again with Today’s Safety Standards
As my family's designated Funcle, I've longed for the day my niece and nephews put down the electronics and go outside to play.
It's definitely a generational thing.
When my sisters talk all the time about how awesome it was to grow up in the 80's and 90's. A period of time when life wasn't safe, but nothing really was, and that was OK.
When I think about it, it's the toys we played with that really get me. The more questionable they were in terms of safety, the more fun it was to play with them.
Did we get hurt? Sure... but did we have fun? Absolutely.
You'd have your moment of pain, rub some dirt on it and go back to doing whatever dangerously fun activity the neighborhood was doing at that moment.
Remembering some of the brighter standout toys we had, it's amazing any of us made it through to adulthood.
The most famous "dangerous" toy in the world might be the legendary Lawn Dart.
It's a foot-long, steel-tipped projectile you were supposed to lob across the yard to hit a target twenty or thirty feet away... What could go wrong?
The urban legend was always shared like "I know a kid that knew a kid that took one of these in the face. He died" yet we still played, occasionally tossing them at each other in a little light-hearted fashion.
For obvious reasons, Lawn Darts went the way of those neon retro Zubba pants we all had.
There were exactly five boys on my childhood block, and every single one of us had a BB gun.
When you've exhausted your millionth round of bullseye and taken out every dragonfly in the drainage ditch, naturally you all decide you should play a rousing game of BB tag. After all, you don't need to be the fastest since you can reach out and touch people.
There was always an agreed and universal "One Pump Rule." BB guns shoot a projectile with air pressure. The more you pump the faster and more potentially fatal it becomes... so everyone would enter an accord to limit things to just one pump... but the deals never lasted.
It never failed. One kid would always get upset at getting tagged, so he'd add a second or third pump as an act of revenge and someone would end up crying. No safety glasses, no armor, real BB's... it's amazing nobody ever lost an eye.
I don't know about you, but the first playground I ever had at a school was built mostly with old power line poles, rope, stainless steel slides, and grab bars. This was long before they rubber-coated everything for safety. When it was time for recess, we were turned loose to go burn off some energy.
Yeah, you'd get the occasional splinter but some adult was always there to pluck it out. Above all, those shiny stainless steel slides were scorching hot in the Oklahoma sun. Why anybody thought it'd be a good idea to put a metal mirror on a playground to slide down, I don't know, but looking at school standards these days, I'm amazed a kid could get hurt.
Plastic and cool-touch everything, soft and bouncy surfaces... Makes me remember what my sister used to tell me when I was nervous playing with my nephews. She said "Kids are resilient, you can roughhouse with them."
Maybe the soft and safe space playgrounds are to blame for the idiotic generations of offended young people we have nowadays. They've never known the pain of sticks and stones.
What toys do you remember from your youth that you wouldn't find in the wild today? Pop into the app and let me know. We'll talk about it.