The good folks over at Radar online have put together a list of the top ten most dangerous toys of all time. My personal favorite is the Johnny Reb (see the video above and the image to your right). Yes this was a really toy. It was first marketed back in 1961, back in a time and place when a toy like this could be tolerated. I can just imagine how much fun kids had back then with a miniature cannon. Picture little Dixie tots shooting these things at all the colored children at school, as the moms look on and smile, "Aw... my little Johnny Reb." I really don't know what I find the most disturbing about this toy; Could it be its obviously dangerous function, its glorification of violence, or its homage to the brave, slave owning, inbreed Confederacy?
Another toy that was honored, Lawn Darts, were something I used to play with when I was just a lad. To be honest, I never realized that they could be so dangerous. I mean I guess I just never got the urge to toss one at my sister or try to catch one with my face. If you think about it, a lot of things when thrown at people can be pretty lethal. For example, rocks, televisions, frying pans, baseballs and even a tin soldier could be fairly deadly if thrown with accuracy and speed. I don't think lawn darts belong on this list, even if they are responsible for slightly more playground accidents than the deadly Merry Go Round!
This toy did not make the list, most likely due to the fact it is of the playground variety. Still, I would make the argument that it is responsible for far more havoc than all the rest. There used to be an old, rusty, red one on the playground in the park where I used play. I remember one day when riding around on the thing with my friends, a couple of local hoods ran up and started really spinning the thing. It was amazingly horrible, being trapped completely dizzy like that. One of my buds fell off and busted up his face forever. Now he has to wear a helmet because if he bumps his head, his brain could come out. I look at this picture and want to tell those little girls to stay away. But I know they wont listen.
The bottom line is (this is true for children and most adults) that as danger level rises, fun level sky rockets. Why the hell else would I have an intense and irrational desire to own a shotgun. So, for all you parents out there, you are better off ignoring your common sense this holiday season. Go ahead buy your kids a nail gun or a gallon of gasoline and matches! It is what they really want to play with anyway.