10 Toys That Prove Your Grandparents Belonged To A Tougher Generation

Nowadays, toy manufacturers are held to strict safety standards. Through ASTM F963: Consumer Safety Standard Specification for Toy Safety, US toy manufacturers must adhere to extensive rules and regulations.

But that wasn’t always the case. Before the government protected children from things like figurines covered in lead paint, older generations were given wild toys and told to go play outside. This list features ten toys that prove your grandparents belonged to a more difficult age in history.

Related: 10 Incredible Times a Children’s Toy Saved Lives

ten Derringer Toy Gun Belt Buckle

In 1959, Mattel gave the world a toy gun that didn’t need hands to operate. The Belt Buckle Derringer Toy Gun can be fired in the usual way while holding it. Or, if you found yourself in a position where you had to fire a gun while your hands were otherwise busy, you were in luck. This gun could be attached to a belt loop and fired when the wearer pushed their hips forward.

What could go wrong with little boys running around with hooded guns strapped to their waists that fire plastic bullets when they wiggle their hips? As you can imagine, the gunfire sometimes exploded at unplanned times, in unforeseen directions, although most likely the planned times when the gunfire must have caused enough chaos on its own.[1]

9 Gilbert Glass Blowing Set

“I wish my young daughter had a kit to shape and form molten glass” is a thought I never had. However, someone must have had this thought at some point because there used to be a real children’s glassblowing set.

The AC Gilbert company, now out of business, was known for its erector, trains and chemistry sets – standard children’s dishes, of course. However, in the 1920s AC Gilbert came up with something special, a working glassblowing set.

Known as the Boys Experimental Glassblowing Kit, the kit contained a blowtorch for heating glass until it was malleable, tubes for blowing and shaping the glass, and a book of “fun” experiments. ” in which the children had to hold the heated glass. glass in their hands. For the record, in order for glass to become hot enough to shape, it must be heated to at least 1500°F (815°C).[2]

8 austin magic gun

Toy guns were popular back then, but the Austin Magic Pistol was a special gun that looked like it came straight from outer space. This 1940s toy gun had a futuristic look and fired ping pong balls. Sounds harmless enough, right? Not so trivial when you discover that the ping pong ball was fired using an explosive chemical reaction created by calcium carbide and water.

Simply mix water with the supplied ‘magic crystals’, load the gun and you’re ready to go. However, the “magic crystals” turned out to be calcium carbide, a dangerous substance that turns into a highly flammable gas when water hits it. Each time the Austin Magic Pistol was fired, an explosion occurred at the rear of the gun.

How our grandparents survived shooting ping pong balls launched by chemical explosions, we will never know.[3]

seven scary crawlers

They may have been dangerous, but this entry must have been fun for the kids to create. In 1964, Mattel introduced the Thingmaker. It was so popular that they released 15 different sets. The set that the internet seems to have the most nostalgia for is the Creepy Crawlers.

The Thingmaker had an oven with an internal heating element that reached 400°F (204°C). The “things” were made by injecting a Mattel chemical called Plasti-Goop into the die-cast metal molds and heating them. However, by 1973 toy safety regulations had become a bit stricter and the Thingmaker, which heated to high temperatures and used a fuming chemical fluid, disappeared from store shelves.

In an attempt to revive the beloved toy, Mattel recently tested a version using a 3D printer, but unfortunately it never made it to market.[4]

6 six fingers

This entry was marketed to children who wanted a sixth finger that wrote and fired a variety of objects, including bombs, missiles, and messages. Created by Topper Toys, it didn’t have the most appealing design, but kids could wear the toy for fun, because it’s not fun to have another finger on your hand. And the TV commercial even asked how we got along with just five!

Designed in the 1960s by Deluxe Reading, a toymaker based in Elizabeth, NJ. It produced toys under several brands, including Topper Toys. On its own, the things the Sixfinger does aren’t terribly impressive – anyone can use a pen, right? Or play with a cap gun or other toy gun. But combine that with an extra odd-looking finger held between the thumb and forefinger, and it’s a winner, winner chicken dinner![5]

5 Zero-M Sonic Blaster

Here we go again with Mattel. Mattel’s sonic blaster bazooka gun was what every budding secret agent needed in their life. It was a 34-inch-long (86 centimeters) blaster that fired hand-pumped compressed air at decibels so high it caused lifelong hearing damage.

You can still see the vintage ad on YouTube today. The ad features a young Kurt Russell, wearily walking through a black-and-white world where he must shoot his gun at piles of leaves and wind chimes to survive.

If you think, what stopped the kids from pushing things like dirt and rocks into the blaster and throwing them through the air? Well, nothing prevented children from doing it. That’s exactly the kind of thing kids will do. This, hearing damage aside, is one more reason why you can’t buy anything like the Zero-M Sonic Blaster for today’s protected kids.[6]

4 Clickers

Like many toys from the 60s and 70s, Clackers was simple. Two balls were attached to a string that a child could slam together to produce a loud, pleasant sound (at least for the child). Hitting two balls together doesn’t sound so bad; however, the original snap balls were glass.

What do you think could happen when a small child wildly and violently knocks glass balls together? Predictably, the glass shattered, sending dangerous shards flying in all directions. The Food and Drug Administration banned the toys in 1971, leading Quartz’s Sarah Slobin to write an article in which she argues that the outcry over clackers may have been responsible for “sowing the seeds of helicopter-style parenting.” of today”.[7]

3 Zulu blowgun

In the 1950s, the Zulu Blow Gun was a favorite among children, allowing them to blow into the gun and toss foam pellets at each other. The problem is that when the child sucked in air deeply so he could blow it out and throw the gun, he would sometimes suck in with the gun against his mouth, launching the pellet directly into his throat rather than into the air.

Blown dart toys are still available today, but modern children are protected from inhaling foam into their lungs through the use of one-way mouthpieces.[8]

2 Baby cages

He is a tough individual indeed who spent his early childhood hanging from a 10 story window inside a wire cage. Baby cages existed primarily from the 1920s through the 1950s, and their purpose was to give parents living in small city apartments a chance to provide their children with some fresh air and sunshine.

Interest in baby cages, which were invented by Emma Read in 1922, most likely stemmed from the 1884 book Child care and feeding. In this book, a section called “Ventilate” recommended that children get fresh air regularly. Surprisingly, there don’t seem to be any accidents or deaths from baby cages, but you won’t see any babies hanging in high-rise buildings today.[9]

1 Little Lady Empire Stove

While many of the items on this list fall into the category of so-called traditional “boys’ toys”, don’t let that lead you to believe that conventional “girls’ toys” were less dangerous. The glassblowing kit may have been considered “for the boys”, but the Empire Little Lady Stove had exposed burners and could reach extremely high temperatures of up to 600°F (315°C), proving that the girls of that era were just as hardcore.

The Empire Little Lady Stove fell victim to the first federal safety standard for toys. In 1969, the toy was banned by the National Product Safety Commission.[10]

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