In 1979, a child reportedly died after choking on one of the missiles, prompting Mattel to recall all "Battlestar Galactica" models and suspend production of the toy. The original show met the same fate in the spring of that same year.
But at least the launcher didn't become known by the name "death cocoon," unlike our next toy ...
No. 2: Mini hammocks
Would you buy something called a "death cocoon" and leave your child to play with it in the backyard? Probably not.
But that's just one of the nicknames earned by mini hammocks that grew popular in the '80s and '90s. The nylon hammocks sold for about $4 a piece and were made by several different companies, including the regrettably named "Hang Ten" model produced by EZ Sales.
The hammocks lacked spreader bars at either end, allowing them to close around kids who lay in them. Really, if you're a manufacturer of children's hammocks, it's hard to imagine a bigger design flaw.
Between 1984 and 1995, 12 children died by asphyxiation after becoming tangled in the hammocks. The CPSC also received a report of a 7-year-old who suffered permanent brain damage after a near-strangulation.
All together, the 13 companies that made the hammocks ended up suspending sales and recalling 3 million of them in August 1996.
Last up, it's all fun and games until somebody gets impaled ...
No. 1: Jarts/Lawn Darts
As mom was fond of saying, it's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye ... or gets a flying projectile lodged in the skull.
Many an adult who came out the other end of the rough-and-tumble world of 1970s and 1980s toys in one piece will recall childhood days spent hurling Jarts or some other version of lawn darts around the backyard.
And while there was an actual point -- pun intended -- to the game, it invariably devolved into the pure chaos of flinging the heavy, metal projectiles with plastic fins as high as possible just to see where they came down.
Really, it's not so much a surprise that lawn darts were responsible for at least 6,700 injuries and four deaths before they were banned in 1988, but rather that more kids, and adults for that matter, weren't hurt or killed by the once popular yard game.
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