In the old days (the 80s-90s) we had a whole bunch of cool stuff we could play with, laugh, have fun with, get burned, bust a limb and laugh some more on the way to the hospital. It was the time of games and toys that a generation of parents who were not very careful about security offered their children, of which I was one. Long before all these trials, these associations and other killjoys come to ban the source of an inexhaustible happiness and to go back and forth to the emergency room. Here are some vestiges of this time that you, the youngest, were not allowed to see.
1. “Fun metal”
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Honestly, just the name makes you want it. There were two versions of this game which consisted of melting metal balls in a plastic oven: one for girls which was used to make jewelry for girls and one for boys which was used to make jewelry for boys. A pink, a blue, not cliché at all. A mini plastic oven that heats up super strong and that you can potentially block with a pen, that was a real game.
2. Creepy Crawlers Oven
Making your own little plastic monsters is a cool concept. The Creepy Crawlers oven was a bit like Fun Metal: we melted plastic all day long to create and recreate stupid little monsters and piss off our parents (as this magnificent ad shows us). Breathing in plastic fumes and getting burned with the metal mold, those were the fucking good times…
3. Fake cigarettes
Ah we knew how to laugh at the time, and a pack of fake cigarettes was still the best idea. Basically it really looked like a cigarette, and when you blew into it, some kind of powder (probably talc) came out. From a distance it really looked like smoke and we had the mega class in front of the school when we burned one. Well, you can still find them for costume parties and that kind of thing, but the real ones know they were for the cool kids who played cops and robbers.
4. Chocolate cigarettes
Inevitably I have to continue on this, the chocolate cigarettes were the basis of a good day between friends of eight years. Always the opportunity to grill one at recess with a brick of orange juice to decompress. These cigarettes were sold in the form of packets (there were even several models, like each one had its own brand) and the cylinder of chocolate was wrapped in a thin cigarette paper. It’s been obviously banned since 2005, and that’s a shame if you ask me because it didn’t make you want to smoke at all later in real life.
5. Pogo Ball
Still found online, this dumb but hilarious toy consisted of trying to get around by climbing onto a plastic platform surrounding a ball. How funny was that, and why did we go to the emergency room with this thing on which we have no balance and where an ankle has never been so exposed to danger. Glad it’s still available.
6. The “Magic Mike 2” robots and its copy the “Sonic Sam”
If these robots seemed just as boring as the robots of today they still had a hell of a thing more. Well they could beep, talk, move on their own, but they could also spit smoke thanks to a mechanism that boiled cooking oil. Too good as a trick, to make smoke by heating oil in a plastic toy. Hell, 2000s kids don’t know what you missed.
7. Moon shoes
The Moon Shoes were a special pair of shoes that looked like foot trampolines. Basically the sole was retained by large rubber bands and when you walked you could very easily break your neck or twist your ankle. Kind really easily. But it was fucking fun, and a sick foot fixes itself, as the salesman at my toy store said shortly before closing up shop. You can see what it’s like in the video review of a woman who crates it below.
8. Lawn darts missile game
This one is a bit older but wasn’t banned until 1988. They were real darts with a big metal tip to throw in the air so they land in a circle set in grass. Between the 1950s, when it was first marketed, and the end of the 1980s, there were still 7,000 hospitalizations and 3 deaths. Afterwards the guys said to themselves that the bullshit had to be stopped and that it was really not safe as a toy.
9. The “Sky Dancer”
These stupid little fairy figurines spread their wings and flew away when you operated the controller that accompanied them. When they fell, they often burst the mouths of children who tried to catch them, touching their eyes, foreheads or teeth. Well of course the thing was recalled by the brand following numerous complaints and now, no more fun for anyone. That was how long it lasted…
10. The snack time cabbage patch
Imagine a doll that can eat and swallow what you hand it. It’s cool right? Seriously, that’s cool. Especially since it has no sensor to differentiate if it is given one of the foods supplied with or the finger of a child, or even its hair, which makes it even cooler. But can you imagine what made this game really super mega cool? Is that there was no “Off” button on it, impossible to stop it. So you guessed it, this doll from Mattel quickly cleared the market. Too bad.
11. BONUS: Monster Science Colossal Water Balls
Imagine small balls that can absorb water and grow and thus gain up to 400 times their size. WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Bah the fact of swallowing it. Which was the case. The thing about these little filth is that it came to obstruct the digestive tract and that in addition they were invisible to X-rays. Suddenly it was a direct surgical operation to expel them and the brand was forced to recall most of its products after a number of serious accidents. Do you think that during the 80s and 90s toy manufacturers were really oblivious? Well this product is dated and was banned in 2013 (hence the bonus). Yes, it’s not that far.