‘Tis the season to be jolly – and a good way to make a kid jolly is to give them a ton of toys for Christmas. That explains why 60% of the toys parents buy for their kids are purchased this time of year. But you better watch out! ‘Tis also the season to say nay to toys – either by banning, blocking, or protesting against them! Most toys pulled from store shelves are due to concerns over little kids choking on small parts or exposure to toxic paint – both reasonable reasons to recall them. But occasionally the nay-saying is so weird, so outrageous, so over-the-top, so crazy, so weird (did we say that already?) that Bad For You has decided to highlight them here: a nay a day. Sure, some toys on this list were banned for good reason (the first two on our countdown are clearly BAD ideas), but are others on the list actually dangerous?
THE FIRST NAY OF CHRISTMAS: THE ATOMIC ENERGY LAB
WHY IT WAS FUN: “Produces awe-inspiring sights,” promised the product catalog. “Enables you to actually SEE the paths of electrons and alpha particles traveling at speeds of more than 10,000 miles per SECOND!” And they weren’t lying – those radiating mist trails were truly a sight to behold. The Atomic Energy Lab also looked great; it was designed by the guy who created the Erector Set. The whole thing was pretty pricey, too: $49.50 – a lot of money in 1951. Any kid would be lucky to have it, right?
WHY IT WAS BAD: Wrong – those super-cool glowing mist trails were caused by little chunks of radioactive uranium! Parents feared their budding young scientist – or, more likely, the kid’s younger sibling – would swallow the radioactive ore and light up like a Christmas tree.