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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Stab Yourself a Merry Little Christmas:

Each year since 1973, consumer watchdog group World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH), founded by Ed Swartz, a Boston lawyer, release their “ten most dangerous toys” list. We catalogued the most harmful, but awesome, toymaker ideas of the last decade, from rocket launchers to swords to dolls that eat human flesh.

Sky BlasterThe Sky Blaster is an “All-in-One Rocket & Launcher!” Yes: buy your son a rocket launcher for Christmas. The packaging advises you to “alert all within range when launching Sky Blaster”: all toys should come with civil defense instructions.

Royal Condor M-60 Automatic Assault LazerThe makers of this, um, toy assault laser had to offer a buyback program after some states declared it illegal to posess on school grounds. It replicates real automatic rifles, and comes with its very own automatic bullet feed.

The Lord of the Rings – Return of the King Uruk-Hai Crossbow set This launches arrows (“shoots over 30 feet with 3 power settings!”) and can kill orcs or the neighbor boy if the rubber nub were removed.

Classic Horror Psycho SawThis is a fake chainsaw developed for Halloween, one of a new genre of toy chainsaws including the “Leatherface Chainsaw,” modeled on the weapon from the “Texas Chain Saw Massacre.”

Camouflage Water Bomb Fun KitA slingshot capable of forcefully firing “water bombs,” to prepare tomorrow’s Riot Squad officers.

Air Kicks Kickaroos Anti-Gravity BootsThese fit over shoes and make children bounce around. The manufacturer instructs users to “always remain in control of your motions.” Not to mention your emotions, because somewhere, someone has tried to jump off the roof while wearing these things.

Jungle Gym Jump-O-LeneWATCH notes warnings about “obstructions, sharp objects, balconies, stairways, windows, swimming pools, hard surfaces, open flames and space heaters” on the label, and children must “follow all safety rules to avoid broken bones or other serious injury.”

Mock Military Bazooka by 200 Toy, Inc.Merry Christmas, Son! War is Hell. Prove it by shell-shocking your kids with a 100 decibel sound blast.

Cabbage Patch Kids Snacktime KidsWith continuous rending, gnawing, slicing action. Feed the doll some celery, and a tiny guillotine in its mouth will help “eat” it. Replacement child fingers sold separately.

JartsLawn darts: of the most dangerous toys ever, racking up over six thousand injuries and a handful of deaths in the ’80s. But it was a really fun way to punch a hole in the side of someone’s head.

About the Contributor
Dan Roche served as opinions editor for The Mass Media the following years: 2006-2007; 2007-2008; 2008-2009